Guruprasad G – Rare photographs collector
“Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different” ~ Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
Please join me to welcome Mr. Guruprasad from Bangalore, who is looks at the same internet like you and me.. yet has come up with something different and amazing.. Guruprasad, bangalore based engineer has found his calling in looking for rare photographs and information.. which makes you think deeper.. Guru’s blog is Deeply Thinking.
Me: Sundar Rajan G S
GP: Guruprasad – Collector of rare photographs
Me: Hi Guruprasad, Welcome to CWS.. Can you tell something about yourself.. your childhood, education etc..
GP: Hi Sundar. Thank you for having me on this show.
Let me tell something about myself now. Born in Bangalore, in the 1980s, I feel I am very fortunate to have witnessed some of the major revolutions like economic liberalization on 90s and IT revolution of 2000s which have kickstarted the country’s progress in a good way. My father works for National Aerospace Labs and is an electronics engineer by profession. He is my inspiration for my fascination towards engineering & technology. My mother being a housewife has been very supportive and motivational in all my walks in life. I did my Schooling at MES, Bangalore, and had very inspiration teachers whom I can never forget in my life. After that, Pre University at Vijaya College (RV Road) Vijaya College being one of the oldest colleges in Bangalore (established in 1940s), there were some old time professors who used to lay lot of importance to Indian culture & heritage (Our Maths teacher used to spend 45 mins solving problems and 15 mins talking about Indian heritage). They have also been one of my inspirations to know more about our culture in different perspectives.
Having witnessed the IT boom, Infosys & Wipro stock prices soaring in late 90s, I had always wanted to work in technology industry. So, I took up electronics engineering at PESIT, Bangalore. As most of the Bangaloreans know, PESIT is a very strict college which emphasises on discipline and their mission statement is “Discipline, Dedication & Deference”. In a way, it helped me understand the importance of discipline, dedication and respect towards others. It was initially tough to cope up with their strict rules, but after getting used to it, it has made me more disciplined in life.
By the time I finished my engineering, the mobile phone revolution had begun and I wanted to be a part of it. I realized that working for a mobile phone startup company would help me understand the domain and dynamics better. So I joined Sonim Technologies, a startup company which makes the world’s toughest phones. Based in San Mateo, US, they had their whole engineering division in Bangalore which gave us a complete picture of what we are actually doing. By 2009, the smartphone revolution had begun with iOS, Android etc picking up. I wanted to be a part of this revolution now 🙂 So, I joined Samsung Electronics in 2010 and have been working on developing smartphones. It is a very dynamic market. With features becoming obsolete within months and new features introduced every few months. I am getting to learn lot of things, both in terms of technology as well as market dynamics.
Me: When did you start this hobby of collecting rare photographs? What inspired you.. How did you become serious about this?
GP: Sundar, to be frank, collecting rare photograhs was never my hobby. Instead, collecting interesting and rare “information” and sharing it with friends was my hobby. Till my graduation, I used to read novels and some good books like Sherlock Holmes. But after that, my reading habits changed totally. I started reading a variety of books related to history, economics, statistics, Indian culture, Indian freedom struggle and other such books. Also, at the same time, I got high speed broadband at home and started downloading tons of interesting documentaries. After reading a book or watching a documentary, I would share those information with friends. I had always wanted to share these with more people but did not know how to. Recently, I realized that facebook can be a good medium for it. In the form of photo albums and my write-ups and thoughts for it, I thought it can reach more people and started this new hobby. In fact, when I started this album, I had only 4-5 rare photos but tons of information. I knew that since I have the info, I can search it on internet and present these in an interesting format. That is how this new hobby started i.e transformation of information and thoughts into picture stories and the album is gradually building up with inclusion of more pics.
Me: Very interesting.. What is the process involved in collecting these pictures..Can you take an example picture and say how did you manage to find the picture.. do the research for it etc..
GP: On a lazy sunday afternoon or whenever I get some time, I try to recollect information from all the books and documentaries and find if there was something interesting that is worth sharing. Then, I dig for a relevant picture on the internet, come up with a narration and upload it to the album.
For example, when I read the book “Freedom at Midnight”, it said that during India-Pakistan partition, everything had to be divided into a 4:1 ratio including libraries, books, tables and office chairs. The interesting part was that because of this irrational way of dividing, there were instances where out of a 20 volume book, 4 were sent to Pak and 16 were retained in India. One day, I recollected this interesting fact and searched the internet for India-Pakistan library partition and found this picture:
One day, I was watching NGC in which they showed a Grizzly bear waiting for a fish to fall directly into its mouth. After the programme, I spent sometime trying to relate it to real life and thought that being at the right place at the right time (like the Grizzly bear) is also important apart from hard work and risk taking ability.
This way, all the pics and writeups has been a result of reading books and watching something and relating it to real life.
Me: Can you share some of other your interesting collection and why you like them?
GP: Here is a 1940s photo of Taj Mahal with protective scaffold during world war. The reason why I find it interesting is because it shows how the same set of people who praise you during moments of joy can be the same who will be ready to trouble you during crisis:
Readers, hope you enjoyed this edition of Coffee With Experts. Please stay tuned for part 2 of the interview with Guruprasad with more exiting photographs. Please find the previous interview with Mr. Vairam on Sangam Literature.