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Snippets That Talk Of Hope!

Soon after the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan on August 15 (2021), the Internet was flooded with images and videos of continuous gunfire outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, the fierce fighting between the Northern Alliance and the Taliban for the possession of Panjshir, the panic and uncertainty of common Afghan people, the anxiety of foreigners stranded in Kabul, and of crowd desperately trying to board a plane in an attempt to leave the war-ravaged country. In such a situation, a different image has surfaced on National Geographic’s Instagram account. The image has shocked the Global Community, as we know that a single photograph tells a thousand words. This particular image, too, has probably said thousands of words during the crisis period.

The snapshot has been clicked by National Geographic photographer Jasper Doest, who specialises in conservation issues and wildlife photography, emphasising on the beauty, as well as the fragility of our planet. One fine morning, Doest, holding the hand of his young daughter, went out for a walk, together. It was in course of the walk, they came across the lifeless body of a tiny Finch lying on the road. His young girl quickly covered the bird’s body with her disposable mask, as if a sleeping person was covered with a blanket on a winter night, with absolute care. Later, Doest and his daughter buried the bird near their residence.

The NatoGeo image

Doest clicked a picture of the mask-covered Finch, resting in peace, before burying it. Recently, the National Geographic Authority asked its staff photographers to choose the best picture taken by their colleagues on the occasion of World Photography Day – an annual, worldwide celebration of the art, craft, science and history of Photography celebrated each year on August 19. His colleagues chose the picture of mask-covered body of the Finch clicked by the Dutch photographer, as the image has said thousands of words to the Global Community during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Jasper Doest

Tamara Merino, one of Doest’s colleagues, has said: “This photo feels so fragile and so vulnerable to me. I love how the face mask contextualised us in a specific time and space in our collective history, but in a very poetic and almost timeless way. The mask covering in such a subtle way, this soulless body speaks to me of death and fear of the virus. But at the same time, it fills me with hope and love for humanity.” She added: “It’s amazing how this collaborative photo between Jasper and his daughter, leads me to appreciate and find the magic in the simplicity of everyday life.

No one will be able to forget the crisis that has been triggered by the COVID-19 Pandemic. We simply cannot forget the sound of the hooters of ambulances every night; people covering their faces with masks, gathered at hospitals, maintaining distance from the much precious ones; and even watch helplessly as near and dear ones turn into corpses without much of a prior notice.

In such a scenario, the Researchers have warned that the third wave of Pandemic could hit the world in October 2021. Soon after receiving the warning, the Global Community has discovered the image of a lifeless body of a small bird covered with disposable masks and lying on the asphalt road. It seems that the warmth of life is still holding the little creature back. Even though the bird has left this world, the warmth of life is yet to leave it. People still remember those young men who have delivered medicines and oxygen cylinders to residences of COVID-19 patients at night, and supplied food to them. It seems that these angels are still there in this world. They have helped many recover from the COVID-19 infection with the warmth of love and care. They are just like the child, who covered the body of a little bird with utmost care before its burial.

The image, clicked by Doest, has reminded us of the eternal truth of life. The simplicity of the photograph has created an amazing magical moment in our hazardous daily life. It has also helped us realise that hope exists even in a fragile and helpless time. Apart from portraying the turbulent period, Coronavirus and death, this image has also brought a strong desire and hope for a better world, humanity, love and compassion.

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