Zooming in on love

MYRIAD FORMS OF LOVE Sabine and Mikael share a joke

MYRIAD FORMS OF LOVE Sabine and Mikael share a joke   | Photo Credit: PHOTO: S. GOPAKUMAR

Sabine and Mikael have clicked expressions of love on camera. SAJINI V. SAHADEVAN catches up with the couple

At a time when the world is getting enmeshed in the dizzy bustle of mundane activities, two people set out on a mission to share the message of love. Be it a loving smile, a considerate glance or a warm hug, Sabine and Mickael are globe trotting to freeze the moment while including it in their pet project `1000 gestures of love.'

About love

As Mickael, hurried around the room adjusting equipment for their slide show here at Alliance Francaise, Sabine, his wife, took a breather to talk about their exhilarating experiences. The couple has been exploring India after a face-to-face with life and love in Morocco, Russia, Mongolia and China. Sabine's face is aglow with the thrill of recollecting her experiences, "What is love to me?" she repeats the question in her native French accent. "It is happiness. We share common emotions all over the world but we express it in different ways. Love isn't just anemotion between lovers. We saw instances of devotion, compassion and affection. Capturing such candid moments on camera has opened me up to a whole new world," she gushes.Sabine, a writer, set out with her photojournalist husband after they hit upon this unique idea of a venture on love. "As both our professions demand constant scrutiny and criticism of assignments we handle otherwise, this project has helped liberate our minds. It will always remain the closest to our hearts. `1000' is symbolic to us of an immense challenge with a message of solidarity and so we decided to shoot a 1,000 pictures and keep adding to it as we go along," she adds glancing at Mickael as he joins her with an inquisitive smile. "There was this incident that really moved us while in Mongolia!" she says for Mickael, "it was six in the morning and freezing cold. In the tent from across us we saw a mother preparing to bathe her baby. Since the water was cold she took in a mouthful to make it warm and then spilled it on the child's head! We caught that on camera."

The best and the worst

"Russia is the most demonstrative country when it comes to love. The worst? I'm afraid it is India. But family ties are upheld here which is missing in some countries. I found the concept of arranged marriages very hard to understand," she muses as she continues, "but I respect that. Travelling has taught me to respect different cultures." The couple has shot a few pictures using the digital camera to enable slide shows in their places of stay. "We travelled mostly by train, sometimes bus and boats here in Kerala which was simply breathtaking! Bus rides put people to sleep so we prefer trains. We seem a queer couple walking up to people for a smile, their experiences with loved ones, anything that projects an instant gesture of love!" she remarks. The slide show was divided into segments with photographs that included a mélange of race and culture. Girls eagerly attending school in Morocco, camaraderie exchanged during swigs of beer in Russia, curious shy smiles of indigenous folk from Mongolia and many such rare, at times suggestive moments of happiness have found a place in the collection. "We want to help link the world through their acts of love that come spontaneously. We avoided using the flash as it would make people conscious and stiff instead of being themselves," she translates as Mickael speaks animatedly in French. The couple will now travel to Sri Lanka, Laos, Vietnam, Vanuatu islands, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico and Cuba followed by Africa, North America and Europe.

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