'Love In Wrinkles' Is A Granddaughter's Ode To The Love Between Her Grandparents

Love In Wrinkles
Love In WrinklesLehar Tanwani

My grandfather passed away a year before I was born but I’ve always felt I have known him for ages. One can always travel through time via stories. The images of my grandfather have been constructed in my mind through the countless stories about him that my grandma has shared with me over the years in moments of quiet tranquility when she gives in to blissful nostalgia. So you can say, I have known him vicariously through my grandmother’s memories even though I never met him in person. There are no photos of them and so when I first saw Lehar Tanwani’s photoseries, Love in Wrinkles, I could not help but wonder if this is what love looked like between my own grandparents.

Tanwani’s photoseries has an innate universality to it and that probably has to do with the theme she chooses. It's the most universal theme in the world - love. When we are young, we feel like we’ll live forever. It is only as we approach old age and feel death’s cold embrace drawing near, we understand the true value of noble ideas like love, life, and the importance of our cherished ones.

Love In Wrinkles
A Mala Sifar Photoseries Uses Self-Portraits To Create A Compelling Visual Memoir

The photoseries would probably not have had the same effect if it captured two young lovers for two reasons - their age reflects that their bond has stood the test of time, "58 years", as Tanwani mentions. Also, even though they have the sparkle in their eyes like any young lovers do, the viewers can tell that sooner or later one of them has to bear the piercing sting of separation as they are both in the winter years of their lives. That is exactly what unfortunatley happens as a month after Tanwani finishes the photo project, her grandfather passes away.

The photoseries’ beauty is also complemented not by the subjects but by the photographer herself. She is not an unrelated person behind the lens but their cherished granddaughter. This important factor greatly contributes to how the photographer sees her subjects and how she can capture them in their perfect moments of tender togetherness. For Tanwani, what her grandparents shared is now the true benchmark of love.

What started as a simple photo project for college has now transformed into Tanwani’s most precious treasure. That's the beauty of photographs. It can freeze time and cheat Death. Even though Tanwani’s grandfather has passed beyond the veil, each time she or her grandmother looks at these photographs, her grandpa will still be sharing a cup of tea with her grandma, he will still be gently pushing the swing for her, tying the pink garland on her hair and holding her hand tightly in this world and the next.

"This series features my paternal grandparents. I've been living with them since my childhood and they have a huge influence on my life. I wanted to capture their love story in a manner that portrays their everyday mundane activities which hold an abundance of love in them that they don't overtly express. This series was also a celebration of the fact that I've been privileged enough to spend a substantial amount of time with people quite far from me in age and not everyone gets a chance to do that. I've heard their stories of how they migrated from Pakistan during partition and I hold them very dear to me. I always loved clicking them and did a lot of it during lockdown so now I wanted their pictures to follow the theme of an old-school love story that has been going on for 58 years. I also wanted to shoot something which was deeply personal, a story that was so close to me."

Lehar Tanwani

You can follow Lehar Tanwani here.

Related Stories

No stories found.