Vulnerability: Friend or Foe?

Introduction to Photowalk Wisdom

Welcome to this new, sort of daily blog category. These posts with the tag “Photowalk Wisdom” will contain the things that I see and hear during my regular photo walks. I believe that doing street photography is a very productive way to know a culture, it’s people and the city at large. Street Photography is not the art of taking a photo, though it comes handy. Street photography is the art of telling a story. You see for me, the story is central. Whether in a video or photo, Instagram post or Youtube, I try to come up with stories. Photowalk Wisdom is my personal view on things that come in my mind. Things that I think about while being alone with my camera on the streets. In Photowalk Wisdom, you can expect things related to the How To’s of a camera, full transcription of interviews I have with random people on the streets, funny stuff that happens while on the road, places that I think you should visit and random stuff that goes on in the life of an engineer who is twenty-five years old and whose aim this year is to have a thousand Instagram followers. But be assured, the stories shared here will be anything but normal.

Vulnerability is a bitch!

“What? ‘bitch’ doesn’t sound cool to you? I told you before. These are my personal views and you cannot dictate me to behave. I won’t. Who are you to tell me what to do? and why should I listen to you? Do you think that you can drown me under your authority? Do you think you can choke me with your modesty? stupid!” The person who says the above clearly does not showcase vulnerability as a quality rather vulnerability to him is like a shortcoming that he needs to guard with his armour of insults. Wait… you clearly did not think that it was me talking to you, right?

With much amount of our lives spent on social media, where we choose to share only the finest moments of our lives. It becomes easier for people to look at you and feel envious about their own life. “Why can’t I have that? What is wrong with me? and I need more money to do what he does?” While sharing the finest moments of our lives on social media is really important to build a brand and a following for those whose bread and butter depends on how their Instagram feed looks. But at the same time, it is harming the viewer who can be anyone. A school going girl who had just been called ugly in her class, or a boy who did not find his name on the college football team. When they see a feed on Instagram that looks too good to be true, they drown in self-pity and even depression!

Remember, Instagram is the biggest lie ever told.


“But that doesn’t mean that I should stop doing my work just because a boy or a girl cannot manage their life” and you should not. You see most of the times we treat vulnerability as a foe by setting up this wall around us and protecting it like kung-fu panda. You should also understand that when a person is mean to you he/she is also trying to hide his/her vulnerability with an armour. When you step into the situation with your own armour on, Friction is bound to happen.

Now the question is why have we as humans not evolved to see vulnerability as a friend? We were never taught that. Remember the saying, “acche bacche roote nai hai?”, “phado warna kaise jieoge” and the golden one, “Chintu ko dheakho woh kitana accha pharta hai” We are always taught from the beginning that you need to work your ass off and show no mistakes otherwise, “baba utha ke le jaega“. Baba, in this case, is life, and “Uthaa ke le jaega” is life putting a full stop in your sentence. We as a world culture have never understood to embrace vulnerability and also to welcome it in others.

Brene Brown in her Netflix original “The Call to Courage” says it aptly, “If you’re not willing to build a vulnerable culture, you can’t create. It’s just that simple. ” [you can’t create or build a fruitful life, family, and outlook towards everything]

Vulnerability is Precious for the improvement of “ME”.

Even though the smart ass we are in front of our Family, pretending that we’ve got everything under our control. It is only during a bad situation that they understand we can and have lost our cool. That we have lost big time. But do they start condemning you for it or rather they step up to help you? Showing vulnerability at home in this sense is showing the part of your life that is flawed and for this flaw, we receive love and strength to move ahead in life from our family members. Right? Will I be wrong is saying that Vulnerability is an aspect of love. Think about what I said for a moment, then continue reading. Just being vulnerable is not enough. You need to be tolerant of other’s vulnerabilities too. Like your family was tolerant of you during your vulnerable times. This is where the Jenga falls.

The reason we are not vulnerable naturally is that we have seen vulnerable people treated with intolerance. To be tolerant of others. Definition of “Others” – People who do not come from the same caste, creed, religion, ethnicity, political inclination, food inclination and anything that makes them choose something that we will not choose. People who like the color Red even though you like Green. They are termed as others. But that does not make them any less human than you are. You see, we live in a time when intolerance is the shitstorm we see every day. To be tolerant of others is to respect the basic dignity of human life. To respect the person irrespective of who they are and where they belong.

When we do not encourage vulnerability (freedom to make mistakes) in our social platforms, our workplaces and our homes, we stop progress. Being vulnerable is being free to make mistakes and to learn from them. Being vulnerable is being truthful and without a mask in front of anyone. Being vulnerable is being tolerant of others.

“No vulnerability No creativity
No tolerance for failure, no innovation, It is that simple.
If you are not willing to fail, you can’t innovate “

Brene Brown

About today, April 26 th 2019

The idea to write about vulnerability came to me this morning. I was awake at 5:10 am and left my room at 6ish am for a photo walk. Walked around 3 miles and felt that the complete run was a failure today. For some reasons, my mind was shut down to anything that came my way. I was in a creativity coma you can say. I shared the same thing with my followers on Instagram Stories and then this thought came in my mind that I should not have done that. If my followers see that I struggle to take photos, I may lose regards in their life or what every bit of it they spend on Instagram. This eventually will result in a loss of my goal for 2019.

But I have learned to embrace vulnerabilities. I was bullied, I was fought with and I was made fun of. You too can make fun of me. A guy came to me the other day and said, “your photos don’t have life”. He can be true from his point of view. I see life in my photos and more than the life I see meaning in the content I am creating and sharing. Not every day is good but yes, I shall continue to be in the Arena and keep the fight going.