Exactly a year ago as an Institute 2011 photography intern, I remember sitting on one of these chairs, looking up in awe at the 2011 cohort of fellows, desperately wishing I was up on stage holding a Firki, and not below it, holding a camera, instead.

And I remember having this sudden urge to just go up on stage to grab a firki, but I also remember holding myself back, hopeful that I’ll earn it the right way someday.

It took me 2 institutes, 4 openings and 3 closings to get there, but today after opening when they finally called us up on stage; walking past the seats, up the stairs and on the stage to get my own firki felt very, very special. It’s a feeling I had longed for, for more than a year actually, and standing there waving the firki as ‘I hope you dance’ played softly on loop, I had a moment.

It just dawned upon me, that I was exactly where I belonged.


It was feeling I’ll never forget. : )