In fifty seven stunning frames, the story of this woman, her life, love and longing, unfolds. The unusual story and narration of the woman, who was born a boy in Kerala, has won many a heart on social media.
The photo-story, titled Pratiksha, chooses an old setting, a cliche'd one perhaps: A mysteriously lush sacred grove where the snake gods reign and an ancient Kerala Tharavadu (ancestral home). But these settings could also be deliberate, as it tells not so conventional a story in the backdrop of a typical 'unspoilt' village.
Ganeshan and Gopi are childhood friends. As he grew up, Ganeshan gradually realised that a woman was struggling to express and assert within him. Later, she wriggles out of him and he becomes Gayatri. She fights for her existence when society fails to accept her identity. It shatters her dreams to be with Gopi, her best friend and first love, who had to leave the village in an attempt to protect her. But Gayatri waits for him, for years.
While Maya Ann Joseph appears as the main character of the photo story, Navaneeth Krishnan, Abijith Thekkemadathil, Mahesh and Joseph are also part of it. Lipika Ayyappath has directed the project, while Vishnu Parameswar photographed it.
The photos shared by Vishnu on Facebook have gone viral on social media with netizens praising it as an amazingly different concept.
"Nice work... Different approach. Suitable colour tone for the story deepness. Nice location [sic]," a netizen said.
Read the short photo story here:
Gayathri was the only heir of that old Tharavaad where the Gayatri manthra resonated. Her sole companion in that house where only her dreams and desires which were as pure as the sacred Thulasi.
She had come a long way fighting for her existence and the journey still continues.
The Nagayakshi of the sacred grove who has been protecting her over the years was the only soul to understand her.
She had faith in the old lamp which had been lit by the family maidens for centuries
Gayathri believed that one day he will come back to her to hold her hands forever. She knew the sacred groves where the goddess is sanctified and the manjal thaalis that are caressed by the soft gentle breeze were more powerful than her own dreams.
As she was returning home with the empty flower basket a pair of eyes looked upon her, very secretly.
The next day she came back with flowers to her favourite deity.
She lit the golden lamp, offered the flowers and prayed. Her mind was so disturbed that she kept asking herself that for how long more she had to wait.
All of a sudden she heard something moving.
She had an intuition of someone following her.
Slowly she stood up and examined everywhere. But none was found. For her it was a new experience as she has been all alone in that mysterious and magnificent grove all these years.
As she was about to walk back, she noticed something on the ground. Something which was very familiar to her.
Memories flooded into her... along with a name, Gopi.
Gayathri was Ganeshan back then. And Gopi was her dearest companion. Gopi was there for her for anything and everything. Gayathri knew that no one ever loved her as Gopi did. And she was so possessive to include anyone in between them
But Gopi failed to realize that the only wish Gayathri had was to be with him forever.
Time has brought many changes to both of them. Gayathri has turned inwards and remained in a fantasy world of her own apart from all the pressures from the exterior world.
While Gopi turned into a rebel.
Gopi's presence stirred up a million emotions in her. But Gopi walked away as if he didn't understand any of this. Ganeshan was gradually turning into Gayathri. In every nook and corner of her heart she aspired to be with Gopi always.
But that day he entered into their lives as a dark shadow shattering away all her dreams. Gayathri realized some one's presence in the Bathing Ghat. She startled and turned around to see who it was.
Madhavan, a notorious psychic goon and womanizer in their village. He often annoys her when nobody is seen around. But somehow she managed to escape so far. But now she is trapped.
Before she could react Madhavan grabbed her. Gayathri screamed for help.
Suddenly someone struck Madhavan like a lightning bolt. It was none other than Gopi himself. Gayathri moved away from Madhavan's grasp and he fell into the pond. Before Madhavan could swim away Gopi immersed him in the waters of the Bathing Ghat
Gayathri stood there frozen without knowing what is going to happen next.
And the final bubble of life appeared on the surface of water.
Courage was the only element left in his eyes.
She expected him to look back her. But he didn't. Gopi ran away from her forever.
Gayathri woke up from her memories. The answer to all the questions she has been asking for all these years has finally arrived. Gopi, the one and only one who could end her pain and suffering.
Suddenly something came into Gayathri's mind. The one whom Gopi knew was Ganeshan and not Gayathri. No one understood the womanhood hidden in Ganeshan. She hesitated a while. Gopi might also have dreams. A life ahead. And it should never be spoiled by her.
Gayathri's eyes felt the inner pain in her and they started getting wet. She moved away hiding her feelings. Gopi stood there without uttering a word.
His amulet too- a silent witness.
That evening some change has occurred in her. The vibrancy of her inner soul that she had lost years ago seemed to come back to her. The next day she woke up as a new person. She cleaned an old abandoned mirror. The glass glittered with her reflection.
Draped in a golden bordered scarlet saree and a vermillion bindi on her forehead, she evoked the goddess within. A vibrant being who would be honoured by the powerful Nagayakshi herself.
She slowly walked towards the sacred groves. Nagayakshi welcomed the new energetic Gayathri into her groves. Gayathri also felt some supreme power around her. She lit the lamp and prayed before the deity wholeheartedly. Gayathri's eyes searched for Gopi. But he was seen nowhere. Both Gayathri and the Nagayakshi awaited Gopi's arrival.
The groves attained a new fearful vibrance and the manjal thaalis began to dance fiercely in the wind. Gayathri stared at the Goddess for a moment. It's all over, her mind repeated.
No, nobody would come. Did a man ever love a woman's entity? Taking her basket she started walking back home.
But all of a sudden someone grabbed her hand. It was Gopi. He gazed deep into her eyes.
With a warm smile on his lips and a thaali in his hands Gopi invited Gayathri into his life. Love and gratitude filled her eyes.
Nagayakshi blessed the couples.
Check the full photo story here: