Read About An Epic Love Story, Shades of Love, Captured Exceptionally by Niraj Gera

Love moves the world as so has the fantastic work done by Niraj Gera, the renowned photographer and a social activist. After the globally adored photographic series of Acid Attack Survivors, Sacred Transformations, he has done it yet again. His new series talks about a love story that is an exceptional one. And, he named it so well, Shades of Love.

Love is in the air and valentine’s offers all around! From celebrating valentines day to celebrating valentines week, we seem to have traveled a mile now. A lot of ‘love’ has changed over the years both in terms of its expression as well as the acceptance of the expression. We have become so much more accommodating and the yardsticks of measuring the intensity of love have taken varied shapes,  most of which involve expensive or at least interesting gifts, share-worthy couple selfies, lavish dine outs, etc. Gladly, what remains constant is dedicating this day to the ones we love and adore. Just as much we would like to express our love we also look forward to being loved and flattered and hence is the increase in the salon business.  After all, who doesn’t want to look the best choice ever made? But what if you end up becoming a choice of someone you would never want to be with? And what if you were forced and frightened and ultimately destroyed by acid for being the best choice which he could never acquire? Scary as it may sound, it is the reality faced by an acid attack survivor Pramodini Roul (Fondly known as Rani).
Having been acid attacked by a 28 years old military personnel in the year 2009, Rani who was just 15 years old, hailed from a small village in Orissa (India) was shattered both physically & mentally. She suffered fatal injuries and lost her ear and eyes. An unending tragedy gulped her at a tender age and she could hardly walk or talk when a young man Saroj entered her life, like a ray of hope in the darkness of unending personal, social and financial turmoil. He had lost his heart to her innocence and resolved to not only bring her back on her feet but also present to her the colors of this world. He was just beginning to understand the ways of life when he first met her at a hospital where his friend worked as a nurse. 
Eventually, he proposed to her, only to get rejected at first because according to her there was a difference between falling in love and actually sustaining through it. Both of them had strong feelings for each other and as they say, there is nothing as strong as the force of love.Their love too broke the walls of stigmas &  fears as they began to build their castle of dreams in the world of reality. Their affection for each other stood the test of time, and after spending few years together, Saroj & Rani stood by each other as a support & source of inspiration.
They finally got engaged on the 14th of February
Here’s a glimpse of the photo series, Shades of Love, beautifully captured by the photographer Niraj Gera.
Shades of Love BananiVista
Tears of nostalgia
Tears of Nostalgia: The photograph depicts a moment where the survivor nostalgically looks at an old picture of her and wishes to rewind time. There are also survivors who don’t even have a picture to share how they used to look prior to the attack.
Shades of Love
Behind the smile
Behind the Smile: The photograph symbolically shows the sadness and pain of acid attack survivors which they carry behind their smiles. It is important to take notice of that and help them cope with it.
Shades of Love
Holding a promise
 Holding a Promise –  In the photograph are the hands of an acid attack survivor and her soul companion,  who has stood by her as her constant. It signifies the promise they hold to make each other’s life more bright and light,  come what may, and to never let go of each other, no matter what it takes. It is an expression of their faith and love for each other.

Personally, this is our favourite from the Shades of Love series

Shades of Love BananiVista
Time stands still when I am with you
Time stands still when I am with you.. The photograph captures a moment of intimacy between an acid attack survivor and her love.  There are only a few people who unconditionally love such survivors, overlooking their physical appearance.
Shades of Love BananiVista
Just love
Just Love – The photograph speaks loud and clear of their feelings of love & bonding.  Such love story is an inspiration for all those who seek true and unconditional love.
When asked as to why did they choose this particular day, Rani says, ‘It is a day of celebrating love and we really love each other. But at the same time, we want to remind the world on this day, that each day spent with our loved ones is valentines day. There are many people out there who think they are unworthy of finding love or being loved, due to their looks and other such factors. I want to tell them all that if I can find love, so can you. Love is beyond beauty of skin.’
What a day to give out this message and what a beautiful decision. We hope their message inspires people in love to look beyond the trifle and celebrate the presence of love every day.
It seems shades of love are just going to get better!!


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