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My Childhood Loneliness and The Invisible Friends

Md. Zobayer Hossain Joati | Dhaka, Bangladesh

This is the room in which most of my story started.

This photo story illustrates one part of my childhood that was full of depression and how I was able to get through of it.

As a child, I was quite extrovert, fitful and agile. I grew up at Comilla, Bangladesh and stayed there for about five years. Then I shifted into Dhaka in 2004 where the most of my childhood spent and changes of my life started to occur. From a peaceful and joyful life, I fall into a chaotic and competitive life. In the new town with a new chaotic life, I couldn’t adjust much. Also, I grew up in a very strict family. I was restricted to the people with whom I can hangout, restricted to the time by which I can stay outside of house and restricted to the places where I can go. Moreover, back then, children were often tortured physically and mentally in some educational institutions for the sake of making a good result out of students. I was also one of those sufferers. With all of these toxic situations and restrictions, I fall into deep loneliness and depression. From being an extrovert boy, I became much introvert and quiet. I had only very few friends, I didn’t hangout much, I couldn’t even talk well with a new person. I was often bullied in my school and colleges for being so introvert. Even I have had hard times building good relations with my families. So, I confined myself in my house and my room for most of the time. I sometimes felt suffocated in my own room. Even at present also, I sometimes feel quite frustrated and depressed about my personal life, my career etc.

Though I had very few friends, I had some invisible friends with which I spent my most of the time and still have those friends with me since then. Those are my hobbies, my passions and my obsessions. They can’t be seen visibly as friends, but for me, those things helped me to give me inspirations and survive in that dark time. Some of them are lost but many of them are still with me and I always take great care of them.

It’s very hard to share and express my feelings of my childhood as it is very much personal to me. It is also hard to tell the story in a short manner. But I thought if I can’t express in words, I may express these feelings visually through photos. And I felt a need to express my gratitude towards my invisible friends for which I could survive in my difficult times.

In this photo story, I tried to express how it feels to be alone and depressed as well as took the portraits of my invisible friends through a non-linear narrative approach. The photos are arranged in 4x4 manner and serial wise consecutively. The photos of the first and third row expresses how it feels to be alone and depressed and the photos of the second and fourth row shows the portraits of some things that I consider themselves as my invisible friends.

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