A photo fanatic, Akshay loves to have his middle of the road images clicked and posted on Instagram. “It increases my likes and follower count”, says the 19-year-old Akshay. It is not just Akshay, but many more youngsters who go to whatsoever extent it needs to, for that one perfect selfie or photo on highways.
Gone are those days when highways were only meant for bulky vehicles like trucks. These days, people are fixing their seat belt and rushing to highways simply to click portraits.
You can see youngsters, at times elders too, lying down on roadway posing, sprinting, and getting on top of the cars all for one flawless selfie.
However, the craze for such middle of the road adventure clicks, people deliberately end up putting their own life as well as others’ at risk.
Ramya, who frequently does photoshoots on the ORR says, “It’s fun! We know it might be dangerous sometimes as vehicles on highways approach too fast. But, if you are unfailingly cautious, you will surely get some amazing pictures.”
In India, the number of deaths involving the pursuit of photographs or selfies is getting bigger year by year. According to a report by India’s Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, about 159 people have lost their lives between 2011-2017 while trying to take a selfie or photograph.
In October 2018, an Indian couple lost their lives while taking a selfie at a cliff in California’s Yosemite National Park. The couple (Vishnu Vishwanath and Meenakshi Moorthy) were active on Instagram posting their travel photos, which were quite adventurous.
“We are habituated to see people clicking photos every day on this highway. Initially, we were unused to it and cautioned youngsters. But eventually we realised they are unstoppable,” says Malliah, who regularly drives on the Vijayawada highway.
Youngsters are also on a lookout for woods-like area to get some quirky photos. Vanasthali Hills in Nagole of late emerged as a new photoshoot destination.
A resident of Vanasthali Hills, K. Vishnu, says “Hundreds of people come to this place for, pre-wedding and maternity photoshoots. Earlier this place used to wear a deserted look, but now every road is thronged with people.”
The photographers too are opting for highways and empty roads to click their client’s photos for multiple reasons like good lightening, flexibility, etc., unmindful of inherent risks. But then, life is precious, can’t be lost in pursuit of jiff of pleasure.