Looking around, I searched for some interesting thing to serve as fodder for my next blog post. I envy those who simply find something which transforms itself so nicely into a blog post. I think I was actually looking around for stuff in my room; stuff worthy of mention. Its an awful feeling in the pit of your stomach when you go to bed without finding one, I’ll give you that.
The morning came into my room like any adolescent child sneaking in after a night’s revelry. Quietly looking over and through the window, tiptoeing in, hushing all the disturbed birds for disturbing those around and finally caught red handed with sneakers in one hand. I dare say it is the smell of socks that wake a wary parent like the smell of warming leaves and music from the temple that woke me. Nothing special about this day, or so I thought. What could be special about a day which held a huge chunk of itself for work in an office? I woke up the way I always did, but I give you no assurances for the way the sheets were wrapped around me. Its a new pattern everyday; one that I am too dozy and disinterested to notice…
I went on with my usual daily ablutions and walked over to my desk which I keep telling myself that I will replace with a solid oak or teak (or a nice combination) monolith with hand crafted griffins and berries along smoked columns and sides, with a slab of black granite or a leather top. Well, I at least know what I want and what I have, for what I have is a nice table made of 12 mm plywood with a teak like vinyl cover. It presently also held something which I had preserved and forgotten until this very moment brought it back to me like only an old memory can.
It was a black and yellow casing of an Ilford PAN 100 photo film (B&W) which I had shot using a now missing Yashica (one of its kind). I smiled.
This was my second B&W roll. The first came out good, although it revealed my amateurish transition from colour to B&W. Its a whole new world through a B&W lens. Anyway, this roll held fond memories. I had used this to capture my day with a wonderful woman, whom I didn’t love, but didn’t know what I had with her. She was a good friend and still is, as she is getting used to being someone’s wife. We had shot this roll when I had been to Bangalore to visit her there. She had chopped her hair short and wanted to show it to me. She knew how much I hated it. For a woman as beautiful (and I also mean fine looking) as her, short hair was … I don’t know. I never wanted her to cut her hair, but she went ahead to do that. She walked in to Gangarams while I waited. I always wait for people in a book shop. That way, their delay goes unnoticed. She walked in, and the old days walked in along with her. We chatted for a while. She had the chocolate assortment I had got for her and I had them too (yeah, try managing not eating chocolates). We sat at Barista and caught up on old times and gossip. Every bit of news was caught like a passing wiff of breeze and presented in order to make her laugh or make me throw open my eyes in disbelief, like the toys we dig out one after the other to bring a smile to the angel in the crib. We spent a lot of time commenting on all those who passed by and wondering about when she should get married. I had always wanted to be at her marriage and deck her up. It was a secret wish of mine to decorate her and present her to the world and then slide away…
We finally decided that we should leave before they threw us out. We decided to walk down the road.
Nowhere in particular.
Ok. Let’s go.
We kept walking and talking and laughing and the road vanished. It was simply our voices and her eyes and my shadow which I carefully placed over her, lest the sun be too harsh. That walk is a blur in my head, and several attempts bring nothing more than the embroidery work on her lilac kameez, to me.
It ended with her asking me: Where do we eat?
Anywhere. Your pick.
Hmmm. Fine, but I will pay.
Come on. When I come to meet you, I pay, when you come to meet me, I can’t let you spend anymore, so I pay.
We laughed at that silly joke.
No, let me pay. You paid the last time.
That was several months ago and I was suprised that she even remembered. I let her have it her way.
Then lets go to some classy restaurant.
She hesitated for a minute. She was too proud to let me in.
Like this one. What is it called? Angeethi? Cool. Angeethi.
She was relieved. We walked in and continued with our chatter. She was considered to be the quietest girl way back in time.
We had food (which again is a blur to me) and decided to go to her office. It was a nice space and we spent some time in the cafeteria and at her desk and reading the notices on all the walls. I got her to pose for some pictures. We hung around for some more time and then she had to go home.
I dropped her home and went on to my place.
The whole day was captured on roll. Every 30-40 minutes I would take a picture of something or of her. In the hotel, I let a waiter take a picture of us together at the table. There were scores of pictures of her office and her in her office.
Fond memories. I never developed that roll. Don’t plan to.