I am sorry to interupt the relay from Bangalore but matters of extreme championship (much to my chagrin) and "Bombay-ness" (much to my pride) must be reported.
Thursday morning I was running so terribly late that unmindful of the cost, I took a rickshaw straight to work because I was to meet a friend for lunch and en route, I was also due to lend my pride and joy, my F75, to another friend. Since the day looked a little relaxed, I also grabbed my entire folder of negatives, scans, contact sheets - the works! I thought I'd put up my feet, post some pictures, do stuff I want to do - I am sure you know the rest of that song.
The camera duly dropped off with the friend in question and I proceeded to work, dying a million deaths about being late for lunch. About twenty minutes later, the rickshaw screeched to a halt and I jumped out, desperate to pay the driver and be on my way. I jammed money in his hand, ran up to the office, signed in, made a pretence of checking my mail, grabbed my wallet and ran down again.
We didn't linger much over lunch because he was due to take a train in a few hours and after we had said our au revoirs, I came back to work, settled down at my seat, and was ready to start posting photos. And that's when it hit me.
My folder was riding in the back of a rickshaw somewhere in North Bombay.
That folder contained everything I've ever shot with my F75... everything. I do not think the enormity of my utter and complete stupidity made any sort of impact at all. All it did was compound the nagging feeling that I should give up all aspirations to photography and give my camera away to someone who actually deserves it. Perhaps it was foolish, but what kept me sane through the rest of the day was the hope that the rickshaw driver would return the folder because he knew where I lived - as it were.
Office day over, I returned home by about 21:30 still in quite the daze. On my way in, I stopped by the security guard's cabin to check if my miracle has happened. I could not finish my question because my folder was lying there on the guard's table.
Sweet Christ, I couldn't react but forty-eight hours later, gratitude and a sense of Bombay-ness are my overwhelming emotions. I know that my folder was a very small thing but whether the rickshaw driver lived close by or away from my home, he most certainly took a good deal of trouble through the entire day for an arbitrary woman who may never take his rickshaw again. I do not think this would have happened anywhere in India except Bombay.
Perhaps I am being unfair in my generalization but my irrational heart tells me otherwise. For all of Bombay's faults - and fear not, I am not being swept away by the romanticism of this seemingly random act of kindness - she's a city with a soul and a heart as big as the world. There is, I believe, sometimes no choice - but to fall in love with her.
This one is not a good shot as far as focus is concerned but I think it makes for a good frame and I love the colours. And to me, it sings Bombay.
Surely I am allowed a "bad" favourite! :-)
Addendum: I mean no insult to any other place in India, really I don't. Please do not take it as such. :-)