Monday, June 22, 2009

Meet George


This is George.

The elder sibling hates the name and the ex-reviewer thinks I stole his dog's name. But there's nothing I could do, you know. I lifted him out of the box and I just knew — this was George. He's about eight months old now and I'm still in the process of getting to know him and what he's actually capable of.

Truth be told, I'm still more than a little scared of him. I know, I know. Time and practice and all will be well. I've got to admit that for a camera that I've wanted a long, long time (a DSLR and not the 450D), I am bizarrely reluctant to use it. After having used three cameras over the past four years, I know every camera has a point after which it is yours.

I don't know if this reluctance is a function of not having much to say with my camera or just plain intimidation - you know, the variety that comes calling when you, in a terrifying instant, realise that you're in so far over your head that there's no way but forward.

I took six months and a fourteen day trip to Goa to make the elder sibling's camera "mine". I took a trip to Takhatgarh and Jodhpur to become less frightened of George. I'm jinxed in Rajasthan, you see. Another one of A's cameras bit the dust in my hands in Rajasthan. Don't ask what happened or don't ask how it did but suddenly, I was much, much closer to George. Everything looked rosy on the surface of it but suffice to say, the results leave much to be desired. And for once, I really think that the less I say about something, the better.

In the days since, I have spent nights with my camera manual and the guide book. I now hope for work to leave me alone enough to go out and experiment with what I think I have learnt. I save up for macro and telephoto lenses and badger professional photographers at store events for tips. All things remaining equal, in a lifetime or so, George and I will have no secrets between us.

Pray for me, won't you?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi...

I want to laugh like I've never laughed before.
I want to go for a long drive, in the middle of the night, in the pouring rain. I want to describe the majesty and the grace of Mehrangarh with my camera and with my verbal fumbling. I want to stop wondering if my decisions three years ago could have made things different... in a sense, less complicated. I want a two-day weekend — I want my Saturdays back. I want to show you the peace of walking on Ashwem with my soul sister, hoping that these ten solitary minutes will last me until November. I want to sit in a breezy living room in sultry Hyderabad demolishing a tub of ice cream and laughing like... sometimes, I fear, never again. I want to stop feeling like I'm choking. I want the greatest of all professional pleasures — surfing the internet on company time. I want to walk down the B "quaters", into the A quaters and then finally out through the beautiful path down to Ladies Hostel 1. I want to be smack in the eye of an intercollegiate festival. I want the ex-boss to take the ex-reviewer, me, and some bottles of beer three quarters of the way to Nashik. I want to stop wondering what cool is. I want a random man in the Madras flower market to demand that I take his photograph. I want to exchange looks with the girls as the DJ dedicates a song to the Click Clicks instead of the Lit Clit. I want to chat with Gerzgal until the wee hours of the morning. I want to sit at Brittos in the tepid winter sun, pontificating about how, in the winter, the sun in Delhi and Goa is so different. I want to do more than just 1-2, 1-2 on the ordering system. I want to spend four days in bed reading. I want a bowl of cornflakes with hot milk but so much more than that I want a cup of Milo in the ex-reviewer's cup. I want the camaraderie, love and oneness of Room No 6. I want to believe in the goodness of the Project Director from my old company - it hurt so much that he was just any other corporate arsehole. I want to watch Pirates of the Caribbean - The Black Pearl with A, eating the dinner he's just cooked me. I want a weekend in Udwada with the boys, making fun of each other only the way boys can. I want to spend 3 days in Fort Kochi and 3 days in Munnar a few weeks after the rains have abated. I want to talk about all the new books that give me such hope for publishing in India. I want to be woken up at 5 am to be told the stories of a budding romance. I want my dream to stop taunting me. I want to spend three hours dressing up for a 21st birthday party. I want to take smiling photographs in the Nalla Park in Pune. I want to wake up in a Portuguese villa in South Goa while the rain comes gently down. I want a breakfast of beef roast sandwiches and dessert wine in Aarey Milk Colony in the dewey dampness of the oncoming rains. I want to stop avoiding the confrontations of the past that will come only in the future. I want the winter to bring me to Pune again. I want to be pompous and superior with the elder sibling. I want to sit in a balcony and smoke a cigarette while the evening deepens around me. I want to spend one perfect day — exactly the way I described it to Mota Seth. I want to tell you about my love affair with wine. I want to spend a week in Agonda and Palolem.
I want to laugh like I've never laughed before.

... ke har khwaish pe dum nikle.