Sunday, August 16, 2009

Anand - a Tryst with Destiny

In the summer of 2004, two friends were about to graduate from their “one hell of a course”. But at the back of the mind, they always knew that whatever hell the course made them go through, it was an experience they will never ever forget.

They thought the course never taught them anything useful for four whole years. But ironically all the elements that surrounded the course taught them much more about life than any course could. The tea stall, the hostel, the cricket ground, the hostel mess, the stage, the auditorium, the cinema hall, the sleepy town, the friends, the senior students, the people, the conversations, all of them contributed in their growing up. Well they graduated in life through these elements.

Thus, when they were about to graduate from the course, they thought it would be a fitting tribute to capture some memories, nuances, people and places through their amateur lens. Neither of them had done any photography before this and nor they had any special equipment for it. All they had was one Kodak KB10 camera, borrowed from their parents. One of the friends came up with an idea to click Black and White images using of course a Black and White film roll. The idea behind Black and White was of course the flashback, nostalgia kind of feel. After all once they were done with their graduation, they were suppose to set out to conquer the world, at least thats what every passionate young blood thinks of.

In 2004’s Anand, digital photography was an alien term and neither had any of the two had seen a digital SLR camera. Hell ,they didn't even knew what is SLR? So, after buying a black and white film, they went around the town in search of a studio that developed Black and White prints. To their surprise, there were hardly any takers. They went from pillar to post, but no one had an answer to “who could develop black and white prints for us?” After some two whole days of grueling research in the month of May, they met a person outside the now defunct “Gopi talkies”. The man was seated on a wooden stool, after some initial questions, he gave them an address of an old man who still had equipment, chemicals etc to process Black and White images.

There! They both rushed to the old man and pleaded for help. The old man smelled business opportunity, he thought them to be some Fine Arts students who could shell out good money for such photographs, and after all he was the only man in the town who could develop B/W prints. The 2 friends were already out of cash; nevertheless they passed him the film and went about borrowing some money from classmates. One can only imagine the desperation to see the images.

The following album is the result of that effort made in 2004. A few of the images got completely washed out due to that old man’s “god-knows-what” chemical, but then the important ones were saved. Here they are.

Anand – a Tryst with Destiny

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