Monday, 1 September 2014

The Photographer

The ringing phone knocked me out of sleep. With my squinting eyes, I fumble my phone among a heap of camera, chargers and winded wires. Without even looking on my phone I put it near my left ear and groan, "Hello?"

"I am sorry to disturb you at this time, but Sir, you have a visitor. She says it’s urgent." It was the concierge.

I put on the bed light. The digital clock beside my bed read 7:30 am with a HOTEL DRUK monogram on it.

"Note down her number and address and tell her I will meet her in the evening at.."

"She stresses, its urgent."

"Fine, I will be there."

I curse the concierge. Only if he had waited an hour he wouldn’t have blown me out my sleep. But it’s not his fault either; the woman might have forced him to make me a call. But I wonder what was so urgent.

For waking me up before my scheduled time I just wonder if I should meet her all tousled in my night dress, but I shake my head in disapproval again for I am a professional photographer. I must be professional.

I wore the best from the wardrobe and called the concierge again to tell him I would meet her over the breakfast.

Just as I walk down the stairs, the concierge sees me. "This way, sir" he points. Then he takes me to the table at the corner where a woman is sitting fondling her phone. When I reach near she stops to look at me.

"Karma Choden." She says.

"Suvaraj Acharya" I say and shake our hands.

She sits down and opens her bag to place her phone.

She is wearing dark-framed glasses. Her long black hair that has eventually started growing grey at the temples rests till her shoulders. Her fringes are long enough to cover her eyebrows that seem virgin to clippers. The dark wrinkles at the corner of her eyes are visible and I don’t see a tinge of make up on her face. Strange I thought. Not the way that she looks, but the way she seemed not to be bothered about her looks

"I have heard that you have high definition photos of birds. Can you let me use one of them in the cover page of the book I am currently writing?" she asks me with her genuinely pleading eyes. Yes, I would have said it instantly looking at how humbly and innocently was she asking me but I had to make it look professional. I don’t say a word and stare at my coffee as if to say no.

"Please?" she asks again almost clasping her palms.

I smile and nod. Her face glints. I than take my phone out and pass it and show her some photos and ask if one of them would work. She scrolls down and passes several ‘wows’ and ‘they are amazing’ to me.

She picks one and shows me and asks how much would that cost.

"Keep that as a gift"

What! How did I say that? Was I insane? Why should I gift this woman a precious photo of mine? Can’t I say I changed my mind and it cost a thousand dollars?

But she was glad. I give her the photo. She fishes a check book from her bag and hands me a cheque singed a hundred thousand ngultrum.

She places it on the table and says "don’t mind the amount, it’s a gift." I refuse but she insists. As I extent my hand to receive it, I hear a familiar ringing of bell. I pause to listen. I have heard it somewhere.

Just then I sprang on my feet. Holy shit! It’s my alarm clock that’s ringing. In an hour I am suppose to pick Yeshey Dorji from his place of residence and go on a photography expedition to Gasa. I rush into my bathroom cursing my life of a driver.

PS- the above is inspired from Yeshey Dorji and his blog but is a sheer piece of imagination and also is not intended to promote or defame anyone.