Revisiting Dad’s camera…

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It was after 08 months that I had been to Balasore. With the pace and events in life, I had moved out of this place more than a decade ago & some of the memories were lost in some quaint corner of the brain. Dusting off the closets was just another routine you needed to complete having unlocked the place after months. This is when I hit upon this camera…a
real old school, 35mm still photography camera dad purchased way back in 1979 right before the Moscow Olympics. A true-blue soviet era product, this camera was sturdy, did its job well without the frills, poor on looks and has lasted these almost four decades without any trouble…

I always saw dad using it as a pride of possession & clicked away to glory at every opportunity & every great moment that presented itself. He also brought a kit to print his black & white pics & long before the current fad of DIY projects, Dad actually introduced me to what DIY really meant (a learning, that has been a credo & a savior till date). However, just as I went through all the equipment & the old photographs clicked with this very camera, it hit me that, its almost eighteen years that dad hasn’t been around. Somehow, this camera hasn’t been functional for two decades now. I tried unwinding the mechanical delay shutter operation handle having rotated the roller. A few seconds later, the shutter cranked, the roller moved and it “clicked”, an all too familiar note I loved hearing as a kid!!! It was just working fine after all these years and all the vagaries that it had faced.

Dad once told me that the camera is the eye & the film roll memories. It is an extension of what you do & who you are. What you click is what you think and what you think is what comes out. I wasn’t allowed to fiddle with the camera, but I did steal my moments of excitement with the shutter & the mechanical delay. In my constant endevour to search for metaphors in life, I hit the strangest of places & an almost forgotten corner of life…..Dad’s camera or rather Dad himself. Its been eighteen years and I never tried to revisit my dad….yes, he has been long gone and memories fade & get archived with times. I have had my differences with him which assisted the process, but, when I dusted the camera, it did bring back a whole lot of pictures, out from the limitless archive….

– The football sessions early in the morning when most kids were fast asleep…hated it!!!!
– The time when dad forced me to ignite crackers on Diwali…I was shit scared of loud crackers!!!!
– The time when I got the spanking of a lifetime for having lied about my academic results…got 2/100 in maths, this time mom had joined the spanking bandwagon too!!!!
– The times when I went to the local market with dad to buy vegetables & fish…just for info, this was the non TV / cable / mobile / internet / gaming / IPL / ISL / shopping mall era….so loved any opportunity to get out of home & escape studies!!!!
– The time he spent observing me playing cricket at the local ground…did not want him to be there, it created pressure to perform!!!!

Circumstances & the teenage rebellious juices made the differences almost intolerable… That was a good flashback, but, then there was this other story…

– I still get up early (but, I still hate football…)
– When I hesitated to fire the Carl Gustav during academy days (God knows, it can turn a man deaf also…), I remembered how I lighted the first cracker, the mental drill dad taught me…
– I was never bad in maths ever after…
– I love going to the local market & bargain for the fish / vegetables, generally weighed the pros & cons of decisions thereafter…
– I have learnt to accept pressure as a part of career & life…
– Watching Dad click those wonderful black & whites ensured I am hooked on to the shutter for life…
– Watching him in the smart white uniform ensured I ended up in the olive green (would have made him proud had he seen it)…
– I learnt to choose doing something myself, over depending on others…

The eighteen years and the events therein had created the impression that Dad was long gone, but, the camera was very much working & so was dad…he worked through me, every moment even after these eighteen years…my soviet era Dad was never gone!!!

Miss you dad!!!

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6 Replies to “Revisiting Dad’s camera…”

  1. I had words to reply initially but as I went through the article I lost all of them as they all got washed away in the tsunami of TEARS

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent potray of journey called life so far.. ! Yes, memories are priceless possession & especially parents forever ….. !
    Capt Om Prakash

    Like

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