My desi link
The first time I met Prasad NP was at a Travel Massive meet and the first thought in my mind was, ‘This fellow has a friendly smile.’ Just then a couple of other friends came along and in a few moments he seemed to have disappeared. But soon enough he was back in view, slowly shuffling his feet and appeared to glide than walk. I knew intuitively that he wasn’t just looking at people, things, and events but seeing moments through a photographer’s eye. He had his camera in his hands.
Just then someone in the group of people next to me called out, ‘Hi there desi!’
He turned, smiled and shuffled up to the group and then suddenly turned to me and said, ‘Hello, I’m Prasad.’ Less space and too many people for the event obviously meant that he mistook me to be a part of that boisterous group of people standing around with expensive cameras. I softly replied, ‘Hi! I’m Arvind.’
‘I know,’ he said, ‘I have even visited your blog.’
‘Phew!,’ I thought, ‘This is so embarrassing. I really need to do something about my memory. I’m sure we have met earlier and, as usual, I have forgotten…’
As if reading my thoughts, he said, ‘No, we haven’t met before.’
Thus began a friendship that meandered through walks, events, photography, discussions, debates, jokes, fun, and even gossip. Yes, men do gossip… even bitch around sometimes. I love those moments actually because I am then able to unload a lot of negativity and walk onwards without any baggage. Desi loves those moments when I am in a bitchy mood.
Did I tell you why I just called him Desi? He is known as DesiTraveler all over the social media and the internet and even has a site by this name. This first time I met him, I asked, ‘What’s your name, Desi?’
He said, ‘Desi.’ We smiled and I asked, ‘Let’s click a selfie together.’
Someone then spoke up, ‘Don’t ever try to click his picture. Ask Tarun why.’ Well, Tarun is another photo-enthusiast friend and and story doing the rounds is about him having clicked a picture of Desi on the sly… and by evening he had lost his expensive phone!
Desi laughed when this story was retold and said, ‘I want people to see the pictures I click and not my picture.’
‘I’ll click your pictures someday,’ I said, ‘and even upload them on the net…’ I paused, seeing shock on his face, and added, ‘Well, in an article on my blog.’
‘That should be fine,’ he graciously replied, ‘You see, yaaron ki baraat mein some things are accepted and some are not.’
We have been together for the past few months and may have met less than a dozen times… but every time we meet I end up learning a few critical tips about how to interact with humility, click pictures with the best angles, and how to remain invisible and yet reach the perfect spot for a shot. I guess his rule about not wanting to get clicked has nothing to do with his charming belly that rejoices every time he laughs. I’m sure it isn’t due to his hairline that follows his dictum to step back from harsh public attention, and neither because he has a skin tone that reflects the number of hours he must be spending out in the sun searching for his shots. Yet, I have decided to include a few pictures that I shot of him… and you’ll notice that desi is a man who probably even goes to sleep on his bed with his camera strapped on to him.
Frankly, it feels nice to have written a few paragraphs on my friend who is powered by the same creative impulses that invade me at times…
07 October 2016