As an early birthday present, the ‘rents got me a brand new camera. You remember I was considering getting the Canon G11, an advanced point and shoot, which looked and felt pretty damn awesome. Sadly, the price? Not so awesome. Close to Rs 30,000, and only down to Rs 26,000 in most places that offered a discount. Still, I thought this was the camera for me, and on Monday, my mother and I strolled down to Palika Bazaar to buy it. But, the funny thing is, even though it was this super spendy camera, the shop owners (brilliant guys, work with most journos, look for shop number 167 in Palika) seemed to think I’d be better off with an entry level DSLR. My mother pointed out that the G11 would be somewhat of a full stop in terms of growing as a photographer, and eventually, I might like to upgrade to a “proper” camera. All signs pointed to the Canon 1000D, much cheaper, and with about the same features as the G11, except that when I grow out of the kit lens, I can upgrade. It was a good idea, so I decided to go for it. And it’s light, which was one of my requirements. I LOVE IT. It’s beautiful and makes even random pictures look like art, and I’m very happy with the purchase and have spent all day reading the manual so that I’m better equipped.
Luckily, the very next day, I was due to take Apple and her parents around Delhi, so I thought it would be a good chance to do some experimenting. You know, October heat, nice lighting, monuments, perfect photo day.
Things didn’t go quite as planned though. Here’s what happened. We got the only taxi driver in all of Delhi without a cellphone, so we’d have to go look for him, instead of him just dropping us off. So, we decided to give him Apple’s spare cell, except she forgot that she had set a call redirect from that phone to her other number. Yeaaaaaaaaaah.
It was a particularly warm day, and by the time we were done, all sweaty and in need of a cold drink, I told her to call the guy so he’d be waiting for us outside. Which is when she figured it out. Uh oh. It would have been fine if it was just a taxi, there are LOADS of taxis, but all their stuff was in the car, AND they had to catch a 5.30 train to Agra.
We tried turning off the phone. No luck. Call barring. No luck. Finally, we decided to go walk along the parking lots to see if we could find him.
Do you know how many parking lots are around the Red Fort area? About forty gajillion. And there we were, sweat pouring down our foreheads trying to find a white Indica. Do you feel sorry for us yet? There’s more. Sometime in the last two days, I’ve done something to my back. I don’t know what’s wrong with it, but it hurts to turn my head. Like, really hurts. Also, my period decided this would be a good time to come out and play.
Finally I called my mum, who said she’d call the taxi stand dudes and figure something out. In the meanwhile, I took them for lunch at Karim’s in Jama Masjid, which was, as always, awesome.
No luck after lunch either. We decided to offer a reward to whoever spotted the car and brought it to us. By now it’s about 2 pm. I’m seeing visions of us settling down at the Red Fort FOREVER. Apple and her father went to look some more, while I sat my aching body down on a wall and waited with her mother. We asked the cops to look. We asked little beggar girls to look. The WHOLE WORLD was looking for our taxi and no one could find him. In the meanwhile, I counted fifteen people who came up to me and said, “Why don’t you just call his cell?” THANKS. I WOULD HAVE NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT!
By now it’s about 3.45. I’m starting to recommend that they get an overnight hotel and miss their train. The taxi stand is pretty close to my house and I figure he’ll go home eventually. The second taxi driver (sent by the owner of the stand) is driving around looking for him. People keep tossing us looks of sympathy. We had new friends!
And then! Like a glorious, last minute knight in shining armour, the second taxi dude found the first one! My mother called with the happy news, Apple and I skipped merrily along to give her parents the good news. The arrival of the car was heralded by all our new friends. Men waved at us from across the street, “Your car is here!” women stopped feeding their babies and looked at us with shining eyes. The crowd around us thickened. The little beggar girl ran up to us and said, “Madam! Your car is coming!” We were part of a family, a Movement.
I have never spent so much time outside the Red Fort. I have never been so warm and uncomfortable. But we laughed, they got to their train on time, and that was my Tuesday adventure with the new camera. I certainly hope it doesn’t continue to make my life quite so exciting.