Let the words flow. Let the pictures speak

ofab: The journey (Part-II)

Chapter 2: Destination Bengaluru

Wednesday, the 18th of May. 10.00 AM

I couldn’t sleep for long. Excitement, exam mood hangover, rest got off the previous day, I couldn’t say. The previous day, I got in touch with my correspondent and was told I would be informed once the team arrived the Bengaluru airport so that we could more or less meet at the same time. I was waiting for the call for quite a while now. It was time to leave. It was better to be on the move than wait and do nothing. Post three bus journeys, one due to missed destination, an auto ride, where both the driver and the passenger were clueless about the destination, I was at the hotel, hotel Lotus Park. Fifteen minutes later, I was a part of the crew.

Somewhere in the early afternoon, we got a briefing about our roles, the dos and dont’s, schedules, the parting note being we would meet in the lobby somewhere around 3.30.

It was 3 in the noon when we, myself and Binoy, headed down to have lunch. We headed towards the chain of restaurants that was situated next to our hotel where we had a choice between Chinese, north Indian and south Indian, namely Shogun, The Dhaba and Malgudi respectively. Since we had little time, we decided to have something light for which narrowed down to Malgudi. We walked in only to find the light food we preferred wasn’t served in the place. With not much time left, we walked ahead to a fast food joint to savour a plate of dosa which seemed to take like forever to get prepared. I even felt like going down to the kitchen and asking the cook cum server cum cashier cum cleaner cum whatever else to let me prepare. Before I would really intend to do so, our dosas arrived. Once we were done with it, we went down the track were the event was going to take place. And the event at torq3, Marathahalli, began.

My job was simple. While the karts ran, I was required to freeze them. To do the same, I was equipped with a camera and a lens screwed on it. Each day, I was required to move around capturing more like covering the event through my lens. I had decided on the how quite a while back. The what, I didn’t know. I was yet to answer it. The first day didn’t do much to clear the mist, for we had a delay due to unseen circumstances and by the time things properly began taking its course, it was already dark. Now since I am not a professional, I do not like artificial light, a little because it destroys the natural feeling and also because I didn’t own one 😛 So I was in a situation where photographers would usually call it a day. Again, since I wasn’t a pro, I didn’t fall in that category of calling off. Also, I was at work which required me to shoot, so I had to do it. Light or no light 😀 The day was over, we headed back to our room, had dinner, and it was time to work.

When I walked in, my plan had been to have atleast 10 usable shots, but at the end of day 1, I didn’t have many pics that I could be happy of. However it was just day 1. Coupled with the amount of time spent at the track.. err not time spent in totality but time spent shooting, it was ok. I came up with 13 shots to depict the story that took place on that day. Oh, wait. Not the full story of course. 😛 Anyway, it incidentally so happened that my story coincided with the profiling of one of the crew members, due to which the editor found the need to cut short my story, resulting in the decrease from 13 to 9.

The following morning saw me up at 9.40, thanks to a call from home. I opened the door to find the breakfast coupon which read breakfast only till 10! I went in to brush my teeth, only to find I didn’t have toothpaste! You are so used to having a tooth paste every time you pick the brush that you take it for granted. I didn’t take into consideration of those times when the toothpaste is almost over and you either have to get a new one or wage a war against the current one to seek fruit out of it. Anyway, I called up the reception and requested for it. When I finally went down for breakfast, it was 5 past 10. The waiters had now converted into assemblers and forgotten about waiter-ing. I was lucky first to find there were still some idlis,  a couple of vadas and some sambhar left, secondly I found Kunal and Siddharth who were yet to have breakfast, which meant I could have breakfast peacefully with nobody sitting on my head. I had two other heads to share my weight, you see 😛

Post a vain wait for hot water, lunch and a couple of hours, it was time again to head to the track, for the proceedings of day 2 would begin.

Our hotel was situated just across the track, so we just had to cross the road to reach the track. By the term, ‘road’ in cities like Bengaluru, it means a double road, sandwiched between service roads. So we crossed all those roads and reached the track. Day 2 was put into flow. Thanks to a visit by Pankaj Advani, yeah the 7 times world champ whose pic you would have seen on the newspaper every now and then, with a stick in his hand, I could reach my target 😉 (btw for your kind information, the game is termed billiards) Just when I thought, the day had ended, Kunal announced we would have Pankaj and his gang amidst us. It was something one wouldn’t want to miss, so inspite of sighting hunger in the horizon, I stayed back. Pardon me for my earlier saying of Pankaj and gang, for it was a gang which Pankaj was a part of. Yeah, he was such a down to earth person, that people present there didn’t even know they had a celeb amidst them. Its a different question that most of them probably wouldnt even have known what billiards would be, even if they were told about him. Anyway, the trio, him, his brother and another friend went karting and probably had good fun. Oh yeah, I was obviously shooting all the while, apart from the one time when I was in front of the cam having a picture shot, with him. In all the excitement I forgot I was hungry.

Also apart from the excitement late in the day, the day happened to be a light one. Coming to think of it, I wasn’t sure if it was due to less number of contestants or faster runs. Anyway, everybody was wrapping up and I was asked if I wanted to kart. My first response was, I haven’t done it before. All the same, I was excited to do it and went on to the kart. Having never karted before in my life, it was certainly a wonderful experience. Once you learn driving cars, you usually tend to be careful about your surroundings, and in my first lap, I was literally driving a car and not a kart 😀 The second lap saw me a little confident giving me the realization I was in a kart and it wouldn’t matter if I hit. Bham! I hit! I had had that experience of hitting, years back when I drove those dashing cars, and this was more or less a similar experience. The rest of the lap and the laps that followed went uneventful. So there is nothing to write about. I just went round and round and round. Yeah those three and the earlier two, I just did five laps. It was a wonderful experience. The feeling of having nothing to worry about the traffic from the opposite direction, the very nearness to the ground level, something worth it.

The following day was more like a routine, now that I was into my third day. My course was fixed. Breakfast, lunch, dinner 😀

It was weekend for everybody, but it didn’t mean much difference for us. When I say difference, I didn’t include the role of shaadi-ka-photographer, I had donned upon. Yeah, I was required to get each contestants’ photographs against a backdrop. It meant two things, one, curtailment of my movement and two, I now became a social networking photographer! The first thing, I could manage, but the second was really a menace. Every one-third person asking me, where they could get the photo. A few went a step ahead in asking me to mail it to them. I wanted to say, err.. I didn’t. Instead, I asked them to mail me. There was even one person who got my contact number and wonderfully he didn’t know how one spoke over the phone. I had to hang up on him saying learn to speak first. There were others who were kind enough to request if they could get their photos. In the bid to get their photos, one person even drove up to the place where I sat by not stopping where he had to. A bunch of spoiled brats, they were, is all I can say. Anyways, the last day of at Bengaluru saw the film crew at the track for their shoot with the finalists, which meant I got more photos and also I had to be at the track two hours earlier than the normal time. We had some choreographed shooting taking place, with the kids being asked to shout, jump dance.. oh, no. Dancing wasn’t involved. It just came as a part of the package. Muft me.. 😛

At the end of the day, we were required to have a photo session with the finalists. They say too many cooks can spoil the broth. I felt the same at the time of the shoot. I replaced the too many cooks by two photographers. Yeah, we had another photographer with us. He was also a shaad-ka-photographer, like in real and myself a recent recruit into the field. I was bang in the centre, while the other fella was at a slightly angled side. He wasn’t satisfied with one shot and I couldn’t get everybody to look into my camera. Result, he didn’t get right shots, nor let me do so. That was not all, the incident that followed was what amuses me. Our digital guy, Udit, asked him for the photos he clicked to which he, like a typical studio guy says, you can collect it tomorrow. So Udit explains to him about the need of the photos and he agrees. He takes out his memory card and gives it. As it so happened, his memory card happened to be a different one, one which couldn’t be used through a card reader. On asking his help to transfer the pics, he says, I usually don’t do this, because one little problem and my camera’s chip with be damaged. But since its for you, I will do it once. I, who was there listening to all of it, was wondering what he was speaking about and what he was going to do. What he did was take out the data cable for his camera, connected it to the laptop and the transfer was done! I wanted to say, if you keep doing this only-for-you-business with every lay man’s pc invariably infested with virus, there is no doubt your cam will be effected! However, I didn’t say it, letting him savour his favour.

Breakfast daily was Idly, vada  and sambar with watermelon juice to wash it down, though one day we had those mini dosa too. Hot water was never hot enough, peas pulao had become something like a prescription, 2 in the morning, a usual witness. The hotel room service was something different, you asked for extra onions, you them in your plate, not in the rice. Food at Malgudi, claimed to be south indian was more or less like any other place at blore, for, after all it was prepared in blore 😀 The dhaba was surprisingly fast in its service, the food too being pretty good. A restaurant near by high on standards in terms of its appearance and ambience lived up to its standard in terms of its quality too. In the week I was at the place, shogun was one place that missed my course. Maybe because I had breakfast there daily, maybe, just maybe.

Monday morning saw me on the way back, the first of the three venues assigned to me, done with.

Photos of the Bengaluru regionals.

One Response to “ofab: The journey (Part-II)”

  1. Mukesh Kini says:

    Looking for the next 2 laps – Hyderabad and Chennai :)

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: