Armed with my latest camera, I found myself at my super sleuth, Photo Pinto’s place. Photo is a 62-year-old man and is in love with two things — his photography and his wife, Frieda. He has been clicking pictures for over 30 years and is married for 28 years. His wall is covered with pictures of Frieda that he has shot over the years — Frieda frowning, Frieda smiling and Frieda laughing with abandon.
I interrupted our conversation about the camera and asked, “Photo, how have you managed to keep your relationship going for so long? I can’t keep one going for more than a couple of months, sometimes even weeks.”
He looked at me and with innate wisdom said, “Well... it’s partially about you and partially about the time you young people live in.” I was intrigued. “What does that mean?” I questioned. “Well, since you are obsessed with the camera right now, let me explain it in those terms for you,” he smiled.
As he set the camera down on the table, he said, “See, in our times we had manual cameras. So, when you wanted to click a picture, you headed to the shop and bought film, then loaded it, took out your camera lens and fixed it on the camera. You had to concentrate and manually adjust the focus till you got it right, and only then you shot the picture. After which you headed into the darkroom and with patient anticipation waited for the picture to reveal itself. And when it did, whether you liked it or not, you had already developed a relationship with it.
In today’s times, you have digital cameras. You put it on auto and fire away. If it is nice you keep it, if not, you delete it. That’s the difference between relationships then and now. Earlier they slowly grew on you, and whether it was perfect or not, you had developed a bond with it.”
“You have to allow things to grow, Confuscious. A relationship requires care and attention. Like everything in life, its success and failure will depend on how much work you are willing to put into it. How will it last if your finger is always reaching out for the delete button?”
As he said that Frieda walked into the room with a tray of coffee. He trained his camera on her and asked her to smile. She shied away teasingly and the camera went click. The picture was truly perfect.