The boss' Man Friday Abdul had an extremely low opinion about camera wielding visitors who did not take his photograph. There was another class of visitors to his boss' official quarter who “perhaps pretended” to take his photograph for he never received the promised prints. For them he had unmitigated contempt.
In his boss' absence he would tell the new visitors how shameless had the earlier ones been. Even that did not improve his situation when one day I arrived on the unenviable spot without a camera. That qualified me as a more reliable confidant, and he poured out his heart rending woes laced with the choicest of vituperative.
I hired a camera and volunteered to click. He mused for a while. Did I know how to handle the camera? Did I remember to buy a roll of film?For he was done with “fruitless modeling; poses were indeed important for posterity.” The interrogation over, he deferred the photo session till the next day ostensibly because I was tired.
With the boss' departure for office came the photo session time. Abdul turned up in an ill fitted suit and a tie with lopsided knot which I discreetly pointed out. He seated himself in the boss' chair in the study, and pulled the table close to cover the front of his unzip-able trouser. The right side of his lips hung in the process of working up a pout on his face “to look important.” I took several shots.
Next day as the boss was leaving for the office I was awe struck to see him in the same suit and tie as I saw in the photo session. It was a perfect fit for the boss. Abdul who stood opening the front door looked at me; a sly smile hovering on his entire countenance.
BY TAPAS MUKHERJEE