But this one skill.

Paritosh and his brother are poor. But skilled. Paritosh and his brother have one, a God-given gift. Paritosh and his brother are darkroom specialists. Black and White film. Processing and prints. Good job. Comparable to the best photo labs in the city.

Pre digital photography times, the one-room-kitchen apartment at Prabhadevi served as shop. Or should I say, darkroom and waiting area. Prabhadevi isn’t the cheapest neighborhood in Bombay. But Paritosh and his brother could afford the rent. Just about. Give thanks to the Rent-Control Act.

Everybody loves Paritosh. And his brother.

Digital cameras. Hmpf. A set back for Paritosh. And his brother. Paritosh and his brother have but this one skill. Black and White film. Processing and prints. Good job. Comparable to the best photo labs in the city.

No capital to invest in a digital lab. Digital media. Hmpf. A set back for Paritosh. And his brother. Profits declined. Customers too.

Paritosh and his brother moved shop. Into a ‘Pigeon-hole’ like block, at a slum, in Mahim. Everybody loves Paritosh. And his brother.

But numbers trickled down further.

I remember patronising them, at the slum, in Mahim in 2005. Paritosh and his brother were desperate.

Paritosh and his brother have but this one skill. No capital to invest in a digital lab. Digital media. Hmpf. A set back for Paritosh. And his brother. Losses in business. No customers.

Almost every lab discontinued Black and White film services at the end of 2006.

Digital cameras in all shapes and sizes. And cheap.

Paritosh and his brother shut shop. For good.

But God is Great.

Paritosh got an offer. He accepted. With both hands. Paritosh is these days, a salaried employee at a popular conventional & digital imaging centre in Prabhadevi, close to his shop of old. Paritosh does black and white.

His brother got an offer. He accepted. With both hands. He is these days, a salaried employee at a popular conventional & digital imaging centre, at Opera House.

I met Paritosh this afternoon. At the conventional & digital imaging centre, at Prabhadevi, close to his shop of old. I had five rolls of black and white film to be processed.

“Hello! How are you! Do you still do black and white? Or no?”

“Yes, Paritosh, these are some black and white rolls that I have brought to you.”

FIN

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8 thoughts on “But this one skill.

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