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A Sunday afternoon slap, that shaped my future…

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It was a very pleasant Sunday afternoon at the library here in Pune. I had already spent good enough time searching for books for my little children. They now were busy reading books. I then had moved towards the table where some discarded books were arranged for sale. While screening them, I heard a fairly open conversation. A lady had greeted a patron very cheerfully. The man was very excited about his recent trip to Ladakh and Himalayan region. He talked about the flowers and the bloom. He talked how people miss that season. The conversation really had excited me, and I turned back to see who these people were. There was this cheerful looking young lady on the counter, talking while continuing to help check in books for this middle aged man, probably about 55 or so. The man seemed to be from a very well to do family. His English speaking skills, his manners to talk was very impressive. I actually could not hear much after that. I was already in the same exact mountains, in the large valley filled with yellow flowers, with a soft breeze all over, adding to the excitement.

It has been a long time, that I had not visited my mountains, finding my through the large boulder fields. It had been so long that I had not jumped over the streams nor touched those pretty flowers. I had not breathed that fresh high altitude mountain air nor sniffed that strong fragrance of the pines! I had not felt that wind finding its way through the clothes and play all over me. My mind was already getting frenzy with the anxiety of being there, at that very moment. I left the book in my hand back on the table. Paced around the periodical area a couple of times. Found a periodical on Photography. Uninterested in reading the stale topics about the camera and technics, I then picked a travel magazine. Started screening the pictures and slowly I got engrossed into it. By then my kid already was lingering around me, ‘think he was done reading the book. It must be a couple of minutes and then later I realized the same man who was talking about Himalayas was standing beside me. Anxiety returned and my heart started beating fast. I could no longer justify the pictures I was looking at. I prefer to not talk to strangers. But this was about knowing Himalayas. About the flowers, the seasons where it the valleys come alive. I made up my mind to start a conversation. May be his experiences would really give me some ideas to travel into himalayas. I turned my head towards him. Greeted with a smile and a “Hello! ” I did not want to abruptly disturb him. “Hello I just overheard you were talking about mountains!” The man looked at me. The openness he had shown to the lady at the counter was nowhere near. His smile was totally absent. He looked at me sternly and …”Oh..don’t worry about it!” and started looking at the periodicals. It was a slap in my face. Shocked, but still stable, “Not a problem. Enjoy your day!” I said. And then started looking into the periodical again. The man left a few moments later. My boy, who was around me, he came nearer. “Daddy, what happened? What did he say?” He, then 8, also had understood the insult. “Nothing!” I said. “He just did not want to talk.”.

I had no job then. I was nothing. Really.. other than a jobless hobbyist, I was nothing for that moment. But much more the moment later.

Now, four years from then. I have taken multiple photography workshops in the same library and served the patrons. Leaving them with a lot of knowledge and direction as much as I could lead for them. Four years, and now I am more connected to Himalayas than many other people, taking my photography participants to show and give the experience, exactly how I feel. Giving everything I have is a tremendous joy to me.

I continue to follow my principle, if someone throws a negative energy to me, I respond. I respond with twice the positive energy. Negativity will only generate positive thing into me. I have been able to produce some astonishing images from himalayas now, but more than that, I have so much more to share with everyone!

You know… life is too short, for us to offer joy, support and love! Lets make it beautiful friends. Lets live it!

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