The Portrait

part 1


Saturday.
December 12, 2018.
Shimla, Himachal Pradesh.

A cold December morning, the fog spreading an invisible blanket on every visible speck of life. It was a typical Shimla dawn, the sun stealing it’s way through the fog, a light sleet falling covering every road, every house with a white sheen. The mall road was aglow with street lamps, illuminating the white road with a yellow glow. Photographers from every nook and corner of Himachal could be seen on the roads as it was time for the three day Annual Photowalk. This was the best time to capture the encapturing Shimla sunrise from behind the majestic Shivalik foothills.

Akshansh got up to a jerk from his stupor as the alarm  yanked him back from his dreams. He quickly got up and started arranging his equipment and ordered a cup of hot cocoa for he believed that it was the best remedy to shake off the cold from his bones. He tidied up as soon as possible, drank his hot cocoa, collected his gear and ran out of his room into the world he was going to capture. Akshansh or Akshansh Mathur, better known as the ‘camerawala’; a traveller by heart and a photographer by soul. Akshansh’s passion for photography started the day when he first laid his hands on his dad’s camera as a young child. From just clicking the shutter button to hear the ‘khachak’ sound as a child ,to some random shots and now to a professional photographer, his journey had been a long and arduous trek up the road of success and fame fuelled by his passion and perseverance and a never die spirit. His cameras were his most priceless possessions and his photographs his greatest inspirations, the window to the unadulterated world.

Coming back to the present , Akshansh trudged his way up to the Shivalik hillock where a group of photographers had already set up their equipment , he greeted them and finding a vantage point he also set his base up there. It was a habit for Akshansh to reach the spot where he was photographing a little in advance as he believed it was necessary to imbibe the surrounding as much as possible to get a natural shot. As he gazed at the surrounding landscape, he lost himself in the tranquil beauty and eternal calmness of the hills and the surrounding Shimla morning,  trying to absorb as much as possible of this magnificent landscape when he was woken up from his reverie by his favourite sound, the clicking of a camera shutter, as the other photographers had begun with some practice shots.

The first signs of dawn were now visible  at the horizon as the sun’s rays emerged from behind the cumulus clouds. He also arranged his cameras and got ready to get his shot of the day. Just then he noticed another group of photographers coming up to him. It consisted of four boys and a girl. Akshansh ignored them and started waiting with bated breath for the perfect symphony of nature Just after sometime he got the perfect frame, took his shots and wrapped up his equipment. It had been a perfect shoot, he had captured some excellent shots but something else had happened with him that day which Akshansh had never done before. As for the first time he had lent one of his lenses to somebody, to the girl of the group which had arrived after him. While he was taking his photographs the girl had come up to him and asked for one of his lenses. Seeing that the girl was an amateur and had only a primary lens, he lent her one of his lenses and also helped her with some of her shots. The girl had thanked him profusely and as a welcome gesture Akshansh had captured a beautiful portrait of her against the majestic background. But in the excitement of that moment, this incident got lost somewhere in the galleries of Akshansh’s camera.

~Anshumaan Jaiswal

To be continued………

Next Part In a Few Days.

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