TODAY -

My first colour film roll

S Balakrishnan *



I clearly remember the Drugpa Tsezhi day (Lord Buddha's first preaching of the "Noble Truths" at the deer park in Sarnath) of 1983 (14th July). Because it was on that day, almost 40 years ago, that I first started using colour photo film roll. Incidentally, my last B&W film roll was also exposed in Sikkim only.

I had arrived in Gangtok a few months earlier (May, to be specific) with a half exposed B&W roll in my camera (Yashica Electro 35, bought just a year ago for Rs 2150 in Cuttack, Orissa, from where I was packed off to the Himalayan Sikkim). Within a few days of my arrival in Gangtok, it was Saga Dawa day (Tibetan Buddha Poomima) on May 26, 1983.

I was quite excited but what I had in my camera was the left over B&W roll. How could I afford to throw away that and replace it with a colour roll ? So my first shoot in Sikkim was with B&W roll on the auspicious Saga Dawa day. Watching that colourful procession I decided then & there that henceforth it would be colour roll only.

The first colour roll that I bought from Fotomatics Studio was Agfa; it cost 70 rupees, more than double the price of a B&W roll (Rs 28). It was with much excitement that I got up early on that morning but to my disappointment it was raining and highly foggy. Despite the depressing weather I started climbing down all the way from my room at Thathangchen to Chorten (Stupa) at Deorali a good distance of almost 4 kms.

A few Lamas, including a little Lama, were seeking alms sitting by the pathway to the Chorten. The little Lama later bought some eatables from a mother-and-daughter vendor who had come prepared with an umbrella like the Lamas. While generally the Lamas are with clean shaved head, I was surprised to note one of these Lamas with long, matted hair that was also knotted like a crown.

The devotees unfailingly offered them alms, probably hoping that such a good deed on that auspicious Drukpa Tsheshi day would earn rewards in the life after death ! Well, it is hope that keeps us moving ahead in our life. As I climbed further up I saw the massive white Stupa surrounded on all the four sides by a perimeter of rolling prayer wheels. Because of the rain there were only a few devotees.

A Fiat taxi and an Ambassador car were waiting there to pick up the devotees. These brand cars are now museum pieces, I suppose ! Devotees were faithfully rotating the prayer wheels with one hand while the other hand held either their own prayer wheel or a rosary. I could hear them muttering the mantras as well. Two elderly lady devotees with a prayer wheel and rosary each in their hands attracted my camera eye.

This is one of my favourite clicks. Out of the five snaps that I took on that occasion, only this turned out to be okay; because of the foggy weather the other four turned out to be unclear, exposing my inexperience in such a weather situation.

I was there from 8 to 10.30 am but there was not much action to click Blaming the weather, I went straight to my office (PIB) that was initially located on the Raj Bhavan hillock. The thought of climbing all the way up, up & up from the downhill Deorali was so disheartening.

I used the rest of the first colour roll to cover the event of Mrs Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister, formally inaugurating the renamed Natula Road as Jawaharlal Nehru Marg by opening the name board at Zero Point. Then I covered the Independence Day at Paljor Stadium and later the Pang Lhabsol festivity at Tsuklakhang Monastery.

I could not afford to print copies of all the exposed 38 snaps; I had to be just satisfied with the developed roll (negatives) for which I paid 20 rupees. I always managed to click 2 or 3 snaps more than the prescribed & marked 36 numbers. Because of my photography passion, I frequented Fotomatics Studio and had become friendly with Mr SS Pillai, the proprietor.

He was a Malayalee (Keralite), settled down in Gangtok after marrying a local Nepali woman. Beginning from that Drukpa Tsheshi day, I went wild clicking colour photos all throughout my 5 1/2 years of stay in Sikkim. A total of 1,100 colour snaps, including in Kathmandu & Darjeeling, all treasures of life in Sikkim 40 years ago.

This must have cost me around 8,000 rupees which was four times my meager monthly salary of 1900 rupees in 1987 ! I was a bit late in digitising these negatives; so some were beyond retrieval. Visiting Sikkim 25 years later in 2014, I went wild again, clicking this time with digital & cell phone camera.

As this was quite inexpensive compared to film rolls, I must have again easily clicked about 1,000 snaps during the just week-long trip in Sikkim & Darjeeling. So much for the technical advancement !


* S Balakrishnan wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer can be reached at krishnanbala2004(AT)yahoo(DOT)co(DOT)in
This article was webcasted on August 04 2022.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • 13 August @HichamYaicham Pat #1 :: Gallery
  • 75th Manipur Independence Day observation
  • Goal of ensuring every child is born HIV-free
  • An Ode to Youth :: Poem
  • International Youth Day & my Environment
  • Moirang INA Martyrs Memorial campaign #2
  • Tricolour - Some significant facts
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Indomitable spirit showcased by forefathers
  • Smuggling drugs via Manipur & drug cartels
  • 13 August observed by CSOs :: Gallery
  • 13 August observed @ Bengaluru :: Gallery
  • The good news in a bad world
  • 3rd National Lok Adalat for year, 2022
  • Organ Donation: Seven common questions
  • To Love You :: Poem
  • Jhulon Festival: Nupee Pala #1 :: Gallery
  • Read all about 13th August day significance
  • Report released : 'One District, One Crop'
  • Comment on ADC Bill
  • 'BHEEM' - Breastfeeding to Harness...
  • Moirang INA Martyrs Memorial campaign #1
  • 'Har Ghar Tiranga' with Ex-Serviceman
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • HAC members under Govt, public scrutiny
  • Tearing apart the idea of Manipur?
  • Houses @ Thalon, Tamenglong #1 :: Gallery
  • Cattle crossing Sekmai River :: Gallery
  • Resilient students: KEDO boys crack HSLC
  • Why people impacted by climate disasters...
  • 1000 Cr disbursed to farmers in Meghalaya
  • India Innovation Centre for Graphene
  • Employees doubling up as social media warrior
  • Only the unfortunate get caught?
  • 1st session: 12th Manipur Assembly
  • The beauty in random acts of kindness
  • Beauty :: Poem
  • 'Survival of Meetei Vs privilege of few'
  • Briefing on National Lok Adalat at Lamphel
  • Economic blockade is temporarily suspended
  • Fissures grow as indigenes stare at future
  • Raising the ST banner again
  • Leima Jagoi @Thangjing Haraoba :: Gallery
  • The ATSUM blockade
  • World's Indigenous Peoples Day at Leibi
  • World Indigenous Peoples' Day
  • 'Denounce agreement signed with State Govt'
  • Integrated crop management in Manipur
  • Fuel outlets, traders feasting on blockade
  • Omitting blockade: Clever play of words
  • Martial Art @Shirui Festival 2022 :: Gallery
  • Local coordinated action firewall HIV response
  • Mahua of MP on sale
  • Drug Awareness campaign at Ningthoukhong
  • The emptied :: Poem
  • The other younger version in you
  • Economic blockade, acts of arson tension
  • Busting drug manufacturing unit
  • Kangla Nongpok Torban #1 :: Gallery
  • Understanding Hill Areas Committee & ADC Bill
  • 'Release the arrested Tribal student leaders'
  • Unloved :: Poem
  • Eco-system & its economic evaluation #2
  • Neem for hair care during monsoon
  • Shutting down internet to quell protests
  • Suspending mobile data services
  • Pi Thadoi performed @JNMDA #1 :: Gallery
  • WABA | World Breastfeeding Week 2022
  • Figuring out real value of thing is key to living
  • "Tribe" in India: shrouded in uncertainty #3
  • We cannot #endAIDS if we depend on North
  • NDA to get its nominee into Upa Rashtrapati
  • Indo-Naga Talks (2012-) :: News Timeline
  • Tarao Harvest Fest @ Chandel #5 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 August : Govt of Manipur
  • Conversion of Jhum fields for sedentary agri
  • National Aquifer Mapping Programme
  • NEP : Preparing for a knowledge economy
  • Govt move to put curb on new villages
  • HAC recommended ADC Bill, 2021
  • Media protest against NIA [4 Aug] :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 August : Govt of Manipur
  • The untold story of Koubru Mountain
  • UNAIDS data paint a grim picture of HIV
  • 'Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyan' at MU
  • Water approach to solving water scarcity
  • Environmental Activist Anish #2 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 02 August : Govt of Manipur
  • First rain :: Poem
  • Eco-system & its economic evaluation #1
  • My first colour film roll
  • House debates ADC Bill after protest threat
  • Ideas from the man from Ukhrul AC
  • Hiyang Tannaba @ Loktak #2 : Gallery
  • Online class : Interpretation
  • Acid test for Amit Shah & Neiphiu Rio
  • Nonage :: Poem
  • HIV care is essential, but not enough...
  • Fish based integrated farming system #2
  • The memories of my business school
  • Govt desperate to reopen IMFL sale outlets
  • Prohibition in force since 1991!
  • Kwatha (Indo-Myanmar border) #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 01 August : Govt of Manipur
  • Post for Project Associate at MU
  • "Tribe" in India: shrouded in uncertainty #2
  • Why is status of daughters not changing...
  • Animal Farm (In the Context of Imphal City)
  • ..with a pinch of salt & enjoy the humour
  • Sportspersons shine as state grapples ...
  • Call for ADC Bill, NRC: Studying the whys
  • Seasonal food items @ Ema Keithel : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 31 July : Govt of Manipur
  • How will children living with HIV grow up ...
  • Trafficking laws: to curb modern slavery
  • Pieces :: Poem
  • Drinkwell: Making safe water accessible
  • Tokyo to Birmingham: Hailing the Golden Girl
  • Infrastructure must to fuel Act East Policy
  • Aribam Syam Sharma :: Biography
  • Mirabai Chanu: gold @ Commonwealth Game
  • Petitions to Assembly for public grievances
  • Impact of science on society deliberated
  • 'Reinvent Northeast' initiative launched
  • Skin fasting for refreshed skin
  • NDPP-BJP Alliance for Nagaland Elections
  • Survey report of Tupul landslide
  • August Calendar for Year 2022 : Tools
  • COVID-19 Status 29 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Propose: Dada Saheb Phalka to Aribam Syam
  • Indigenous peoples lead to #endAIDS
  • World Hepatitis Day
  • 'Education abroad' by Stars of Northeast
  • Tigers, their survival is in our hands
  • Condition of road testifies cash-strapped state
  • Give more teeth to IMC call
  • Phuba Thapham, Senapati Dist. #2 : Gallery
  • Pu Neilienthang Telien : IAS MN-2013
  • Fish based integrated farming system #1
  • Lies :: Poem
  • Gaidinliu Vihar inaugurated at Tamenglong
  • Chatham Saw Mill - Asia's oldest & largest
  • Rosy surrender policy enticing armed outfit
  • Need to look beyond the academics
  • Pi- Thadoi :: A synopsis of the Play
  • COVID-19 Status 27 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Fixture for Durand Cup Trophies 2022
  • "Tribe" in India: shrouded in uncertainty #1
  • VUCA Plus in Manipur
  • Ukhrul observed Bijili Mahotsav & Ujala Diwas
  • CM unveils the Durand Cup Trophies
  • Performance of Government schools
  • Peaceful session in Assembly as tension...
  • Leima Jagoi by Transgender #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 26 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Marangching: could it be a wake-up call ?
  • AIDS: turning adversities into stepping stones
  • Fr. Joseph Kachiramattam: a Positive Aura
  • Dairy farming: A means of sustainable income
  • Spotlight back on Lhoukhosei Zou
  • Law makers must to curb drug scourge
  • Basanta Raas @ Govindajee Temple : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 25 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Naga American Foundation: 2023 Conference
  • Where fish are no longer forced to climb tree
  • Wholesale & retail price for 19 items revised
  • Tourism potentials of border pillars
  • The Fathomless Pain :: Poem
  • The poser: 'Kyam Pharaba Ngashidi'
  • Modern devices must to tackle drug menace
  • Pathetic Imphal-Jiribam Road #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 24 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Poppy/ganja plantation and Christianity
  • People living with HIV demand medicine
  • Apple benefit for skin
  • President Droupadi Murmu is the first tribal
  • Yearning for justice as encounters declines
  • The freebies put up for all to see
  • Meghachandra Kongbam & Manipuri Cinema
  • COVID-19 Status 23 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2022 #3: Gallery
  • The flesh profiteth nothing
  • 5 days Skill Training through Photography
  • Career through Skill Development
  • Don Bosco University adds new courses
  • Choidev Chongba @Kang Fest: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 22 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Legend of Lord Koubru & Liangmai princess
  • Pandemic talks resume amidst corporate ...
  • Nationwide hackathon for developers
  • The elasticity of love
  • Raj Bhavan to Rashtrapati Bhavan
  • Laying siege on highways to air grievances
  • Kabui Jagoi @Nongshaba #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 21 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Bhavamochani- Image of Manipuri dance form
  • Rooftop rainwater harvesting for water supply
  • Remains :: Poem
  • 'Let thy food be thy medicine'
  • What is the stand of Imphal ?
  • Used vehicles flooding into state inevitable
  • 13th Foundation Day EEVFAM #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 20 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Predicament of NH-202 construction in Ukhrul
  • Weeding out Congress Grass from Imphal
  • 'Out Of The Box' concludes in Agartala
  • National Lok Adalat at Lamphelpat
  • Making a beeline for private schools
  • ..State to justify double engine narrative
  • Environmental Activist Anish #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 19 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Overpopulation, an Asset or a Curse
  • NPF re-organization of Peren Division
  • Rev Joseph Mittathany Vision for Manipur
  • Chanakya IAS Academy launches at Jorhat
  • Announced on Jul 6, actualised on Jul 18
  • Loktak clean-up: Scapegoating soft targets
  • Tribute to Meira Paibis 2004 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 July : Govt of Manipur
  • The fourth wave of pandemic
  • Unparliamentary expressions not words
  • Kharchi Monsoon Festival of Tripura
  • MicroEnsure : Democratizing Insurance
  • Lessons to learn from Mizoram
  • Frauds feasting on pathetic higher education
  • Kanglen Kang Chingba @Konung :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 17 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Epidemiology of breast cancer in Manipur
  • Solidarity Meet in support of Sri Lanka
  • Plastic mulching for vegetable production
  • The savour of one desire :: Poem
  • IM under scanner of Nagaland politicians
  • Call of 'Nagas of Nagaland'
  • Shang-gi Chaminnaba @Andro #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Memorandum to PM : Enlist Meetei in ST
  • The Abandoned Village :: Poem
  • 94th ICAR Foundation day at CCpur
  • Demography as a Career Choice
  • Routine childhood immunization back on track
  • Anti-Repression Day #1 :: Gallery
  • Ibudhou Thangjing Lam Thokpa #5 :: Gallery
  • Late Most Rev. Joseph Mittathany
  • 13th Foundation Day EEVFAM #1 : Gallery
  • Kang Chingba at Konung #3 : Gallery
  • Kang Khichri @Bamon Leikai :: Gallery
  • HSLC 2022 : List Of Top 25 Rank Holders
  • HSLC Result 2022 : Statistical Abstract
  • HSLC Result 2022 : Subject Topper
  • HSLC Result 2022 : Compartmental
  • HSLC Result 2022 : Full Listing
  • HSLC Result 2022 : pass % : Private
  • HSLC Result 2022 : pass %: Aided
  • HSLC Result 2022 : pass %: Govt
  • Environmental Activist Anish Ahmed
  • Landslide at Tupul [Jun 30] #2 : Gallery
  • Landslide at Tupul [Jun 30] #1 : Gallery
  • 21st Great June Uprising #2 : Gallery
  • Padmashree Award Moirangthem Muktamani
  • Rules of English Pronunciation : Download
  • Sub-Syllables in English : Book Download