My grandfather was the eldest in his family. We were his youngest grandchildren. The age difference between us is almost nine decades!
My grandfather’s life was very eventful. It could be said, that he lead a full life. He was a professor in the Burmese University, joined the Army during the world war, served in the foreign service thereafter. Then he helped establish one of the leading heart institutes of the country, where he worked till his last breath.
He had several hobbies. He occasionally undertook carpentry, and even tried his hand at bee-keeping. But the one hobby that lasted the longest, was photography.
None of his photographs prior to the second world war survived – the family had to flee Burma (modern Myanmar), and several possessions were lost.
All his photographs from 1945 onwards, were carefully pasted in a book – thick black pages bound together, with beautiful photographs chronicling the life of his children. He developed most of his photographs, and took great pains arranging them, putting captions for almost all the photographs. The album itself is showing signs of ageing, and rarely comes out of the cupboard.
A few weeks back, we visited our aunt. During our visit, she asked my brother to extend his palm. “I’ve been wanting to give this to you for a long time. It might be useful to you. It belonged to your grandfather,” she said.
Opening the case of the cylindrical pouch, like a child unwrapping his gift, my brother’s face lit up with excitement, when he realised, what it was, that he had inherited.
It was my grandfather’s tripod. It looks absolutely new. No one knows how old it is, but it is, at the very least, sixty five years old! My grandfather’s love for photography was inherited by my father, who bought a range-finder – spending almost a month’s salary on it.
And now, that passion for photography has passed down to my brother.