Monday, December 26, 2011

Goodbye Woes

Saying goodbye to old friends was never easy. After having shared an exceptionally great (almost) three years with my camera, I bought an upgraded model this Christmas. For the longest time, I was undecided about whether I should do it or not. You see, I realized the fun of photography after I purchased my first D SLR in 2009. I started going places, and my camera always went with me. Be it road trips, parties, outdoor events, or hikes, my camera always accompanied me. I sometimes used it to get through boring events when I would shy away from conversations in the name of taking pictures. I was so proud of it, and so proud of all the pictures I took using it. But sometimes, knowing more is harmful. As I started to read up more about photography, I realized that my camera can only take me so far. I realized I had (almost) learned everything that I could learn using this camera. It was perhaps the right time to graduate to the next level.

I felt my new camera would make me ecstatic, especially after all the money I spent on it. I am not so sure about it. I like it alright, but I feel guilty as hell. I feel guilty that I decided to part with my old camera. The previous two cameras I had (which were not D SLRs by the way), I gave it away to my father. So I never really felt bad about them, knowing they are still in the family. Now, I no longer require my old D SLR camera. I should sell it, and I tried spreading the word. But something in me felt so sad and guilty when I did that. Perhaps this was attachment, and the result of spending every significant moment of my life for the past three years with my camera. I have lost count of the number of pictures I have taken, of the numerous occasions I have witnessed with my camera. I have often ventured out on my own, for hikes or for long drives, just with my camera. I realized that I could close my eyes and use my camera, I am so used to it by now. Somewhere down the line, a typical human emotion like fondness, usually reserved for animate beings, got transferred into an inanimate object. An inanimate object I learned to call my own, and shared three years of my life with.

I have given myself some time. If by the end of it I still have a sad feeling about it, I will perhaps hold on to my camera. Not a very wise decision perhaps, but a little bit of irrational emotion, especially an emotion like attachment, never hurt anyone.


Friday, December 02, 2011

In My Good Books

The library materials were clearly overdue, but I had no clue why they showed me an amount that I did not owe. Was not it about a dollar late fee per day? I think I had not noticed the date of return for two days, before I renewed it. I usually do not delay returning stuff, but confusingly enough, I had received no automated email that prompts me to renew the items. To add to it, it was Thanksgiving holiday, and the librarian, probably an undergraduate who was filling in at the last hour, had no clue why they were showing a late fee of $14 for a delay of 2 days. She was not of much help on the phone, but asked me to call back the next business day, which was a 4 days away. No big deal, just that I had to remember doing that think in between the one hour break between classes on Monday. I wrote it down in my calendar. I hope they were not charging me for those 4 days between Thanksgiving break and Monday.

Monday morning, I went and explained the situation. The librarian looked up my records and found the $14 arrears. I explained my situation. I explained the mistake in calculation. I was ready to pay upfront, but I had no idea why it was showing me that extra amount. He had no clue either. It just compounded the confusion. He asked his manager to help out. This meant another round of explanations on my part, about how I had delayed renewal by two days, about how I never received that renewal email, and so on. Mercy !!

I started explaining to the manager, and must have blabbered for a full minute when he pulled up my account, did something, and smiled at me. He told me he had cancelled the late charge. Clearly there were a series of confusing events, of missed emails and incorrect account balances. He figured it wasn’t worth all our valuable time. No explanations, no paperwork, nothing !

Little things people do around me make my day. I walked out of the library, happy, smiling, and debt-free.