The art gallery, with its four exhibition halls, is helped by its location. No one who visits the heritage precinct of Kala Ghoda can miss seeing it. So, tourists visit the gallery in droves. Some get curious after seeing others walk in, and hence follow suit. Yet others hesitate, wondering if they’ll be allowed past the entrance before mustering courage and making their way up the steps.
After visiting an exhibition one late afternoon I stepped out of the gallery and was about to run down the steps and across the road in the direction of the David Sassoon library but stopped short on seeing a lady posing for the camera against the backdrop of the art gallery. Her little daughter stood on the road with a point-and-shoot while she posed patiently, waiting for the shutter release, to be indicated by a flash, though there wasn’t a need for one in the late afternoon light. Seconds passed, no flash, more seconds passed, still no flash. A touch edgy, she walked up to her daughter and after a few quick instructions she returned to her spot and struck a pose. Her husband stood to the side watching on.
The little girl brought the camera to her face. Behind her, cars motored past. More seconds passed, still no flash. I watched from the steps, willing the little girl to get it right, for I knew it must mean a lot to her to be able to point to the picture later and tell whoever would listen that she’d taken the picture of her mother in front of the art gallery. Yet more seconds passed, still no flash. By now the mother was getting visibly irritated, and after walking up to her daughter for the third time she returned to her spot and struck a pose. Nothing happened. The little girl tried, but the camera would not yield.
The lady strode up to her little daughter in a huff and snatched the camera from her reluctant hands before turning it over to her husband. The little girl dropped her gaze to the road as her mother led her to the side, by a parked car. Her father took her place. Her hands by her side, she watched her mother strike a pose for her dad.
Seconds later, the camera flashed.
I wonder if later that night the little girl wished she would grow up quicker.