Miracles Happen

Photograph/Mexy Xavier

Photograph/Mexy Xavier

The word ‘miracle’ is derived from the Latin word ‘miraculum’, meaning ‘something wonderful’. In practical terms—or, at least, as practical as one can get when talking about miracles—a miracle is something positive that goes against the laws of Mother Nature as we conventionally see them.

Whereas most claimed miracles have been noticed by few people, there are some that have been noticed by a large number. One such major miracle appears once a month and is noticed by anyone reading Better Photography. The very fact that you read this magazine is a miracle.

I recently spent a full day with the team producing Better Photography. How these people get the magazine done is a true miracle. And under tight deadlines, no less.

Take Miss “Yay” for example. Her real name is Ambarin, and when she is not exclaiming “Yay”— which she does quite a lot—she puts her name on an office chair, trying to make sure she gets one she likes. When I put her name-tag on another chair, she did not notice. But hey, name-tags can be important to some. Especially in the Better Photography office, where there seems to be a perennial lack of both chairs and desks with computers. Here, people are close to fighting each other so they can get a desk and, thus, work. Some would say that such a willingness to want to work is also somewhat miraculous.

Some say that photographers can be nerdish. At Better Photography there are some real heavy-weighters. Raj knows most everything there is about photography and camera models. Like this is not enough, there is Shridhar who is an engineer. Combining engineering and photography leads to things few understand. Shridhar has built some kind of platform for his camera that allows him to take macro photos that are impressive enough. The whole invention looks like a time-machine and I am not certain if I understood anything at all. But hey, who does when talking to an engineer?

While ‘working’, i.e. in between fighting over chairs and office space, the whole team can break into song and dance. The whole place becomes a Bollywood movie. Supriya may then sing like Elvis. Resurrecting Elvis is also quite a miracle. And then Chandni will pick on Miss “Yay”, all while Aditya is coolly looking at everything from the background. What he is preparing nobody knows, but I suppose the rest of the team is in for a surprise. Yet again.

There is of course the Big Boss who is supposed to keep order and communicate clear directions on how the work needs to be done. This is Madhavan. He is the kind of guy who can go to the wrong airport when he needs to take the plane for some business journey. If he remembers to go to the airport at all. Anyone wondering why things work as they do, do not need to think twice anymore.

I thought that Samira had all the attributes one could expect from a photographer, but after having seen the rest of the team, she actually appears as normal in the office. Now that too is a miracle!

One person who seems suspiciously calm in the Better Photography team is Gurjender. I suggest that he shares whatever he is taking with the rest of the team.

So, how do these people actually get anything done? Well, that is a true miracle. The only time these people can be put together and remain calm is if they are outside, each one having a camera. Then they will focus on their photography and leave each other alone. Yup, to these people, the camera is a real drug. Once back in the office, the circus starts all over again.

But maybe being like this is the only way to succeed with Better Photography, because if you think that the Better Photography team is one of a kind, then you should look at the readers. One such reader sent a very appreciative handwritten letter to the Better Photography team. For some reason, he wrote the letter on the backside of a condom instruction. Yup, true story.

So you see, there are the Better Photography readers who really need to be satisfied. These readers may be quite peculiar and probably hardcore photographers. Well-protected hardcore photographers. And would they really be inspired to be so without Better Photography and its miraculous team?

Tags: better photography, Gabriel Fuchs, different strokes, Aug 2011, Better Photography Team, Better Photography office, Better Photography behind the scenes, working in a photography magazine