Friends

Friends are friends…
anytime.
anywhere.
Friendship is being together.

But
how about being with oneself?

Me: Hi!
Myself: Hi!!
Me: How are you today?
(pause)
Myself: Not bad… you?
(long pause)

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Honest

During a photo workshop, she was a model.

No pretence.
No masquerade.
No façade.

And when requested for a pose next to her own portrait, she obliged, smilingly.

Few could ever attempt to achieve that smile…

facade

The Other Shop

The shop in Muharraq Souq (Bahrain) specialised in valve radios… working ones, among other interesting lost-in-time items. Green-tinged, thick, Coca-Cola bottles, for example. Prices for the radios ranged between BHD 100-BHD 140 (roughly USD 250 to USD 350).

Mhrq-shop (5 of 7)

Mhrq-shop (1 of 7)

The owner agreed to reopen his shop late in the evening.

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Mhrq-shop (3 of 7)

Mhrq-shop (4 of 7)

He and his friend also agreed to pose for a few photographs.

A similar shop was seen in the souq in Madinat al Isa (Isa Town). The souq hosted several shops selling everything: fabrics, hardware, coins, antiques, furniture, plants, mobile phones, sunglasses, Oracle latest release, auto-parts, curtain clothes, key chains, bathroom accessories, perfumes, bukhoor, lingerie, incandescent and fluorescent and neon lamps, kites, knives, DVDs, used books, pipes, lighters, mobile Apps, abayas, local fruits, plastic toys and dolls.

Friday being an off day at work, a casual browsing along the souq had become a routine. Knew several vendors by their first name and vice versa. The shop that belonged to a Bahraini – an old gentleman – who dealt with coins and currencies and precious stones and prayer beads. He spoke in perfect Hindi about old times and how the present generation feels shy even to say the word “souq”. He spoke of his travels to Bombay (present day Mumbai) with his Father.

It was another Friday and the usual chat with the coin-shop owner went past the prayer time. The mildly sugared red tea must be the one responsible to make time pause somewhere in the 80s. The old man excused himself and asked me to be at the shop while he finishes his prayer in the nearby mosque. Before I could say anything he was gone.
He thanked me for waiting for him after he returned. I just wished such friendliness and trust last another thousand years.

The Bride

Restaurant Le Consulat on the way to Sacré-Cœur, Montmartre, Paris, was most widely read about during the research before the recent trip to France. After the visit to the church on a mildly-rainy day, a hot coffee and a crepe sounded good. Rain had drenched the wicker-chairs outside the restaurant. Few tables were empty and took a corner one with the street view. As the crepe was half-way through, rain ceased. A small commotion ensued outside and could get a glimpse of a tall-handsome man in his almond-suit and a petite woman, beautiful, of course, in a white wedding gown. A photographer with a high-end Nikon gear was seen capturing the bride from all possible angles. Finishing the coffee, and paying the host, remembered that the camera was kept inside the car parked somewhere downhill. It was raining. With the iPhone, decided to take a chance. Bridegroom gave permission to capture his lovely bride as the man-with-the-iPhone approached him with a smile.

bride

Seller of Beads

The fair came to the village.
Again.
After a long year of anticipation.
There was excitement in the air
as the day of his return neared.
For he would bring the magic of beads
In all beautiful colours
And shapes.
He would show off each of his treasure
by wearing some;
by holding out some others;
by leaving more on the walls.
The girls laughed to see the display,
A man wearing beads? they would ask.
The fathers were content to see the laughter of their daughters
that enriched those jingles of the wears.
So was the heart of the wise, gentle soul..
the Seller of Beads.

beads

Stroll

A stroll, on a Friday morning, through one of the oldest traditional markets in Bahrain is often a good experience.

Spending time with the local, friendly people, browsing through the many bric-bracs and antiques can be rewarding with an occasional catch here and there. One of the other rewards for the patient photographer is a frame that reminds of bygone days… if you are not with me, take a deeper look at their eyes…

Suq madinat Isa

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