June 30, 2013

Poor man's Leica : Canon Canonet QL17

I scored another awesome camera on my last trip through the streets of old Old city. The Canon Canonet QL 17 is regarded by many as one of the best cameras ever and despite being one of the most sold cameras, this is the first copy I've come across.

A brief overview of the camera below:

June 21, 2013

Minolta Hi-Matic 11

I scored another good film camera. Range finders are not very easy to come by and this one didn't come cheap. The condition is very good and the one trial roll I shot looks good. Video and pics of the camera below:


June 12, 2013

No Lemp Brewpubs in Hyderabad!

Sometime in 2011. We were visiting Aqua at The Park and I was seated at the empty ground floor lobby as I waited for my friends.

I saw this guy surrounded by a couple of hotel staff and a bouncer.

He was dressed in a modest shirt and faded trousers. He must have been in his 40s...he had graying, unkempt hair and a small mustache. He wore a pair of rubber slippers for footwear and a thin bag over his shoulder. It had seen better days for it was soiled and torn in a couple of places.

I could hear the conversation clearly. He'd gatecrashed a corporate event and had free lunch. The younger of the two staff politely asked him for his credentials and ID. He didn't have any. He insisted he was part of the event. Maybe he was. Maybe he wasn't. At least he didn't look the part...

He then produced a newspaper clipping from his bag and showed it to the staff. They were polite again and told him he couldn't use a newspaper clipping to enter a private lunch and asked him to pay up for the meal, which amounted to around 800 rupees. He made a face and announced he didn't have money on him.

I knew it would get ugly from here on. I was wrong.

The two guys from staff then went in to get the manager. They left the guy with the muscular bouncer. He suggested he pay up SOMETHING and be off. "Yeh log chodenge nahi tumhe. Kuch do aur nikaljao " The guy was adamant and insisted he didn't have any. The juniors returned with a guy in a suit... he looked like the manager. He started with "Sir, aap aisa nahi kar sakte.." A little later, the bouncer escorted the guy out of the building.

At no point in the almost half hour ordeal was he mistreated or dealt with strongly. There was no crowd in the lobby for this exchange to disturb the decorum of the place. I was the sole witness to the whole incident. They could've easily roughed him up and nobody would've known.

The recent trending topic on the Lemp brewpub case where a group of youngsters were harassed by a wealthy hotelier and the police stirred up a lot of debate on the state of affairs in Gurgaon, which, to be honest, is in the news for all the wrong reasons. Read all about it here.

While, some people find fault with stereotyping a whole city for an incident like this, it does look like cultural and regional factors do play a role here. My experience at the park actually shows a stark contrast in social behavior. Kids who were willing to pay got abysmal service, were roughed up, and even got a ride to the station in a Police van. On the other hand, a guy who'd clearly done wrong was dealt with respect and dignity.  The other side of the story is not clear though. The hotel staff has accused the youngsters of high handedness and misconduct, though that looks like an effort to save face.

This post is NOT to glorify Hyderabad by the way. My hatred for some foul mouthed, uncivilized people here goes way back. Dicks are everywhere. Maybe there are less here.

The Lemp episode highlights the glaring socio-political divide and how the the rich people-police nexus is proving to be a real challenge to normal folk like us.

I have just a handful of readers on this blog so asking questions is a waste but I'll leave one anyway. Has a hotel in Hyderabad ever treated you like crap? Have you had the misfortune of running into goons for hoteliers?

Image credit: Thebitchywaiter.com