Modelling blues

Last Sunday as I was enjoying my evening walk in a park, I felt a tap on my shoulder. A young fellow, pointing towards his camera asked me, “Sir, can I take your picture?” Being pleasantly surprised I replied, “Look, I don’t know who you are. I am past my prime and am least interested in getting my mug shot taken. He said, “Sir, I am a professional photographer. We are in search of models of your age for a big advertising campaign. If you agree, I will take your picture now.”

As a policeman I never agree to the request of strangers.  Telling him that I would contact him the next day, I took his contact details and continued my walk.

After I returned home, I told my wife and children my tryst with the unknown photographer. I told my wife, “You are always criticising my looks. I have always maintained that I am as handsome as Dev Anand. Merely watching my looks and gait, an unknown photographer has felt that I am a fit enough to be a model. Very soon you will see my pictures in all glossy magazines and newspapers.” While my wife continued to be skeptical, both my children were enthusiastic saying that they hoped to see their father on hoardings and television. They forced me to call the photographer immediately and fix up an appointment.

I called the photographer and he asked me to come to Bangalore Palace the next day for the photo shoot. The next morning I had a nice haircut and shampoo. Wearing my best suit, I dragged my wife to accompany me to the photo shoot.

At the palace, the photographer received us and asked me to go to the changing room. I was made to wear a nice embroidered Kurta with a Bengali type dhoti. I surmised that the advertisers want me to promote Indian dress. A young girl made up my face and commented that I was looking very handsome. I literally blushed. When I arrived at the location, the photographer brought a six-year-old girl and asked me to lift her high in the air. I protested saying that I agreed for the photo shoot because I thought it was a solo ad and I don’t want others in the picture frame.

The photographer turned serious and said, “Sir, we are now shooting for chavanprash ad. You will fit the role of a healthy grandfather in the ad.” My wife, who heard this, started laughing aloud. Being angry, I returned home without taking part in the shoot.

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