Chapter 9: Rejoicing in Existence
I said, “This is the photographer, the poor photographer of the town. You always call a photographer from a bigger city; that is unnecessary. This poor man needs work, because I have seen this photographer selling umbrellas in the rainy season and in the summer he is selling ice and soda and other cold drinks. But whenever some chance arises he takes photographs - some marriage or something. He is a poor man, and I want him to be our authorized photographer from today. This school should respect him.”
The principal said, “Now that you have brought him..”
The poor photographer was very much afraid because he had never been called. I had explained everything to him - how he has to do it, how he has to arrange things - and he had come with his best suit and everything. The principal was standing in the middle, and the teachers and everybody, and he arranged and did everything. And then he asked, “Ready?” I had prepared him.
He said, “I have to be worthy of the position, the authorized photographer of the high school” - that was the biggest institution in the town. So he asked, “Ready?” and then he clicked his camera and said, “Thank you,” and everybody dispersed.
Then he said, “Wait - because I forgot to put the plate in! And the whole fault is yours,” he told me. “You never told me, ‘You have to put the plate in.’ You told me everything else.”
I said, “I thought that as a photographer you must know that the plate has to be put in; otherwise how will the photograph.? And all this ‘Thank you’ and ‘Ready?’ just went to waste. But no harm.”
So I said, “Get ready again!” The principal was very angry because the school inspector was there, the collector was there, and it became such a hilarious thing when the photographer said, “I have forgotten to put the plate in, and now what to do!”
The principal called me in. He said, “This is the last day. You are leaving, but you are not leaving without mischief. Who told you to call this photographer? That idiot! That’s why we have been avoiding him for years! And you have seen..”
I said, “But it was such a beautiful and hilarious scene! And everybody who has participated today will remember it his whole life. You should pay him a little more! And remember that from now on he is the authorized photographer of this school.”
He said, “Are you leaving the school or are you still going to be here? This is our business.whom to make authorized or not.”
I said, “That is not your business. I have told the class that is going to succeed me, the proper people, to take care that this photographer has to be brought every year, and if it is needed then they can call me from the college. It is not far away, only eighty miles. So every year on the photograph day I will be here to see if the authorized photographer is here or not.”
He said, “Okay, he is authorized.”
I said, “I want it in writing, because I don’t trust you at all.” And he had to give an authorized letter. I gave it to the photographer.