Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Picture With A Thousand Stories

It was an age-old picture.

It belonged to my colleague, a good friend of mine.

It was a picture of a wooden attap house.

The roof and the walls were covered with nipah palm leaves.

The house stood on stilts and there were wooden staircases to the front and back of the house.

The house was in a low-lying area, prone to flood whenever the river rose.

I presumed the picture was taken when everyone was summoned to gather in front of the house.

The family members looked smart and was ready with their sweet smile.

Then someone might have suggested to take picture of the whole house.

Eventually, the picture was taken with its focus on the house, and not on the family who lined up the staircase.

It was rather comical to see two bystanders in the picture.


The picture looked old and faded.

It was torn and cracked with many white spots and dirty finger prints.

I took a good look at the picture. The surroundings could be done with the cloning and healing tools. The difficulties would be the retouching of people, where viewers would pay the most attention.

Not wanting to disappoint my good friend on the spot, I told him that I would give it a try.

After a few days of busy activities, I began to do some basic restoring and retouching works on the picture.

If it was a few years ago, it would not have been a problem; I had a sharp eyes for details.

But that day was gone, now that I had blurry eyes.

My eyes were red and swollen after few hours of doing the cloning and healing of the surroundings.

I had eventually enlarged the picture to the best resolution possible.

My wife was watching me from behind as I worked, shaking her head.

Eventually she told me to stop as it would involve too much work, and more complaining from me.

I contemplated for a while but decided to continue.

After trying for another few minutes, I finally gave up.

It was too difficult for me!

I realized that it was not easy to say "No" to a friend's request.

But it was equally difficult to please a friend when the thing was not done well.

Whatever we do, we must do the best we can to our friends and family.

I relaxed for a while, thinking what to do next.

Then I made up my mind to give my dear friend a call.

It was not easy but I must tell him that I was not good enough for the job.

My friend answered my call, rather disappointed and sad with my answer.

But he showed his understanding and appreciation.

The truth did disappoint but telling him a lie would bring in more lies.

I pondered for a while and was pleased with all that I had done.

Then I looked at the picture again.

It was an age-old picture with many sweet memories.

I could feel the sense of comfort and belonging as I examined the picture.

Sometimes, memories like this is not easy to let go and let loose.

Memory tends to stay and the good old days may refuse to fade away.

Vaguely I recalled my lost family and friends........

A sense of remorse and sadness came over me, and I was drowned in the sea of love.......

A picture can and do tell a thousand stories.

Sorry to disappoint you, my dear friend.


RE Ausetkmt said...

excellent, and touching story. nice photo btw.

Sandy said...

I don't know what you mean about cloaning etc, but I know having scanned lots of old photo's one can improve them alot. Even with the automatic settings the picture can be improved. It may not be as good as pro can do, but if it's better then the job was well done. Cropping can bring things closer, contrast can make the photo easier to see. I was lucky enough to find lots of old photo's when I did my family genealogy and pleased to be able to improve the quality of the pictures. Perhaps you're expecting too much.

Traveling Suitcase

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