An Art gallery and studio hosted an exhibition of rare photographs of a very renowned photographer who had recently died. The photographer was amongst the first ones in town to possess a camera, a rarity in his times. The gallery owner thought it was a good time to cash on the sympathy value of the artist’s demise.
The response to the exhibition was pretty good and there were several walk-in’s, ‘It’s going to be a good day’, the owner thought. By the end of the day he had sold two or three of the good ones for an average price. In the evening as he was getting ready to close down for the day an old man came in. As the old man walked around the gallery the owner understood that he’s not among the ones who could shell out money for these photographs. He walked up to the man after 10 minutes.
‘May I help you sir?’
‘No, actually I was just looking around. I was waiting for my wife who’s gone to the neighboring shop to buy some clothes. I hope you don’t mind.’
‘Its ok, it’s just that I would be closing in another 15 minutes.’
‘I hope you don’t mind me looking around until then.’
‘Not a problem sir, be at ease.’
After 5 minutes, the old man came to the front desk. His eyes were moist, he said in a wavy voice, ‘I want to buy a photograph; the code given below it is CA145G and the year is 1966.’ The owner took out the rate chart and checked the code. ‘This photograph would cost you RS. 1500.’
The old man checked his pockets and could only find 200. ‘Could you give me 5 minutes? I’ll just be back.’ The old man sounded desperate.
‘Ok, but don’t be late’, said the owner, feeling lucky to strike a deal on the first quote.
The old man rushed out of the gallery. After a couple of minutes he saw the old man coming inside with his wife. His wife was in tears and was counting money taken out from a small purse.
The old man approached the owner and said, ‘I just have 1200 right now, is it ok if I give you the remaining early in the morning tomorrow?’
‘I’m sorry Sir, We don’t entertain credit, and it would be a policy issue.’ said the owner wondering why is the old man so desperate to buy the photograph.
‘You can keep my gold ring; I’ll collect it back tomorrow when I pay the whole amount.’
The shop owner was taken aback. ‘Could I ask you something sir? Why are you so desperate to buy that photograph?’
‘It’s my son’s photograph. I lost him the same year this man took his photo.’