Thursday, March 08, 2012

return of a beloved

A few days ago I mentioned bringing my dear Baki, a Canon PowerShot SX200IS, to the service center for a little tweaking. All right, not entirely little. I was about to shell out nearly half of my monthly salary to fix the three-year old thing if not for the humble, gracious, and fault-admitting friend who had swept it off a chair with her butt when she sang a drunken rendition of Whitney Houston’s “All At Once” (or was it Eraserheads’ “Spolarium”?), dropping it dead smack on the marble floor. She had agreed to pay the other half of the repair fees.

One would say she should’ve paid for everything, but I say I shouldn’t have left it on a chair when someone nearby is doing a tribute to a newly-departed favorite, a little bit intoxicated. No more argument.

I just knew on that night that something was wrong when I picked Baki up from the floor, turned it on, and heard a sputtering of mechanical beeps, a message on the screen saying, “Lens error. Restart camera.” Then it turned off by itself, no matter what I did. I eventually accepted this was a camera’s last hurrah to a PC’s Blue Screen of Death.

What was a little bit painful at that time was the warranty benefit of the gadget had expired just two months ago. I asked the consultant at the service center if there was a grace period or an extension for my warranty card
’s power, you know, just to give it a try, but she just smiled and let out an uninspired laugh. Monosyllabic “Ha-ha-ha.” I think it translated to “Cheap-cheap-cheap.”

Of course, I had to press my luck. Even if I had to travel miles to the service center only to find out a new one would be opening three blocks away from where I work the following day (which highlights weak PR), even if I had to get lost on my way there, even if I had to miss documenting mundane things during my camera’s absence, I got to revive my beloved Baki. I couldn’t sum up the milestones in my life, big and small, the camera had witnessed and concretized for me in images. Baki is an electronic poetry.

And things were ironed out in seven days’ time. Thankfully, repair was quick.

So, here it is now, the handheld beauty in my hands. I press a little chrome button, and there goes that faint whir, the barrel zooming out with lens as clear as dew, the screen coming to vivid life. As the flash snaps up in place, ready to take a shot, I feel its entire heft like weighing gold in one’s palms.

Strangely, it’s as if I am seeing something in new light.

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