DNA photo-journalist Anantha Subramanyam K shares his experience of clicking a picture of Sachin Tendulkar which gave him immense professional satisfaction.
It was August 10, 2006. My first sports assignment abroad. Along with my sports correspondent, I was on board Sri Lankan Airways in which the Indian cricket team was travelling to play in the tri-series with Sri Lanka and South Africa. After we landed at Colombo, we were waiting for our baggage when the Indian cricketers emerged from another side to pick up their belongings. And there he was, Sachin Tendulkar. I had the shock of my life when Tendulkar waved at me. I turned around to see if I had mistaken. But, he waved at me again. It took me a few seconds to register what he was trying to tell me. He was asking me to call my colleague, the sports correspondent. My colleague, being an experienced sports correspondent, knew Tendulkar well. I shared with him my desire to click a picture of Tendulkar, with the sea in the backdrop. While, he was not willing to exploit his acquaintance with Tendulkar by asking him for favours, he said he’ll try nevertheless.
In the afternoon on the following day, Rahul Dravid (then captain of the Indian team) called for a press conference at Taj Samudra, right in front of the sprawling beach in Colombo. After the media interaction, while other journalists settled for high tea, I tried following Dravid in the hope of getting a unique picture, when I was surprised to see Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh waiting for him in the portico. I too waited. As Dravid joined them, I went on a clicking spree. But, it didn’t stop there. The trio crossed the road to get to the beach on the other side for a jog. With a heavy camera kit, a monopod, and a laptop hanging around my neck, I was unable to catch up with my subjects and I gave up my chase, hoping to get a good shot when they return.
Meanwhile, I changed my lens to wide angle and mounted the flash to get the fill in light and thought of clicking a motion blur picture when Tendulkar and Dravid would return in the same route. And they did, I ran as close to them as I could get and shot some good pictures, and they didn’t object. It was then I heard Tendulkar tell Dravid, in Hindi: “Ab tsunami aagaya to hamara kya hoga...(What will happen to us if a tsunami comes…)”. They went out of my hearing distance and I don’t know what Dravid’s reply was. But, I was content. My mission was accomplished. I got a picture of Sachin Tendulkar with the seashore at the backdrop.
(Anantha Subramanyam K is a photojournalist with DNA where the above article was first published. Earlier he freelanced for several national and international media houses before working as a staffer with Deccan Herald)