Okay, so it was supposed to be simple. Navdeep and I hit the road with just the clothes on our backs. (And the ones stuffed into our super-sized backpacks, of course.) He kept drilling it in—pack light, pack light, pack light—reminding me that I would actually have to carry what I brought. So I was thinking, some skirts, a couple pairs of jeans, several pairs of flip-flops. That’s when he said it: one pair of flip-flops. Yes. One. I was shocked too.
If you know me, you know I love flip-flops. I’m a connoisseur, you could say. In fact, I even hit many a celeb-studded red carpet in my comfy chappals, blatantly ignoring the haute footwear requirement. But I digress. In any case, this was when I knew Navdeep meant business. To ration my flip-flop allowance thusly would be severe trauma. What if the pair I had didn’t match the skirt I was wearning. “Bring clothes that match your chappal,” Navdeep proclaimed boredly. End of discussion.
So I thought we’d pack light, for better or for worse. But then we came up with the idea to do this vlog while we’re out there as a way of honing our writing and especially my video skills. And so, first came the camera. It had to be small enough that we’d be inconspicuous, but powerful enough that we’d be able to use it for our short film endeavors when we return. Since I was in New York, I headed to tech geek Mecca, also knows as B&H. It turned out the be the first of countless visits—some of the sales guys just started greeting me as “You Again.” But the first time I went there, I didn’t even go to the pro video section, intimidating as it was. The second time I went was with my techie brother Tarun, who insisted I explore the pro options. And it was then that discovered the Sony A1U. Tiny but powerful (which I’d like to say is an apt description for myself, as well).
But who knew that when you sink $2000 into a fancy pant camera, that’s not the end of it? In fact, it’s just the beginning. We required pro audio for any sit-down interviews or stand-ups on the scene we might do, so a lavalier microphone was necessary. Then there was lighting. And tapes. And extra batteries. And then a bag to hold it all.
And that was just the video camera. Soon we were spiraling uncontrollably down a hill of consumerism that seemed endless and steep. Navdeep “needed” to upgrade the lens for his Canon 20D. We needed a big ole hard drive for storage. And I, the novice, had neither camera bag nor backpack.
So let’s just say this trip has been quite an investment—and that’s after we got one of our plane tickets to India for free! (I didn’t rack up those sky miles for nothing!) We reassure ourselves with the quaint notion that things will be cheaper once we get to India. And Navdeep’s already been warning me about not buying little knick-knacks on every stop. But just in case, he said last week, “Do you think we should pack an extra duffel bag?”