Picture Perfect

This photograph was taken by me in 1988 in the Panorama Express of Switzerland. What you see here is the bar inside the train Panorama express.

This was my first visit to any country outside India. Everything looked picture perfect to me in Switzerland. Nature has made every nook and corner of that country photogenic, and Swiss people have painstakingly maintained it that way.

With a new camera in hand, everything was worth photographing for me.

On one of the weekends we boarded this train named Panorama Express. This train is primarily meant for tourists and it has glass windows all over so that tourists can enjoy the beauty of Swiss Alps from everywhere. The overall get-up of this train was diametrically opposite to the trains run by Indian Railway then. The couch was furnished lavishly with pleasing blue décor. And it was equipped with bar in one corner that was attended by an  impeccably dressed bar hostess. The lounge in front the bar was presently occupied by the train conductor and one lady-tourist. The trio was chatting with each other in a very relaxed manner.

I could not resist taking the photograph of this couch with the bar. The chatting trio would have made the picture look more natural and lively. I quietly got-up from my seat and started focusing my lens. The old couple seated opposite me suddenly turned around to see what I was aiming at. You can make out how amused they were from their expressions to see me photographing the ordinary conductor and bar hostess. The trio, however, was alerted by the old couple turning their necks. And the scene suddenly changed. The conductor, who was very relaxed so far, suddenly went stiff. The bar hostess tried to act as if she was busy doing something at the desk, and the lady at far end tried to look as pretty as she could.

I guess they were trying look as “picture perfect” as possible in the photograph in keeping with the tradition of their country.

Swiss Panorama



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