Prantish Narzary and Deepak Singh share the same passion for photography and coffee. So, when they met during the pandemic last year, the idea of a joint venture just clicked.
The friends, both in their late twenties, run a humble café in Dhanketi where photography brews along with a hot cuppa. “The thought behind setting up the café is to allow young photographers a space to discuss work,” says Narzary, who was born and brought up in Shillong.
This thought went into naming the place too. Click! The name written in white on a black wall with doodles around it, the décor and a smiling face turn the space into a comfort zone.
Amid rows of shops, the café remains camouflaged. From the main road, one only notices the electric signboard of Red Bull that piques curiosity. Then one wonders how to get to the Bull for a little exploration. It is then that one discovers a rickety metal spiral staircase leading to the café. It is only after you enter café that you know the real name.
“My father used to run an eatery here. Yes, it is difficult to spot the place at times,” says Narzary.
Singh, who is from Uttarakhand, is a photographer and videographer and Narzary is a professional video editor The latter, however, has a keen interest in photography. The four cameras, including a Polaroid, from the nineties and eighties displayed inside the café are his collection. Among the “vintages” are Yashica Electro 35, Premier PC-500 and Kodak KB-10.
“We intend to make the café a rendezvous for photographers, models and other related professionals. We have plans to hold workshops and jamming sessions,” says Narzary.
The café started in February and within weeks was shut down owing to the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic in the state. So, the owners took time to execute their plans to encourage talent within the space.
The duo are promoting adventure photography and, in collaboration with Red Bull, has organised a few sessions with young talents. A meet-up with Doordarshan Shillong was also organsied recently. “We are participating in the Cherrry Blossom Festival too,” informs Narzary.
The place is equally welcoming to those who have never picked up a professional camera or have little interest in photography.
The young café co-owners want to jazz up the space by putting up photographs by young shutterbugs. “We want to provide them space to exhibit their works. This way, we can not only promote good work but also help connect like-minded people,” Narzary says.
The co-owner is happy the way things are progressing and he is hopeful that their unique initiative will click soon.
~ Team Sunday Monitor