From photographer to farmer

When one lockdown period led to the next, it compelled many businesses and professionals to adjust and adapt to the prevailing circumstances to survive in this prevailing pandemic.

While office workers shifted to Working-From-Home, some hotels, restaurants and cafes diversified and established an online presence for takeaways and delivered food, cakes and pastries, and others pivoted to pursue various business avenues.

In October 2019, I was among a few facilitators invited to speak in a Citizen Journalism training course and a professional photographer, Vishnu Dev of Reel Studio, was the facilitator for the Photography module. That was probably the last time we met.

During the lockdowns, our media friends are staying in touch through a WhatsApp chat group and in a recent conversation, someone shared a photograph of Vishnu Dev that only showed us his back.

We could easily recognize him from his T-shirt because its design had the name, Reel Studio printed across his shoulders.

We also saw him standing next to a 4x4 vehicle with the cargo bed filled with baskets of durians and this image prompted a flurry of curious questions.

It did not take long for me to elicit some answers from Vishnu who explained that he was now farming and also supplying fresh durians from Tangkak that included a home delivery service.

It was interesting to learn that Vishnu had turned to farming and was applying technologies from India to cultivate the land and in rearing grass-fed goats and free-range chickens.

Vishnu Dev, parked outside our house,
opening fresh durians for me!

With fruits ripening this durian season, he was driving to Tangkak to collect fresh fruits for sale in and around Johor Baru during the weekend.

“Really good. Cakap2 suddenly I realized I had eaten one whole fruit myself!” the one who bought fruits from Vishnu and shared his photo, confessed in our group chat.

Her comments were followed by another who had also bought fruits from Vishnu and he confirmed, “Yes, very good fruits. Siap ada home delivery!”

The durian season which is happening during this nationwide lockdown, has clearly not curbed the desire for the taste of real durian.

I always preferred whole fruits that can be opened in front of me and this facility convinced me to arrange for Vishnu to come over with his carload of durians.  

After all, a durian treat would go a long way to cheer up mum who had been obediently staying at home.

By this time, Vishnu had sent me his Baby Agrofarm poster with the price list for durian species listed as D101, D13, Durian Kampung and Musang King.

I read the fine print and liked the assurance that Delivery was Free in the Johor Baru area for a minimum purchase of three kg.

Fresh durian from Tangkak

That was because I already had in mind to buy extra portions for two fans-of-durian-friends to bless them with a share of our durian treat during this difficult time.

I had arranged for Vishnu to come over the following afternoon and he arrived promptly at about 3pm.

His 4x4 vehicle with the cargo bed filled with baskets of durian, parked in front of our house, must have piqued the curiosity of the neighbours because two of them came out for a look.

It was mid-afternoon with cloudy skies after a light drizzle, just right for Vishnu to set up the rear of his car with a weighing scale, as he deftly opened the fruits and packed the fleshy seeds into a few takeaway boxes that I provided.

His telephone rang while he was wielding his knife on the thorny fruits so I told him to answer the call, which was probably another order for his delightful durians.

Pulpy durian seeds D101 and D13

He did already have another appointment in Desa Cemerlang and after taking one more phone call, Vishnu was off to his next destination to deliver more durian.

As soon as I brought the boxes of durian into our house, I was off to deliver the two boxes of durian to my friends so that they could savour the freshly opened taste of their favourite fruit.

Well done, Vishnu for your courage to move from photographer to farmer.

For a start, your durian delivery has brought a bounty of good cheer into not only ours but many homes.

For your home delivery of fresh durians, call Vishnu Dev on Tel: +6016 789 9996.

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