Sep 202014

Story Behind Portrait of a Lady I clicked in Mehrauli

Me and Tarun Gaur, my friend from Kerala Blog Express days was with me and we were trying to find our way out of the Jamali Kamali Complex ( Wait for a detailed post). As we were walking we met a group of daily wagers working on the restoration of one of the monuments in the Qutub Complex.  They were all curiously looking at our DSLRs and camera bag etc.

It was evening time and the light was beautiful, and  I was wondering if the laborers will agree to get clicked.   I always try to strike a conversation with people whom I want to click as this typically makes the subject a relaxed and they do not pose for you. Now the statement may seem contradictory but you while you want the wonderful person to agree to get clicked but you don’t want them to pose for you. Go figure.

Anyways so I asked this woman who looked like the leader/matriarch of the family if they are working on the tombs restoration, to which she just smiled, clearly not used to talking to stalking photographers.  My next question was from which part of India she had come to India. To this, a younger woman in the group responded

Hum log Panna Jila ke hain, MP se”  ( We are from district Panna in Madhya Pradesh )

Oh, wonderful, I have been to Panna with my wife and it is a beautiful place, we saw the diamond mines there. ( off-course I was talking to her in Hindi,  but I am not very good at translation)

But I was keen to talk to the matriarch as she was carrying a pile of wood on her head while others were making sure the kids stay in the flock.

So Amma, can I click your picture ?

he ehe hee , my picture ?

Yes, your picture

OK   ( Grins like a 6-year-old   🙂 🙂 🙂  )

Once she was comfortable, I clicked her picture without worrying about the settings on the camera and showed it to her.

I guess she had not seen her picture for a long time and on seeing the picture she blushed like a young bride but the sparkle in her eyes multiplied. That is when I got the picture I was looking for. Check them below and would love to hear your comments.

smiling women with pile of wood on head

 You want to take my picture? 🙂 🙂

woman blushing with hand on face bangles in hand wood on head

Oh God..look How I look in this picture….  🙂 🙂  !!!

smiling woman wearing bangles with fire wood on her head

OK, you can click one more picture… 🙂    🙂

I don’t think the final picture was possible without talking to her and though she actually kind of posed in the picture but I feel it is still better than most stiff portraits I  get when folks are conscious of being clicked. What do you say?  What is your favorite way to click people so that they are comfortable and do not pose for you?

But what I loved most about her was the warmth and exuberance she radiated every time she smiled, even though she was carrying a burden of firewood on her head, but she was not just happy he was enjoying every moment we were talking and clicking here. True Woman Of Substance I would say who can spread most radiating smile with a heavy burden on her head.

RESPECT, for you Amma, may your tribe increase. 

If you have liked this post check this one that I published on Women’s day with pictures of working women I met during my travels.

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  3 Responses to “Portrait of a Lady- How I took these portraits”

Comments (3)
  1. Such beautiful portraits. I love the innocence on their faces. She is beautiful too. 🙂

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