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A photo essay of a traffic signal in Mumbai

March 12, 2007

We were waiting at a traffic signal. A truck on one side. And a eunuch in a red saree wandered towards us, begging. A common sight really. But I was curious as to what she looked like, what kind of a person she was.

A taxi stood a little behind us, the driver quite disgruntled because the light wasn’t changing fast enough and he had had to pay the eunuch, unlike us who were in an airconditioned car

I rolled down the windows and beckoned the eunuch with my camera. She didn’t want her (his?) picture taken but she wasn’t annoyed, just shy. I gave her Rs 5 for the picture though she didn’t demand it. She was giggling.

I was distracted by the endearing little boy on the other side, selling flowers. Roses.

He saw me with my camera and was curious. His dark intense eyes held me in their grip as he came nearer. His curiousity kept me clicking. He stood and posed, a hint of a smile on his lips

He didn’t try to sell the flowers. He seemed dumbfounded that someone found him interesting enough to take a picture. I tried to smile and looked into his eyes…

Only then did I understand his life. His pain. A childhood all but gone. These eyes are going to haunt me tonight.

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Related Reading: Street children denied an education

10 Comments leave one →
  1. March 12, 2007 9:55 pm

    awesome!! I even do not see any hint of a smile on his face…
    Thank you, Nita!

  2. Queen Minx permalink
    March 12, 2007 10:36 pm

    ‘These eyes are going to haunt me tonight.’

    Oh, Nita, me too!

    Bless him.

    xx

  3. March 12, 2007 10:59 pm

    really touching..

  4. March 13, 2007 6:30 am

    This child’s eyes reveal that he has seen and experienced in life situations which few children in North America and Europe have – he has immense gravity. For one so young, his caregivers have ensured that he understands to present himself as tidy and appealing in the marketplace where he toils. It is this child’s innate dignity which prevents him from smiling the “cute” and sycophantic smile of a seasoned street trader. He is far more beautiful than the roses he is marketing and it is a true shame that his value is so sadly underscored! This is a tremendous photo, Nita – very moving! And the “eunuch” also projects a certain dignity.

  5. March 13, 2007 8:15 am

    Thanks all of you! It was really wonderful to share these pictures and listen to what you had to say. Thats why I love blogging.🙂
    And Suburban, thank you for your insight.

  6. March 13, 2007 12:39 pm

    Love those fotos…really touching…really apreciate your presentation Nita…..

    Cheers

  7. June 19, 2008 3:10 pm

    Some day sweetie, try walking with those ‘endearing little boys around’. You will get a taste of the real Bombay. Oops, Mumbai.

  8. C. from G. permalink
    August 23, 2008 11:12 pm

    Diviya, would you help me walking with these boys and report about their lives?

  9. Utkarsh permalink
    November 24, 2009 7:11 pm

    All the snaps r very nice n ur discription about every snaps is clear so every one can feell that he/she is taking pictures….

    cheer

  10. Utkarsh permalink
    November 24, 2009 7:13 pm

    All the snaps r very nice n ur discription about every snaps is clear so every one can feell that he/she is taking pictures….

    cheer

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