I had been walking, cursing at the baking earth and naked sun while passing through a construction site in Gurgaon (India) on my way to the bus stop from Power Grid Corp., where I was doing my industrial training this summer. The building that was coming up at the site seemed to prompt me in its own subtle, imposing manner to photograph its rising, and I was clicking with my camera in no time. I often get these sorts of fits, taking random shots of the inanimate, a behavior that is usually ignored when it happens, by man and beast alike.
So it was with surprise that I saw three urchins watching me clicking away, standing close by, attentive to what I was doing. The tallest among them, a girl, made her way behind me, shifting her weight to her toes to match my height, trying to grab a peek into the viewfinder, giggling at my interest in the building where her dad could have easily been a daily wager. The children's sudden request — "Bhaiya humari fotu kheench do (take our photo, brother)" — seemed amusing, even though I yielded to their request; but I was struck by how beautifully each one of them posed, with not a tinge of artificiality, and an innocent indifference to the fact that they wouldn't get to keep the photograph…I showed them their image that was captured on the camera, and it drew careless laughs and merriment from them. There was something about that laughter that was far more real in quality than what I was used to. Or maybe it was my heightened sense of imagination…I can't be sure.
All the same, I realized that it isn't really the baking earth or the sun that's the real cause of our consternation. At least I am certain of that now.