Archive for July 8th, 2009
Photos are about telling stories. It is easy to make up stories when looking at certain images. One is drawn into the image. One almost senses an intuitive knowledge of the scene, of the story. This is a face of the collective unconscious presenting itself.
I took this photo in Jaipur, also known as the Pink City. I took a number of photos of this man as I passed him twice on my wandering through the older central part of the city. The first time I saw him he was begging in a half-hearted way as though it was too much work to do otherwise. A walk through the area the next day I saw him twice; first slowly walking along occasionally holding out his hand while begging for a handout, then in this scene savouring a minimeal obained from a street vendor. He knew I was taking photos of him. I was kind of hard to miss being the only white guy in view and packing my camera as is normal for me when travelling. When I finished taking a set of photos, I went to the same vendor and bought a similar minimeal which I ate there, near him.
Then, ready to leave, I thanked him. Strange, he never asked me for money, something I expected. For him, I would have easily parted with some money. But, I didn’t give him any money. Somehow, I thought that he preferred to be seen by me as a man, not a beggar. It was one of those “I-Thou” moments that Martin Buber wrote about so long ago. Needless to say, I won’t be forgetting this man who so briefly, yet so powerfully, touched my life.