We travel to see places – temples, forts, beaches, resorts…but what really makes a trip memorable are the people we meet. Anuradha shares her experience of travelling to a new destination and coming across interesting strangers…
I usually avoided photographing people, since I felt I might be invading their privacy, but of late, I have learnt to take their permission and click away. Here are some of my attempts from my last few trips….
There are those who are used to people photographing them – like this policeman at Pondicherry who helped us find the place we were looking for, and then cheerfully posed for us…. He said that people regularly asked him to pose, for he wore the Kepi – the trademark red hat, a reminder of the French influence in the area.
And then there were these men at Mount Abu, dressed in traditional Rajasthani attire, pushing a trolley, which they used to ferry both, luggage and people. But more importantly, they were there to give the kids a joyride. They hounded us from the minute we arrived, but turned back with a smile when we refused, and didn’t mind when I clicked them!
There are those who make the most of the tourist boom, whose golden tongue keeps us enthralled!
Our guide at Sajjangarh Fort was one of these…. He spoke with an enthusiasm rarely seen among guides, told us so many stories (for once, quite accurate, historically!) and when I told him to start his own blog/website, told me that he was completely satisfied with his life and the money he made, and didn’t really want anything more! He is truly the most contented person I have ever met!
Another is a young boy, probably in his teens, yet he works magic with his hands – or rather, his ‘sleight of hand’! when he called us, saying that he would show us some magic tricks, I was skeptical, but he kept us laughing as he worked his magic, and even my son, who can never sit still, and who has a shorter attention span than anyone else, couldn’t take his eyes off! As we took his photograph, he blithely told us that his magic tricks are on youtube!
Finally, there are those who are the true wanderers – those whose souls cannot rest in one place… such as this old man we met at Anegundi (Hampi). He has lived in 4 states in India, travelled all over the country, and visited so many places I have only dreamt about! He spends 6 months in an ashram, helping the less fortunate, and spends the rest of the year satisfying his wanderlust!
After meeting him, I can’t think of calling myself a traveller!