Year 2009. In one of some business trips I did to India I spent some hours in a Hindu temple, early in the morning, to catch a glimpse of the early morning habits of the locals. The temple precincts were busy with worshippers coming and going and many vendors of any kind, from oil to saffron, from wrist threads to flowers, making it very colourful and charming along the pathway.
As I walked with my camera in hands this girl vendor looked at me with (as I read it) a welcome smile and I thought this might indicate a sign of “no problems to take a photo“. I have to admite I am myself a shy person in public places and have problems to take photos of people as I feel I am stealing their privacy away in my camera. So when I read that sign I got relaxed to ask if I could take a photo with that smile she showed me first. She timidly nodded a yes while a senior lady nearby, also vendor, interposed to confirmed it was ok to press my shutter. I told her to choose the pose she wanted and I would then show her the result. She smiled looking at the camera and as I shoot she felt shy and tried to hide her face between her knees. When she looked up again I took this beautiful photo of hers, I read it as a candid, timid and very humble smile. I showed her the photos and she hide her face between her hands and try to look at them between her fingers. Oh! I wish I could have someone taking photos of her at that moment I was showing the photos, unbelievable beautiful moment!
I told her I would buy one item of her products laying over a towel on the grounds for every photo I took. She pointed to the senior lady products and waved her fingers between her products and the lady products. I interpreted she wanted to share my offer with the senior lady, which I found it a profound feeling of generosity and solidarity. I accepted and bought double. But after I bought the products the senior lady turned to me and pointed out to my camera and her face. She wanted also a photo of hers to pay me back my gesture.
I will come back with her photo.