I was in the Kalighat Kali temple area for a brief outing after work &
I need to mention that it is a favorite haunt of mine cause of the sheer bustle and activity, always brimming with people
Time to test my new 50mm lens, a Nikon AF 50mm f/1.8D
I made a concious decision to not carry any other lenses and so portraits and head shots were very much on my mind
My very first approach was Selvi and it took some effort even communicating with him. He was roasting corn (maze) on a hand cart on a coal stove. He was struggling somebit with the job and seems that he was standing in for someone else.
He was from village near Chennai is what I could gather. He could not speak or understand the local Bengali language, nor Hindi or English. My Tamil (language in Tamil Nadu state) is next to zero. So even basic communication with him was a big issue & I used sign language to show my appreciation of his moustache & that I wanted to take his shot – to which he smiled and nodded.
I decided to test how he went about his business, I asked him the price of his roasted corn & using his fingers showed me the figure 8.
Nah surely he was not the regular vendor – was the confirmation. You cannot do business that way !!
Been a very long time I had to use sign language to communicate. Here in India each state has one distinct language, or more. There are quite a few Indian languages which are Greek and Latin to me, even though I do follow more than a dozen of those mainstream languages en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_India#Scheduled_languages
I took 4 images & he was contantly looking down on his corn to keep rotating them so they don’t get burned out. This was the only shot I could manage of him facing the camera
Guess I spent about 5 minutes with him, a half minute on my camera and the rest 4 1/2 minutes building the communication
I tried showing him the reviews of the shots but I doubt he even had a good look
Time to thank him & move on
This picture is #05 in my 100 strangers project. Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at the 100 Strangers Flickr Group page
Thanks Selvi for being my fifth stranger
Tagged: , 100 strangers , selvi , tamil nadu , tamilian , tamil , kalighat , kali temple , kolkata , calcutta , bengal , india , 50mm , 50mm f/1.8d , nikon d7000