Jyotir Lingum Yatra
Monday, December 16, 2002
Despite being only 95 KM from Pune, Bhimasankar was a rather remote town tucked in the Maharastra foothills with clean air, sweet people, and lots of charm. Places like this are some of what I like best about India, despite the 4 hour drive on twisty roads through pastoral countryside.
I don't mind it at all when people as me where we are from with simple curiousity and a welcoming attitude. The children were happy and friendly without expecting anything from us. The temple priest was delightful and pleasantly helpful through our puja to all of us, and I did not hear one argument about baksheesh (the charge for services). Even the sadhus and beggars were not obnoxious, which makes me inclined to me much more generous.
I may have even got some of my trademark shots of some of these children. Up to this point, I did not find any of the children, except maybe at this girl's school a couple of weeks ago, charming at all, let alone worth photographing. These little girls were different, with a simplicity and, if you will, purity, that I find so compelling photographically.
I gave them candies to thank them for letting me take my picture, but fell one candy short. I discretely slipped a rupee into the hand of what I would guess to be a 2 year old girl that I did not have candy for, mainly because I did not want her friends to snatch the money from her. She looked down, opened her hand, and broke into a small, yet knowing smile, and closed her hand back over the coin. I surely hope my portrait of my little Lakshmi comes out well!