I was shooting publicity stills for 'Coffeshop'-my close friend Ishaan Dutta's film in Goa, when I came across this amazingly vibrant rag-picker who was busy collecting thrown away plastic bottles from the set.
As usual,I couldn’t find my lighter, so asked this woman for a match box to light up my cigarette. She passed on the match box, giving me a casual indifferent look -completely ignoring the expensive camera in my hand. And that does hurt my pride once in a while-not that I am a show off-but it did take a lot to buy that one n deserved a longer look from anyone!
Goa is a heaven for tourists’ n film-makers …and the locals are quite used to people carrying heavy equipment around. So it was ok I guess to be ignored like that...(and if you are in India n not been to Goa- you surely are missing something)
However I loved her energy,body language n what she was wearing- the nice vibrant colors with all that metallic stuff around her neck, hands n feet. Quite a fashion statement actually! I wanted to shoot a pic but she wasn’t just in a mood and won’t smile. She asked me why I wanted to shoot her- I looked at her n said ‘because you got a more beautiful smile than the heroine in the film and I am going to ask the director to cast you in his next film’.
Now, who doesn’t want to feel good even if it’s a good joke! She just won't stop laughing after that- and I even noticed a hint of shyness spreading across her wrinkled face.
After that we had a few nice laughs n a few good pics.
I showed her the pics in the camera- she called her friends around, quite excited like a little girl ( I had to show them all one by one!) n finally said to me-
“ tu photo achee kheenchta hai”- (you take good photos...)
I hope she wasn't joking this time- it somehow always feels good to hear that!