Photographer's Note

About 80 Km from Bangalore is a small village called Mudanahalli . A friend of mine visits this place once every month to be a volunteer for a medical checkup and medicine donation camp organised by a spiritual foundation in collaboration with a renowned hospital of Bangalore, for the villagers in this area. When he asked me if I want to join him one Sunday, I instantly said Yes.

I took my camera along with me just in case. We left the highway onto the dirt & dusty tracks which led to the village. When we reached we already saw hundreds of villagers already assembled there in an orderly queue. These people were genuinely poor as they came with a multitude of medical problems. I just could not take my camera out, I looked so phony even carrying it.

I waited outside after some work as a volunteer; since I was told that there were enough volunteers that day, thanks to the school children from the village, who are almost always more than willing volunteers. I stood by the road & saw this man sitting on the culvert. His eyes were boring into me with his deep intense look. I smiled at him, & it was then he asked "Nanna chitra togutiya?" in Kannada (the language of Bangalore & Karnataka state), which means "Will you take my picture?"

I would have had a shocked expression on my face, but the guy was quite cool. I tried to capture the intensity in his eyes as I took his picture & showed them to him on my camera LCD. He smiled…..In the BG, you can see the words written in Kannada script.

End of the day, it was an humbling experience, as we drove back thinking about the smiles on the faces of the villagers despite the poverty, the radiance in the people's eyes, the sign of hope.

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7851 W: 324 N: 16060] (56760)
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