They allow me to be that representative. Even though they are aware of the difficulty of being photographed outside of this courtyard, they allow me to take them to a nearby wall and work for perhaps an hour in front of the entire village. As with so many places, the men stand to the side and make their presence felt. Although it feels benign to me, the women sense something much deeper. They nonetheless stand proud and with dignity for their portraits.
After we finish outside, we hurry back to the home and I can feel the relief in each one of the women, the girls. They go ahead and make tea for me and for the other guests, and then seem to want more from my camera. The images are spontaneous, fun. The women are in this moment without the scrutiny of the men, and are more or so themselves. Two stand in front of me, then three and then five. This is their chance to orchestrate the session, and I am more than willing to stand down.
The two women above are the teacher and cousin of the teacher. The teacher's name is Krishna, and her name is engrained in my mind with a deep fondness. Like the two women in this portrait, her face is pure kindness and exudes a most divine light. I have seen this light in her classroom, and in the way she makes tea and in her smile when we do go back to her home for tea after class.
Her school and this village is on my mind at this time as funding is being sought to reopen the schools of Humana People to People India in this area. Should their faces speak to you, then you may certainly contact me with your thoughts and suggestions through the newly designed website courtesy of Patrick Luu.
Halim Ina Photography