The Power of A Camera
Traveling through India has taught me many lessons. The cows won't move even when you honk, and they will proceed make their way across the road at a leisurely pace. Among many other *very important* things, I discovered that cameras appear to be the subject of a village child's dreams.
One of my favorite things ever (be prepared, I will say this about a lot of things I experience in India), is being well in to a road trip through the country. More specifically, my favorite thing is who I see along the way.
Time does not follow its usual behavior while driving these chaotic streets. It's understandable that the hours blur together while gazing out of the window, singing along to the Hindi songs of my childhood. Every few minutes, the familiar wide-eyes of a child in a nearby car/bus/truck catch my attention.
Offering a smile, I receive twenty in return. Before long, a whole group of people are laughing, smiling, and waving in my direction. The muffled "Hello!"s become clear as I roll down the window. The kids point to my camera. Through many occurrences of what I now call 'the camera routine' has taught me that holding it up inquisitively is guaranteed to result in eager nods and unique poses. Young girls proudly show off their mehendi designs, while their brothers jokingly stick out their tongues. Mothers chuckle as they wave with one hand, clutching their sleeping babies with the other. Men put on their serious faces, as if modeling their intricately curled mustaches for the next edition of a magazine.
Not only have I captured memories through cameras, but I've allowed them to be created in the first place as well. The 'camera routine' breaks down the barrier between myself and the wonderful people I am surrounded by.
A camera turns a kid showing you their happiest smile, into them showing you their silliest face. These are the faces I will never forget.