They were playing with heated stones right under the sun’s nose, without a hint of discomfort or irritation caused by the thwarting heat, around afternoon. There was no one around the area to discourage them from playing with each other and their elders also seemed extremely calm about it. They were silent, excited and convinced about their game and they didn’t bother anyone around as well. When I went up to them to ask their names and request pictures, it felt as if they didn’t understand me speaking to them but they loved my attention. It was comforting to witness them trying hard to pose and smile to the camera when they didn’t even know who I was and the purpose of my attention towards them, but they did what I told them to do, nevertheless.
They looked at me as though I was the one they were waiting for to click their pictures and make them laugh. I tried to request them that they keep playing their games, which was what they called ‘stick and stones’, but they didn’t understand me well and stopped playing for some picture time. I wanted some shots of them running on stones while smiling and laughing, awkwardly, around one another, enjoying some time before they were to attend to some chores as they resided in slums but I got these candid shots instead. These are the best ones as well!
These remind me of the way one chooses to live life: while there are problems faced due to poverty, hunger, unemployment, etc. in their homes, there is that place where you stick a smile and share a laugh around those who you feel comfortable with. Because then, you’re not only sharing your joy, you’re sharing your struggle without having to say it out loud.