“I don’t know her personally. Met her at the local market as we stopped by at Maring village in Manipur on our way to some other village. She was selling fresh vegetables from her garden and was calling out to us to buy them. That’s when I saw her face – and call it timing or luck, the sun was just setting making the lighting perfect for a picture. So I grabbed my camera and asked her if I can take a picture instead. She stared blankly at me, perhaps disappointed that I didn’t buy her vegetables. My first attempt failed.
I told her she was beautiful. She was indeed. In my eyes, the wrinkles on her face made her look even more beautiful and her eyes seemed like she had a story to tell. She smiled shyly and then, laughed a lot when I complimented her smile. Her laughter gave out a feeling of genuine happiness inside. That’s when I clicked the second photo – this picture. This time it came out good. I especially loved her wrinkles; it was as though I was able to capture this old lady’s lifetime of emotions – happiness, tears, and hardships. Also, I did end up buying the vegetables from her!” – Gautam Raj, Manipur
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