Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Saturday at Horniman Circle

They were three sisters, rag pickers.

While my guests were busy admiring the architecture, I coaxed the three into posing for me.
The third sister was camera-shy, but relaxed when I spoke in Tamil.

Where do you live, I asked them. They said, "We live in Matunga Dharavi, and you?"

And in an instant, what started out as an interview, memsahib talking to commoner, became a conversation among equals.

I was going to wear my environmental hat, and ask them about recycling, waste hazards and self-help groups. Instead, we spent the time chatting about our families and roots and life in the city of Mumbai.

I was richer for it.

- Deepa


Aadil Desai said...

How interesting to talk about something like that without any inhibitions. How many people would do that in Mumbai? Great reading your blog entries out here.


Ravi GH said...

I appreciate your patience.

It very nice to see people like you.

Keep it up,
Ravi, Bangalore.

Anonymous said...

How magnanimous. You spoke to slumdwellers and instantly blogged about it. Worthy of a book.

Deepa said...

I wish people leaving sarcastic comments would have the courage to leave their names or links to their blogs as well! The internet produces so many cowards.

melroy said...

This is a great article. The fact that you bought a smile to their faces changes everything for them.