There is a saying in this country: the old age is like wearing very heavy clothes. She is someone’s mother, and she is probably a grandmother as well. She was young once, a young teen with dreams and hopes, she probably had a family and children and a home. Where had the normal life broken and why? Poverty when old is destroying souls that are almost at the end of their presence here on this Earth. Why should this be so?
I noticed this young woman on the stairs of a fancy shop, and instinctively I put the Nikon to my eyes. When I framed this, she had her eyes closed and I thought she is asleep. She opened her eyes right before the shutter sound. She took me by surprise, to be honest. I asked her if she is all right. Stupid question, I know.
What I believe her eyes tell me, you ask ? Looking at her now, her expression is something of a puzzle to me. She looks somehow defiant, and she dares me to judge her. She is not surprised, at least not in an angry fashion. This is not the looks of someone who is utterly defeated. In fact, I could get an almost similar look from a well-to-do lady, coming out from a shopping mall, if you get my meaning.
I begin to feel that the looks and the situation she appears to be in do not match somehow; I have seen quite a few people who were living on the streets and their looks, with exceptions, was something else entirely. She is not looking at me shy or angry or defeated; she made a normal eye contact and she smiled afterwards.
What I can say for certes is that her eyes and their mute words will stay with me for a long time.
And you know what? I have learned something today. I learned that this sort of photograph is only half of the story. The other half is contained in a few words exchanged with that human being. Tell the world his/her story, perhaps we could all learn something out of it.