Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Little India, through the lens

The week where we learnt about photojournalism in our photo communication class, we had an assignment on the photo shoot field trip to Penang's very own Little India @ King Street.

The day started off a bit cloudy. I feared that the photo shoot might not work out too well as planned. Anyhow, we set out taking photographs right after we reached the amusingly colourful streets of Little India.

As I walk along, my mind kept twisting around, while my hands were holding my camera stably. At that instant, my ‘perfectionist’ character came back to play, trying to figure out the perfect shot I can capture along the narrow streets. But that’s where the problem sank in, the more perfect I wanted to be, the less perfect my photos turned out to be. I kept questioning myself why are my photos so ordinary?

Culturally sexy

Culturally sexy

Suddenly, the weather turned gloomy and gradually droplets of rain started falling. I was still trying to search for the ‘inspiration’, through the drizzles. I looked around and I realized, as the day become darker due to the rainy weather, the colour at Little India never changes. It still remained so flamboyant and cheerful, the culture of Indian still held on so strongly, despite they unwelcoming weather. It is something like the scene in Malaysia. As far as we do not want to admit openly, the privilege of the Indian community is really marginalized in the society. But they still hold on to their principles and culture strongly, they still fight for the right to be in this very nation. The signs and traces of colourful bangles and beautiful saress never leave.

Golden Traces

Golden Traces

Then I continued strolling, I was walking passed a T-junction and I casually turned back to see whether I missed anything interesting. My eyes were browsing through the place and they stopped at a Chinese handicapped beggar at the corner of the road. I stopped to observe. Many passerby walked passed him, did not bother showing any mercy while he looked towards their directions. Occasionally, some soft-hearted people will take out a few sens to give it to him, but most of the time, people just walked through his shadows. Somehow I felt his helplessness in the eyes behind his old pair of spectacles.

Shattered Heart

Shattered Heart

In Little India, beside the ubiquitous saree and jewellery shops, are the food stalls, selling nuts, peas and candies.

Of peas and nuts

The whole group of us were standing and hanging around his nutty-pea-ty-candy-y stall, and I find it really hard to detect this slightest smile. I tried giving it to him first and he gave me a little nod and a teeny weeny bit of smile, still learning how to smile.

However, besides the nutty guy, the one most beautiful thing about Little India is the people wear a contented happy smile on their face most of the time. They might just have a pathetic number of customers to their stalls, but they serve with a grateful heart. They welcome the visitors into their shop open-heartedly. You might just be someone who just happened to walk passed their stalls finding out what are they selling or offering, but to them, you are the person who has lighted up their rainy day with the slightest glimpse of sunray. They have adapted to the ‘no-sales-today’ kind of life, as long as they receive a smile from you, they have actually made the sales for the day. Easy, simple and happy.

Generation’s Determination
Happy Smile

As we were leaving the place, Veen Dee and Esther walked passed a Indian florist stall. They stopped to choose and buy the flowers, while I was taking photos of the beautiful flowers on sale. After they paid for the flowers, I was still snapping the photos of the flowers. Then suddenly, the Indian florist handed me a loose bouquet of red carnation.

Day # 31 of Project 365

The Modelling Flowers
The Modelling Flower

As I blankly looked at him, he hand signaled me a 'camera snapping' action, telling me to take photos with these bunch of flowers that he just passed to me.

The flowers were given intentionally for a photo, so, tell me, how can this not be the photo of the day? :)

He took back the bouquet of flower after the snap, headed over to an old refrigerator and took out a flower bit (i called it flower bit cos i don't know what's it's called, i asked people, i searched in the internet, and no attempt were successful) for me.

I show you want I meant by flower bit.


As in just the 'head' of a stalk of flower. Hehe.

Anyway, so Esther was asking: 'Yer, why we don't have one? Why only she have?'

He didn't know what to respond and was scratching his head, smiling diffidently not knowing what to do.

Haha, such cute Indian florist. First is the carnation then is the 'flower bit'.

He just made my day when I was dreading the fact that I havn't took enough good photos.

Wonderful. :)


liow yingtian said...

lol. falling in love. weet

hahah kidding :p

Joie said...

Less perfect is already perfect. You have the eye of a photographer. Bring it on!

Chin Fern said...

Liow ying tian. i didn't fall in love with the indian florist for heaven sake. hahha.

Thanks for the constant 'boost' Joie!