The Stranger :
The Story :
He is smiling alright but he made me cry. Cry big time!
They were all amused. Tears were rolling down my cheeks uncontrollably. Arti was standing next to me and her eyes were teary too, but unlike me her tear ducts seemed to be in better control. I was trying hard to resist from crying but to no avail. This fellow and his help were smiling sheepishly. Since the tears were not stopping, I did the next best thing. I was wiping away my tears with my palms like kids would do. There was a truck parked nearby and the people standing by it also found the situation to be highly amusing and funny. I ran to this bakery in front of us and frantically tried to pry open the refrigerator. Nevertheless the fact remains that we were both crying standing on the street near Belandur Junction
Before I delve further into the story of how I took this portrait, let me tell you few things. I am from Andhra Pradesh and most of you would know of our phenomenal love towards spicy food and also our uncanny ability to handle such intensity of spiciness.
That being said, after an eventful day of good shopping we came by this mirchi bajji stall at Belandur Junction. It goes without saying I wanted to eat some and consequentially me and arti asked for a plate of bajji. They were made of Shimla mirch, the huge light green ones which are not very spicy but they tasted delightful with the tasty pudina chutney. Happy with the first round, we thought it is only fitting to have another one. So we were gladly served another plateful of mirchi bajjis. Only this time two of the bajjis were not made of the usual Shimla mirch, but instead we found the spicy green chilly used for cooking curries. I ate one while Arti decided to pass on it. I liked the hotness of this chilli but the last bite did it for me.
The spiciness was inexplicable. I was running frantically for water. And then we went into the bakery to have a pastry. And yes, the tears were still rolling down. 🙂
I mean imagine the situation. It was so funny as we were running here and there after that spicy encounter.
After the craziness subsided, I thought what an interesting evening and what a memorable event. I thought I should capture something to remember this story and also I had read about the 100 Strangers project that morning. It all seemed to fit together. We went to him with my camera out in my hand and asked him if I could take his photo. He was flustered as I asked him. He seemed to be embarrassed but obliged. He wasn’t laughing fully at first but his friends did good in teasing him saying he is the star et al which is when I captured this portrait where he smiles.
Just incase you are still wondering who this person is, he was the one making the bajjis. 😉
There goes my first portrait for the 100 Strangers portrait. Keep a watch on this space to see how my portraiture evolves over a 100 encounters.
Here’s another shot of him. I forgot to ask his name. If you ever have a mirchi bajji at his stall near Belandur Junction, find out his name will you? 🙂