Tale of an adventure - meeting Everyday people wherever they are

100 Strangers, 100 Personalities, 100 Stories

welcome to yet another episode

Published: April 20, 2022

To start off, the weather this morning (April 19, 2022) was rather excellent. And the sunshine in the morning means there is only one thing I have in mind and yes – you’ve guessed it right – being out and about throwing myself onto the street and into the midst of strangers and taking photos of them.

With that I left my house and went to the station and waited for about a minute or two. The train arrived and as I got onboard, however, unlike previous days today I found the train totally full, which means my back seat has already been stolen by someone before I got there. I noticed many people carrying large trolley bags today; perhaps they are on holidays – I thought. 

Although, the three-seater at the back on one side was taken, the single on the other was rather empty and I took it to catch some sunshine as it was by the windows. The government recently decided to offer public transport for free and people are flocking like birds everywhere. The decision came after the huge disruption of services due to large scale strike by the drivers. It was called “industrial action”. Well, action or inaction whatever that may be, getting something for free always comes with a cost, nonetheless.

People are also wearing masks a lot more these days partly because of these free travel facilities and increased crowds therefore in public areas, and as they obscure part of their faces when you look at them it comes off with some unease; well, at least for me. Even if they are smiling – in such proximity – you look at them and get some ominous feeling.  

Half an hour later, I got off at Museum Station and walked around Hyde Park and I cruised around pretty much the whole area and there I was standing at the intersection near Elizabeth St. She was not wearing a mask and I could see her pretty face from a distance. Crossing the street, I saw her getting into Hyde Park walking past me and then heading towards Anzac memorial. And that’s when I walked from behind to the side and said in my usual ways “hey, I would like to have a photo of yours. It’s for a project.”

She first wanted to know what kind of project it was and as I showed her the details she happily came along. At first, I was unsure as the where to take the photo. Furthermore, since she was wearing some high heels at that time, she pointed out it would be difficult for her to walk long distances with those heels. And hence, I decided to try out a nearby spot where the light seems somewhat promising and taking a few photos there, I decided to show her in the playback. After seeing those images that I just took, she seemed very excited of the outcome and as such I suggested that we walk a bit further and try out a separate location. As she agreed I took her to another location across the park and took a few more photos there as well.

She mentioned of her working as a fashion model for some time. I actually made an observation earlier during our shooting at the first place that she might have done this kind of photoshoots in the past judging by her facial expressions and poses. And I was right. She did fashion photography once some six years ago and fancies doing it again.

Interestingly, there have been days when I approached many people, and everybody turned me down today, however, I only made two approaches and they both said “yes” happily joining the project. One is south American and another Japanese.

So, here is Lili Beth from Ecuador who is now working as a nanny. As I was taking her photos, she needed very little guidance as to how to pose. I literally gave her one instruction and she followed suit along with many other poses that she improvised herself.

Before we wrapped up, she mentioned of one incident when she had her zipper open after using the toilet and people were telling her about it as she came out. That was incidentally in Hyde Park, and she couldn’t understand because of her limited usage of English. She feels somehow embarrassed about it even today although she seemed to me as a very confident personality.

On the bright side, it was also one of those days when after the first encounter I have a second one. A wonderful Japanese lady that I met right after this encounter was over. So, stay tuned…

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