Tale of an adventure - meeting Everyday people wherever they are

100 Strangers, 100 Personalities, 100 Stories

welcome to yet another episode

Published: April 28, 2022

There has been rains for the last few days and yet the last thing I wanted to do today was to stay at home. Had a few other priorities to sort out yesterday but today (April 27, 2022) I was rather super impatient to get back into my project. 

In fact, I was actually planning to go to the autumn gardens to see those vibrant colors – the yellows, reds and oranges – but because of rain I had to postpone my visit at least until next week, I guess. If things go as planned – if weather becomes sunny and shiny again, I will be hitting the roads, off to blue mountains very, very soon. But today I am going to the CBD and that’s it. Its final. Yes, only one word – FINAL – with a big “F” at the beginning!

So, no matter what I was determined to get out and into the unknown since this morning. It was an overcast day – gloomy, rainy, wet, slippery, empty, and yet with all its defects it still turned out to be full of fun with lots of faces, lots of approaches – and last but not the least – lots of “sorry no”s here and there.

As I came to station it was three more minutes to go before the train would arrive. The station was rather empty today and as I got on board, I noticed my backseat already in possession of someone else, although the compartment was rather empty. I settled into one of those middle seats by the windows. There was no sunshine today and in no time, I saw it started to rain in full swing. The droplets of rain smashed into the glasses only to obscure the vision – the parks, benches, people, trees, houses – they all looked like paintings through the windows from inside.

When I was young my parents always told me to take an umbrella when its rainy, so I don’t get drenched. I remember it all the time. I certainly remembered those cautions today as I was stepping out, but I still didn’t take up the umbrella – partly because it’s a hurdle to walk with. So, when I saw it was downpouring right from the get-go, I was rather worried about my camera and other equipment but for a minute because I am going to the CBD – NO MATTER WHAT! I reminded myself!

I got off at St James and since it was raining, I abandoned the idea to walk around Hyde Park and instead I went straight to the Westfields. I walked around to spot something under the shed and still well lit – suitable enough to capture an image into my camera on a poorly lit midday. Wondering around I stumbled upon near the far end – next to the building called The Strand – where I would love to take a photo. I stood there and asked a few people if they would like to join, but they all turned me down. Even on a rainy-day people seemed to be too busy to spare ten-fifteen minutes; life goes on no matter what.

And with that initial setback I decided to head back to Hyde Park to see if someone would come along although it was still drizzling. The morning downpour is luckily now gone. I was right at the entrance to St James station at Macquarie St across Barracks Museum under the trees while I noticed her coming towards the intersection leaving Archibald Fountain behind. It was but for a moment I hesitated if I should approach since it was raining but that’s about it – a moment of hesitation. I went ahead waving my hand in my usual way “Hey” “Can I ask you something”


“I would love to take a photo of yours. It’s for a project

And this time to my delight I heard “sure” without any hesitation whatsoever.

I thanked her for coming along during this rainy day as we shook hands. “Jackie” – she added.

Her hands were pretty warm. “Wow you got very warm hands; my hands are cold” – I remarked.

“Cold hands, warm hearts” – she added.

I dint know of course she used to write poetry as we started talking but to my delight and slightly to my surprise she added “I published a book in poetry” a few minutes later.

So, here is Jackie Areni. Born and raised in Australia and currently in the last year of school who also does photography as a hobby. Her passion in photography is candid. It’s a genre that is widely popular among many photographers apparently because the photos don’t look posed, boring and rather mundane. Although I love to take candid photos too, I also love to take portraits as well. I took a few photos long time ago while attending the “festival of color” abroad. And those are some of my all-time favorite pictures as I still continue my journey.

I certainly noticed her hippie style which I later mentioned during our chat. Although she is of American and Italian descent, I didn’t ask though if she is influenced by the pop culture. One thing she mentioned that she is kinda introvert – loves to spend time with herself. Was it then because of her love for poetry? Well, hard to say but having a passion can make people introvert as it gives them immense pleasure while immersing themselves onto it, I suppose.

Although I thought it was rather cute, but she remembered with some embarrassment of once mistakenly holding the hands of an unknown person at her age ten, walking up to him from the side grabbing his hand thinking that it was her father.

Since her name was Jackie, I remarked “Jackie Chan” earlier with a grin. “Well, my stepfathers’ last name is actually Chan” – she added. She loves Japan although never been there while visiting Rome and coliseum with her mom. Her father being born in Sicily and when that name was mentioned I remembered of some of the finest olives that I always fancied. When I asked, “so have you been to Sicily?” “No because I went with my mom” (who is American) – she added.

I got enough time to shoot her while I was constantly thinking of rains coming along ruining this encounter but luckily it didn’t happen. We took a few more photos before we wrapped up and inspired by one of my previous encounters, we decided to do something just for fun to entertain ourselves.

“After the deepest rumblings there comes the present showers” – I remined myself. Well, there was no rumblings yet as I was taking her photos let alone “deepest”. She was calm and patient while I was busy with my camera. I remarked about the shutter sound of the camera as a gun firing it bullets to fill in the silence during our chat. “I love that sound” – she remarked.

Later during the day, after this encounter, I went to Westfield one more time and while there I noticed those benches. Colorful, sturdy and yet lying empty as they were wet because of fresh rains and while walking around I stumbled upon Martin Place. I took a photo of the flowers being laid down two days ago in memory of those fallen soldiers who lost their precious lives fighting the Ottomans during the first world war.

We hugged each other a few times as we departed – a goodbye hug. And as I was coming home after all of these, my mind got occupied thinking about those soldiers. More than hundred years have gone by. Perhaps on a rainy day like this they had to embark on a journey saying goodbye to their loved ones; a goodbye kiss or a hug – never to return. Wars – currently there is yet another war going on. More than twelve (12) million people have been displaced so far, many have been killed. Perhaps hundred years from now some people will do the same. Lay down some flowers to remember those fallen. But they will be gone – much, much earlier; only those flowers will be there left on a rainy day to comfort them, to listen to the cries of those whose voices were silenced.

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