6.08.2007

A New Day, Another Friend

"Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations."
Psalm 46:10
Camera Ready
June 2007

My iTunes: No One Like You by David Crowder Band

This is a long story everyone...I do hope you will stay to read it...

I write a lot about this wonderful city and this quaint little neighborhood that I call home at the everyday. Every now and then I am priviledged enough to be let into a different side of this city and be a witness to all the wonderful cultures that are literally at my doorstep.

Today is a really good example of why I love this city. As I rode the 120 bus to Southall this morning, I caught the attention of an elderly Sikh (pronounced: seek) man. It must have been because I had smiled at him as we were getting on the bus.

SIDENOTE: Most people keep to themselves on public transportation here...there isn't a lot of eye contact or idle chit chat with strangers. Then there is me. I am smiling at everyone trying to genuinely be polite. Sometimes I get surprised smiles back but most people are wondering if something is medically wrong with me.

OK, back to the story...

We tried to converse as best we could. He is from India and had very broken English. He said he was going to the temple to worship. After he realized I knew what he was talking about, he asked me if I wanted to go with him but I explained that I am a Jesus follower but thanked him for inviting me. I mentioned my husband is a charity worker and that he had been to India and he seemed to enjoy that.

Being the blogger I am, as we rode, I was already wondering how exactly I was going to share this with all of you. How can I explain this interesting man and his kindness to me? How can I show this is what is so wonderful about living in this diverse city?

Then I knew what I had to do...

You know what is next right? I got out my camera and asked him if I could take his picture. I knew I needed two shots and I wanted to get them right. I moved in front of him and looked up just in time to see him fixing his very long beard...he already looked just fine but I found it heartening that he was trying to clean up. Shot one done. Then I asked him to grab his cane like he had been holding it the whole time we were talking...shot two done.

What an awesome day! I am really happy with both of these images. His eyes are so nice in this one...deep and caring. I like the way his white turbin and beard are surrounding his face. He looks...happy and quite satisfied with himself. I couldn't help myself with the bottom image. What great hands. Weathered by age and life but strong nonetheless.

I still can't believe I actually took my camera out. I do hope that I have been able to give you some of a glimpse into my day today...

Strong Hands
June 2007

31 comments:

JAM said...

Anna, those are both world-class images. Really great. The story makes them even better.

Moksha Gren said...

Stunning, Anna. I love the textures of the top picture. The smooth turbin, the stratchy beard, and the soft, wrinkled skin surrounding those eyes.

My only complaint was that you didn't go to the temple with him.

Anna said...

On any other day I would have at least walked there with him but I was meeting a friend for my birthday lunch...

Glad that you liked the pics...

Moksha Gren said...

That's fair...I still reserve the right to complain about it though ;)

Anna said...

Gotcha! ;)

Tracy said...

I'm with you. I smile at everyone. I'm always surprised at how sour most people are. It shouldn't surprise me anymore, but it does.

I wouldn't have gone to temple either. I'm proud of you for telling him that you are a follower of Jesus. Most people would not have been brave enough to do that.

Moi said...

beautiful pics, Anna..loved both of them immensely...and a very touching post....Sikhs are some of the most handsome men back in India....its a religion born out of Hinduism and shares some ideas with Hinduism while opposing others like idolatry, an organized priesthood, and the caste system ......the current PM of India, Manmohan Singh is one.

Anna said...

I figure if he is nice enough to ask me to go with him, I can answer honestly while still being polite....we were very respectful to eachother. :) He was quite kind.

Sarch said...

Ok Anna....you just created my all-time favorite Anna post. This one goes in the record books.

I find myself getting emotional just looking at these two photos. Those eyes, how incredible! I wish I could have met this man.

Thank you for being a living witness by telling him you are a follower of Jesus. I can't help but wonder what his reaction was to that. Did he comment on your faith?

Man I love visiting this blog!

Mark said...

These images remind me some I took of an old slide guitarist in Arkansas. Difference is he was already performing in public and I was just another guy with a camera.

Back in my photojournalist days, I never had a problem approaching perfect strangers with my shutter finger going crazy.

Now that it's not my job, though, I find myself hesitating to aim my camera at people I don't know, regardless of whether I speak to them.

Good job. This illustates why some folks get amazing people photos and some folks don't.

Mark said...

Linkage to the slide guitarist (I didn't get as close as you, either).

Here

Elaine said...

Anna, these are wonderful shots and really give us an insight into your meeting. Thank you for the story to go along with the photos! I would be like you, smiling and greeting the people I see--it's a fairly normal thing to do in Missouri, and I'm sure the habit would follow me whereever I went!

Chad Oneil said...

Great stuff, Anna, Wow!

Good post.

Good "Crowder" song too ;)
I love the little drum bridge part, if that makes sense.

John Roberts said...

These are two of your best. I wish I had the outgoing personality to ask strangers if I could photograph t

Mike said...

Anna, I think these are two of my favorite pictures yet. They really capture his personality and his essence. You have out done yourself!

Just keep taking that camera out. The story to go along with it is magnificent also. Wow, what a day.

Thanks for your post today. It is funny because I came very close to posting a porch this morning but decided to wait until tomorrow.

By the way I am going to North Carolina Monday. I will probably miss posting for about 3 days. Thought you would like to know I was heading for your country. I will drink some sweet tea for you.

My camera, at least the little one will be along.

Beverly said...

Outstanding. I had friends who lived in Southall and ministered among Sikhs.

Faye Pekas said...

What a wonderful story, Anna. I guess I am like you because I talk to strangers all the time. I love when you have a chance meeting with a stranger and even though you only speak a few words, you're aware that something special happened, rather like a gift to both of you.

Good for you being brave enough to ask to take a photo. He looks very kind and wise.

Stacy said...

You captured two of my loves: faces of old people (the lines show so much character) and hands. :) I'll have to post a couple of my favorites of each for you.

In showing the two pictures together, it brings more of an idea of what this man was like, his silent strength, wisdom and kindess.

Thanks for taking the time to share. Those pictures definitely tug at the heart strings.

photowannabe said...

What a breathtakingly beautiful man. The love just shines out of his eyes.
My husband talks to strangers all the time and sometimes gets a startled smile and bit of conversation back. I'm a bit more shy and wish I could take more personal pictures.
Your witness was God led and I don't think it offended him at all.

kenju said...

Anna, they are just WONDERFUL! I think you ought to consider publishing a book of your photos from your time over there.

talj said...

WOW! wonderful shots Anna, really wonderful! Both show the viewer so much about this gentleman, what a great experience for you!

Have a lovely weekend {{HUGS}}

Mark said...

You ought to carry around copies of a model release form. I know it sounds a bit obsessive, but professional photographers recommend them.

You never know when you might want to sell a photo, and it can save you some heartache down the line.

Admittedly, that does take some of the personal touch out of the experience, and can make people refuse instead of accept your invitation to be photographed. But, just sayin'.

Melody said...

I can't believe how awesome and just how powerful those images of the man is. You captured him lovely. You really did. Thank you for sharing.

Like you I smile at *most* people. My dad has always said to try and make someone's day a little brighter each day and a smile can do that.

I'm with Kenju - I would love to see your images in a coffee table book. If you ever publish one, please let me know.

Jackie said...

I love the off center feel and the connection from his eyes.

beautiful image of the heart of any city-the people. :)

Abraham Lincoln said...

A wonderful post and great photography.

Abraham Lincoln

Ash said...

Beautiful story and images Anna. The second shot is so poignant.

srp said...

These are absolutely stunning... you captured the kindness of his eyes and he really does have a content look on his face.

John said...

amazing shots

Christy said...

My eyes are welling up with tears at both the story and images. God bless you, Anna. You are a bright light.

CG said...

Amazing shots.He has such a kind face.

Mrs Wibbs said...

Anna this is a delightful post and I love the way you have managed to capture the essence of this lovely old Indian man in two shots!!