Dreams in his eyes

It was around 3:30 pm and we were on the roads of Madhya Pradesh for almost 5 hours now. We were desperate for a cup of tea but had not been able to locate any tea stall for almost an hour. We stopped at first place that looked like a roadside tea stall, albeit meant for truckers. Tea was not ready. The preparations began from putting fire to the wood. The tea was not going to be ready for another 15 minutes at least.

The kids of the stall owner were roaming around, and they were perfect for some candid shots. More kids from around started gathering around me as soon as they saw my camera. This chap was herding his cattle at some distance. He came running towards me and said, “uncle…uncle….will you take my photograph?” As soon as I nodded affirmatively, he pulled out a small comb from the back-pocket of his torn half pant, combed his well oiled hair, and posed for this shot looking straight into my lens with a charming smile on his face.

I could see a lot of dreams in his eyes. Can you?

Were they the dreams of owning a bigger herd of cattle? Or, owning a tea stall? Or becoming a film star? Whatever they may be, but surely those dreams were taking away the drudgery of his daily chores and making his life merrier.

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