Now that's the shot you wanna have!

“Now that's the shot you wanna have!” This phrase became a joke with me Hardik and Deepti during our days traveling together. I heard it from Hardik too many times to count.

Over the years he has developed a tendency to think he knows exactly what photographers want. I guess he is often right. So many people with a camera just want to shoot what everyone else shoots, but I don’t. His guess rate for what shot I actually wanted to have was not very high. Every time he’d say the phrase I’d laugh and go on searching for my images.

Eventually, Deepti and I both started joking about it, parodying Hardik. If there was any stereotypically interesting scene around, whoever saw it first would say “Now, that’s the shot you wanna have!"

Hardik is a pretty observative guy though. After two weeks of mostly missing, he finally did find a “Shot I wanted to have” on the night before we left for Delhi.

So many activities in India look strangely photogenic. That was the case with the road workers spraying sand over asphalt along a road near Hardik’s house. He noticed them and immediately called me. "Oh, man, you've gotta come now! There's smoke, there's light! It looks incredible!" 

I remembered seeing the road works on our way into town, but it was impractical to get off the motorbikes, leave our bags on and to photograph. Now there was nothing else to do at the hotel anyway, so, I hopped on the bike and went to "Get the shot I wanted to have!"

The women's movements had a dance-like rhythm to them. The way the sand in the air was illuminated by light – it all felt very theatrical. Only of course it was work of the hardest, most under-appreciated kind. 

I've already mentioned that I have tremendous respect for manual labourers around the world. There are so many of them in India. They risk their health to earn a meagre income. Without them we wouldn't have most of the conveniences we're so used to have in our daily lives. In this case that convenience was a decent road through town. 

Constant exposure to the sand left this man's eyes looking red. In the dark, against his dark skin all that jumped out were those blod-shot eyes and the shiny teeth.

Walking on fresh asphalt inevitably leads to some of it sticking to the soles of your shoes. It took me an hour to get it off and I never managed to get rid of it completely. Eventually I threw the shoes away. This woman wasn't even wearing any.

And so that's it. My journey in India has come to an end. One month surely isn't enough. One lifetime isn't enough to really absorb what India has to offer. I'll be back again. No idea when, but, I'll be back...