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45 minutes of life

It was a photo trip to Purulia that I went on with a group of photographers. We were returning to the hotel around noon when we happened to pass by a school. In the middle of a big chunk of land, merging with the paddy field around, there stood this under construction building where children from nearby villages come to study. Intrigued by the ambience I asked to stop the car.

It was a simple village school, crowded by innocent faces of various ages from five to fifteen. I asked the teacher in charge if we could take photos as the classes were on. With her permission I took a couple shots and was on my way back to the car just when a bell rang. Curious, I turned back to see waves of little faces, brimming with unadulterated joy rushing out of the classrooms. A happy noise filled the air and we all started to soak in it. It was their lunch time and they were out in the field to enjoy the time. Some of them were with small lunch packs in hand while others surrounded the snack sellers who had gathered there as a practice. Many of the kids started playing while some were sitting, eating and chatting. At once, I went back about forty years in time and remembered my school days. Some of the kids, I presume, must have done something naughty, were given punishment by the teachers, and were not smiling at all while I took their photos. Rest of the students were ecstatic as we shot their actions.

It was a 45 minutes’ break and I absorbed ‘life’ as much as I could. At the end of the session, they went back to their classes and we started on our way with hearts filled with pure happiness. Life played in front of me to express, not to impress.


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