A Child of the Slums
That doesn’t make her any less beautiful, of course. In fact, it seems to me that some of India’s most striking faces — the prettiest, the most photogenic — are also the poorest. Their smiles are so pure. You see that in their twinkling eyes.
We have this image of the poor as moping and depressed. Visit any slum and you’ll see that isn’t true. They’re active, chatty, playful, hard-working. They get by as any of us do. That doesn’t mean they don’t imagine better lives for themselves, but they’re content to live in the moment.
And they love getting their pictures taken. “One photo, one photo,” the boys constantly say, tugging on your pant pocket. The girls aren’t as desperate. Rukaiya, the girl in this photo, didn’t ask to be photographed. But she was still ready with that smile — an effortless, radiant smile.
I wish I could smile like that.
— Jason Kehe
Photo credit: Jason Kehe