It was a sunny afternoon on the 30th of April and I was beginning to be angry at Tarun for being stuck in traffic and getting late for our shoot. Neither he nor I was aware that he had returned from Chattisgarh's Abhujmarh with a latent fever. As I waited for him, I reminded myself, on most shoots with Tarun, I was the one who was normally late. He arrived, smiling in his black Santro. He parked it and we walked into the tiny urban slum of Kawaria Sarai in South Delhi. We were there to take pictures of a family struggling to get their three year old daughter Neha into a public school using the Right to Education Act.
Three-year-old Neha and her mother Roma walked Tarun and me to their home as Neha's eyes shone when she saw Tarun turn up in his car. Tarun, after were done, can we take Neha for a spin in your car? I asked. The little girl loved car rides. Haan haan, of course, he smiled.
It was time to work. The sun had set and the one room home we were shooting in had no place in it apart from the single bed and fridge and Neha's dolls for us to stand. Tarun's brow was a furrow of concentration as he unpacked his lenses. He had, as usual; found a way. A series of very endearing family portraits followed. Roma, her husband Satpal, Neha, her baby brother
08:27 PM, Jun 16, 2012