Girl in Pune

Girl in Pune, September 2019
Girl in Pune, September 2019

I was in Pune, India, for most of September. I was there for work, and had a couple of weekends to myself. On this particular Saturday, I was on my way back to the hotel, and found myself suddenly surrounded by child beggars.

It’s a known thing that these beggars are usually part of a larger gang, and giving them money isn’t helping anyone but the ringleaders. But she kept touching my arm and keeping pace with me, no matter how fast I walked.

I eventually compromised. I pointed to my camera and asked for a photo in exchange for some rupees. I gave her the money and she let me snap a couple of shots. I think I even gave her the first high-five she’s ever had.

I’m absolutely sure she was confused about the whole experience. But this photo is lovely.