"Take picture?" at the Meenakshi Temple

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Comments (15)

Marilyn Whiteley on February 25, 2008

This was the first of a number of children in India who asked me to take their picture. They were not looking for any reward. This one was ready to be on his way as soon as I'd taken the photo, though he showed some interest when I showed him the picture on the back of my camera. The dignity with which he posed impressed me at the time and still does when I look again at the picture. Having his photo taken and carried off to a foreign land was somehow a matter of significance to him.

Palmina Moore on February 25, 2008

A wondeful portrait Marilyn


MaryAlice on February 25, 2008

I can certainly see the dignity of which you speak. He looks very proud to have his picture made by you.

Very cute!

Marilyn Whiteley on February 25, 2008

Thank you, Palmina and MaryAlice. Oh, how I wish he would happen to see his portrait on Panoramio!


MaryAlice on February 25, 2008

Marilyn: You just never know. Someone who knows him may see it, and tell someone, and they may tell someone else, and eventually it could get back to him! it is really very possible! Do not give up hope! He would be tickled to death.

Miša M. on February 26, 2008

Why didn't you take his home address then, and post him print of his nice portrait? No one knows if he shall ever had a chance to see it this way.

I usually do it that way. Once I took a photo of a Turkish family running humble restaurant in Kushadasi, and forgot to take their address. Two years later I went for holiday to Turkey, again by car. I made a print of this shot, and stopped in Kushadasi just for one night, in order to hand them a photo. I simply can not explain how happy they were. They wanted to pay to me somehow, in cash, drink or dinner, but I refused to take anything. The gleam I saw in their eyes was the best prize for me!

Greetings from Belgrade, Serbia, Miša.

Marilyn Whiteley on February 26, 2008

I wish I had done that, Miša, but his request came as a surprise to me. (It was the first one I had received.) And he seemed in a hurry afterwards.

All Indian schoolchildren learn English. Some go to English schools while others study it in school as a second language. But we gradually learned from contact with them that for many young ones, their English is very limited. "Take picture?" "Where from?" and some greetings. Not enough yet for much conversation!

Greetings from Canada, Marilyn

Daniela Brocca on February 26, 2008

A really nice boy,so proud.I was thinking of a way to let him see the photo.Oddly enough there don't seem to be much Indian people in Panoramio.

Ciao Daniela

Marilyn Whiteley on February 26, 2008

No, now that you mention it, there don't seem to be.

I had an amusing experience with one of my photos. It was a distinctive place, and I knew generally in which part of Mumbai (Bombay) I'd taken it, but not the precise location. After I while I got a correction suggestion, which read something like "It belongs here and not in the location of our apartment building"!! Of course I was delighted that it could finally be located precisely.

Cheers, Marilyn

Ian Stehbens on February 28, 2008

MaryAlice may be right, let's hope it happens. And Miša certainly has a very thoughtful approach to her photography and knows the joy that issues from honour and generosity. Like Miša, I returned to a village in PNG after 21 years absence with some portaits and family group photos and they produced many tears of joy, for there were no cameras in the village back in 1973, and therefore they were the only family photos that were in existence, ever. Of course with that time lapse our hostess was now widowed and she held the image of her late husband to her face and wept many emotions.

And as for your Madurai boy, maybe you might consider what was suggested to me in regard to one of my portraits: consider sending it to the local newspaper in Madurai. It may create some real local interest... or too much fame for one young boy - but it seems he has enough assurance and poise to handle it well.


Marilyn Whiteley on March 3, 2008

Thank you, Ian and Billy for your comments. That's an interesting idea, Ian. Madurai is a big and bustling city, and I just don't know ...

I like your thought, Billy. It reminds me that my grandmother had a framed motto on her bedroom wall. It's sentimental doggerel, but the idea is good, so it sticks in my memory well over 50 years later: Have you had a kindness shown, Pass it on. 'Twas not meant for you alone. Pass it on. Let it travel through the years. Let it wipe another's tears. 'Til in heaven the deed appears, Pass it on.

I shall hope that he does.

pingu57 on November 12, 2008

Let me compliment you on this picture. Very well done!

I made a beautiful experience: I had some of my pictures I made in India printed in a local shop in large size prints. I then brought them into the villages and the streets of Udaipur and the people, who were all happy about their pictures.

More of people joined and asked their pictures to be taken and over again I had to deliver hundreds of pictures. An extroardinary exprience, which resulted in collecting a lot of gratitude and smiles.

Likely most tourist never carry the images back and many Indians are actually satisfied to view them on the digital playback, but the opportunity of opening doors to their hearts is priceless, when you ever get a chance to do what I experienced, try it out. Simply searching for the people of shots of people you make on a market square can be an incredible experience, just about everybody will tell you that they are related to the ones pictured or they will help you to deliver the picture to whom you pictured.

Marilyn Whiteley on November 14, 2008

Thank you. I noticed a very interesting picture in your collection in which people were looking at photos they'd apparently received, and I'm glad to have the explanation. What a wonderful idea! It must have been satisfying for you as well as for the recipients. I've seldom been in a place long enough to do that, but I recently saw a picture of a very small printer for digital photos. Wouldn't that be delightful?

Conquilha on June 28, 2009

"Who wants to be a milionare"........Fantastic shots you have Marilyn.......Congratulations from Portugal....Conquilha.....Muito Obrigado......Have you any of Portugal?(seems you are a traveler)

Marilyn Whiteley on July 12, 2009

Thanks, Conquilha. This boy may want to be a millionaire, but he did not ask for money for having his picture taken. He just asked "Take picture?", posed, and then ran off!

I have not been to Portugal, but I have friends who like it very much, and I would like to go. Greetings, Marilyn

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Photo taken in Madurai Main, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625001, India

Photo details

  • Uploaded on February 25, 2008
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Marilyn Whiteley
    • Taken on 2005/02/19 05:45:21
    • Exposure: 0.005s (1/200)
    • Focal Length: 6.30mm
    • F/Stop: f/4.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO64
    • Exposure Bias: 0.30 EV
    • No flash