I wanted to post a nice picture representing fatherhood for Father’s Day, taken at the mela (fair) happening in the local village of Thanedhar in India. But when I was looking through my images of the day it was this one that caught my attention. I remember photographing it and thinking that it was quite a dramatic shot, but it happened that I met the gentleman featured later when he cheerfully approached me and asked me to photograph the youngest two of his children. As I photographed them they refused to pose for the camera or smile – the girl just stared at me defiantly while the boy refused to look at me or the camera (see photos below)
Normally the local people, especially the young ones, love to have their picture taken. But it was like these children were wise beyond their years and were refusing to play the game of happy smiling children for the camera. I noticed there wasn’t a mother with them and it made me wonder what their story was. It reminded me that parenting isn’t all rosy days with ice creams and picnics in the park – for some it is a tough hard slog. It made this photograph seem more poignant to me so I wanted to post it.
Here’s a salute to all those fathers out there – especially those taking on the bitter sweet burden of parenthood during times of adversity.