Mani Store in Slim River sells fresh cow’s milk, among other things. The Indian family business started 78 years ago with a small herd. They now run a ranch with 180 cows, supplying milk to its own shop and to a government agricultural agency.
I spoke to the lady proprietor who is a devout Anglican Christian. Funny to hear from a cattle ranch owner that Slim River is a cowboy town. Not in the lawless sense but in its visual representation of a one-street town with rustic shops, I guess.
I walked down the main street like a gunslinger and the town dwellers stared at me, as expected. They didn’t challenge me to a quick draw though. If there is going to be any shooting, it will be with my camera.
Some of the curious town folk engaged me and we ended up with very interesting conversations. In upcoming pictures, we’ll meet some of the ‘cowboy town’ people on Main Street, Slim River.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f10, 1/320 sec.
A Hindu shrine guarding a Chinese cemetery in the outskirts of Slim River. What was even more interesting was that the burial grounds had both Taoist and Christian tombstones mixed together. Quite unusual.
I suspect there is also a Hindu or Indian burial ground nearby. I can see what looks like a funeral pyre.
Waited for a lighting strike but it didn’t happen at where I pointed the camera. I was the only living soul around and the atmosphere was getting a little creepy. Could hear howling dogs but I can’t see where they are.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f13, 1/320 sec.
Still in Behrang, I walked into a vintage Indian grocery shop to get a soda. Met a friendly and sweet old lady there. She’s the proprietor, is in her seventies and operates the shop by herself.
The surroundings seemed deserted and she appeared delighted to see a new customer. Delighted not so much for the sale but for a chance to talk, I guess.
After the initial chat, I asked if I can photograph her as we speak and she agreed. Glad I asked because she was very natural in front of the camera. Depending on the subject we broached on, her facial expressions changed quickly from that of amusement, fear, excitement to sadness.
We spoke about the decline of Behrang town, the floods that hit her shop and life in a small town. I asked about her children. She turned her eyes away and paused for a little contemplation.
With a heavy sigh, she explained they left for the city a long time ago and no longer stay in touch.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 1600, f4, 1/250 sec.