Saturday Afternoon Painting Of The Village Grocer

Melons and bananas liven up a drab corner. It was through this corner village grocer or mini market Lian Ho that I managed to trace the name of the street as Jalan Besar.

While I was satisfied with the original street view or documentary view, I felt I can turn it into art. It was the ragged wooden kiosk or cart that gave it so much character.

I ran the image through Smart Photo Editor’s Photo Art Filter to make it painting or art like. This is for my painting, sketching and artist friends such as Lim Chin Han, Merilyn PL Ng and Johnny Ong Kki.

By the way, anyone knows what are those yellow melons? I was thinking maybe they are golden honeydew melons. It was listed as RM 9 per kg for medium sized ones.

Panasonic Lumix GM-1, ISO 200, f11, 1/250 sec.

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A Moment of Contemplation

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.

The Rohingyas On Land – Man Out Of Water

In an unofficial mini-township where almost everyone is a Muslim from Myanmar, Man (pronounced Marn) used to feel like a fish out of water. He is Indonesian.

A survivor and ‘greener pasture migrant’ himself, Man’s story is remarkable. Living in Acheh in 2004, he narrowly escaped the devastating Indian Ocean Tsunami. The disaster killed more than 130,000 people in his province alone.

Settling down here, he built a successful grocery business that now serves the Burmese migrant community. He said his escape and survival taught him humility and greater respect for hard work .

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 1600, f4, 1/200 sec.