So I tend to get really passionate about things. And mostly, whether or not I admit it, I have phases of absolute obsession. But I love few things constantly and hard. One of those is people. I just tend to enjoy learning about the nuances of characters, about little stories, and the things that make us individuals. I like that we all have so many things going on, buzzing incessantly, and every person we see has a melody, waiting to be sung.
You just need to ask the right questions. And there’s one man I know, for sure, who does. There’s one tumblr which I can’t seem to stop reblogging, one Facebook page that is the reason I still have an account there (sorry, Zuckerberg), and over 4,000 portraits that I cannot get enough of. I don’t want to sound like a total hipster with my nose up in the air, but I do think that I have followed the journey long enough to get utterly attached to it.
On September 10th, when I got to know that Brandon Stanton was in India, I was ecstatic. I wanted him to experience the varicoloured streets, the people, the enigma of it all. On the 11th, when I opened up his page, I recognised the India Gate in a jiffy. Motivated to meet him, I chalked out a list of places he was likely to visit, and tried to formulate a route. I emailed him, googled the UN tour dates, and sat in my room, thinking about the times his page has kept me up till the wee hours of the morning. I thought about the times I had wished on my lucky stars to get a glimpse of him, a sign that the man behind the page is real. And when I reached home from school on the 12th of September, I couldn’t believe my eyes.
I refreshed the page over and over, half-thinking there was a glitch, half-wondering if this was, indeed, the real life. Once I got permission to go to Connaught Place, I was in a frenzy. I spent the car journey imagining how it would be, and a few seconds later he was less than a foot away from me. Honestly, I take pride in the fact that I didn’t collapse from the sheer brilliance, and I managed to maintain my integrity, pretty much. I got to talk to him, hear stories from his life, and even get a piece of advice.
The coolest part, however, was when the police tried to blame someone for the sizeable crowd, and asked him who he was with.
“All of us”, we replied in unison. Humans.