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  • A man grabbed me - literally grabbed me - as I was walking down the street.

    "It's my cousin's wedding!", he shouted, gesticulating madly towards speakers pounding Bollywood music in the adjacent lot to the side of the busy road. Underneath two green temporary tents, women in saris ate off metal plates using their hands. The men danced frenetically surrounded by fluorescent lights. The cows hid in the shadows.

    I couldn't refuse the invitation.

    I began shooting photographs of the guests and the other people who filled the vacant, dusty space about the size of a football field. There were two tents, two weddings, going on simultaneously. The crowd seemed to migrate seamlessly from one marriage to the next.

    It's like that in India. Family overflows boundaries.

    This man beckoned me over and posed stoically for a photo. His job was to stand on the fringes of the dance party, connected by wire to a noisy generator, and shed light.

    In the West, this job has been replaced by lamp posts. In India, where there's more labourers than meaningful labour, these types of jobs bring status and purpose, even family.

    It's not prestigious. It's not efficient. But it's something to do. Done well, it makes meaning.

    I like this photo. I keep it on my desk. It brings me clarity by reminding me what makes a good storyteller.

    Not prestige. Not efficiency.

    Just making meaning. Just shedding light.
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