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  • It was hot, so hot, and traffic was gridlocked on Hyderabad's main thoroughfare, but at least the auto-rickshaw came with aircon as standard. That's the good thing about these open-sided vehicles that scurry down India's roads like beetles disappearing into cracks in the fabric of the world.

    I leaned back against the damp, sticky backrest and started to clean my lens when I got the distinct impression I was being watched. I looked up and there he was, a young boy with eyes as luminous as the full moon, staring at me from the window of a bus. It was a moment of pure recognition and I felt like he was looking straight into the depths of my soul, like we somehow understood one another, without the need for words.

    He pointed to the camera, a mute appeal for me to take his photo, so I did. We gazed across a couple of metres of moist Indian air until the traffic began to flow again. The rickshaw buzzed like an angry wasp and pulled away.

    I've often thought about him since, that nameless, lovely child, and picture him at school or playing cricket with his friends on a dusty maidan. Maybe we'll meet again one day, walking round the corner of a street somewhere. I wonder, will we recognise each other still?

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