“She was bent forward, all her hair down – so long it nearly touched the ground – and she was drawing her comb through it and shaking it out. It was such a beautiful sight on this sunny morning – that cascade of black hair, swaying under her comb, and the posture of the girl, her feet planted apart, her arms caressing her lovely mane. Then she tossed it and looked up to see the train go past.”
– Paul Theroux from The Great Railway Bazaar: By Train Through Asia
I underlined this passage while reading Theroux’s classic travel memoir earlier this year. I thought it a good example of something I’ve always admired about his writing: his photographer’s eye. When I recently came across this photo by Kolkata-based photographer, Debosmita Das (taken almost 40 years after Theroux described an identical scene) it seemed to me I had seen the picture before.
Hey, Houghton Mifflin Publishers, you should look into obtaining rights to use this photo on the cover of the next edition of The Great Railway Bazaar.
More by the same photographer here.