On just another rainy day we were driving down from Almora when Soni suddenly said, oh my GOD. Another landslide?, I replied sleepily. But no: Soni pointed to a roadside restaurant with a veranda under which two gorgeous girls took shelter from the rain.
They turned out to be starlets with all their entourage, managers stylists cameramen and all, waiting for the rain to stop so that they could continue shooting a movie for TV (or a promotion ad for the region of Kumaon, translation wasn't clear). The situation was a little awkward because the whole entourage was giggling and talking about me, that was obvious, while I was desperately looking for a joke or something else to break the ice. The starlets spoke only minimal English. I asked them, so you are actors? Yes. Do you sing in the movies? Sometimes. I know a song about the rain, do you want to hear it? (Giggle.) I took a deep breath and started to sing Singing in the rain, horribly out of tune and all but the girls were laughing and I asked the girls with the most innocent face possible, do you mind if I photograph you? They didn't.
This is Pooja Arya:
...and Richa Parcha.
Richa and Pooja.
There was great chemistry between the models...
...and I wished there would be less giggling assistants around us, less white SUVs reflected in the black glass window behind the girls and less rain outside of the tiny veranda. It's anyone's guess how it would have ended - the girls were really getting hot - but then their managers, until then drinking busily tea at the far table, pooped the party. I had to explain to them why I take these photographs, who I am and all. There were two of them like playing good cop bad cop, the bad one insisting I delete all photos and the good one willing to hear me out. In the end both insisted I delete the photos which I didn't have the slightest inclination to do. Why on earth? They were decent enough for the circumstances and I had no bad intentions with them anyway. I looked at Soni with a face that said let's get the fuck out of here and off we went on our long way to Jaipur.
By the way, there were Richa's and Pooja's male colleagues too; handsome and very macho in their own way but maybe I can be forgiven if I didn't make them the protagonists of that impromptu shooting.