Point of view: Lady in red

A Monitor photographer finds a moment of stillness in the bustle of Mumbai's busiest train station.

Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor
Mumbai (Bombay) train station, India's busiest.

I love the stillness of this moment. And to a Western mind in Mumbai (Bombay), where this was shot, stillness can be very hard to come by – at least it was for me.

Twenty-three years ago, on my first and, until now, only trip to Mumbai, I couldn't find it at all. I saw only crowds, pollution, poverty – unnavigable sadness. Decades of traveling the globe since then prepared me for my return to the bustling metropolis, allowing me to find calm amid the chaos.

This Muslim lady in red is walking through the busiest train station in India, yet serenity rests on her skin like a gentle garment. Finding her through my viewfinder helped me feel the city the way she was experiencing it – not as the overwhelming, hostile place I remembered. Before, I might not have seen her. Now, I did.

Even a camera will only capture what its user can see through it.

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.