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Keep your Hat On! | by Dave Hilditch Photography
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Keep your Hat On!

We were walking through a little village near Pathanamthitta (no, I can't say it either) in Kerala, India. Rather like the pied piper of Hamelin, we had acquired a line of children as we walked, all of whom wanted their photo taken. We were happy to oblige and to show them their pictures on our cameras. This seemed to delight them.


Then, several of the kids fetched their parents to show them the shots we'd taken. Again, everyone was all smiles and laughing even though we couldn't speak a word of each other's language.


Then this guy approached.


He looked pretty severe. I thought maybe we'd upset him by photographing his kids.


He glared and pointed at me.


I wondered what was going on.


"I think he wants your hat" murmured the Artistic Director aka as my wife, Jen.


I took it off and offered it to him.


He took it and planted it on his head .................... sideways.


OK, I thought, it's obviously the style around here.


Then he pointed at my camera.


"No way" I thought, "he can have my hat but not my camera".


The AD whispered in my ear, "He wants his picture taken in your hat".


I nodded and prepared to take his portrait while he adopted a a fairly fierce expression which he obviously thought was macho.


I took a couple of shots and showed him the results.


A broad grin appeared on his face. Then he shook my hand and started shouting and laughing. Clearly he was happy with his portrait.


He took off my hat and jammed it back on my head ................... sideways.


I kept it on sideways until we'd left the village just so as not to offend him.


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Taken on April 1, 2012