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Point of view: Lady in red

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

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Mumbai (Bombay) train station, India's busiest.

Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor

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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.

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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.


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