After a brief pause, he opened his eyes and inhaled. He was soaking in all of the beauty. One look at the landscape around the river flowing across the village and his face lit up radiating all of it. This was a much-needed break. A solo trip before he got hitched next month. He pulled out his camera and fixed the lens.
Click, Click, Click, he went.
Just as he clicked, a few boys from the neighbouring tribal village ran up to him. They kept staring at him as if they had just witnessed an alien invade their village. He paused. Looked at them and greeted with a warm ‘Hello’. Their expression made it clear that they did not understand his language. He gestured to ask if he could click their pictures. One boy from the group smiled and shouted, “Tooooorrrrrrrriiiiiiissssttttt, Tooooorrrrrrrriiiiiiissssttttt!’. And then all others posed for pictures. He was glad that they accepted tourists happily.
He was continuously clicking their pictures with the river in the background, when he was startled by the screams of a female voice in an unusual language. The boys ran closer to the river bank. A few minutes and they turned back and started pelting stones at him and raising slogans in their native language. From behind them emerged a young tribal girl clad in traditional clothes. Water dripping from every part of her body. Before he could understand what was happening, the girl reached up to him, slapped him, screamed her lung out, snatched his gear and threw it into the river. He barely escaped the wrath of the boys who ran behind him with bamboo sticks for quite a distance.
It was only after he returned to the hotel that he realized that they had mistaken him for clicking pictures of the girl taking a bath in the river. He vowed never to click a picture or go on a solo trip ever again.
This post is written in response to today’s prompt ‘Tourist’ by The Daily Post.