Ashamed, she said “How can I show my face”?

All my life I was looking forward to the day of my death.

But now having killed my desires, what does the world have to say!

I photographed this old lady outside Mother Teresa’s home for the homeless, in Calcutta. While no words were exchanged between us but the momentary look she gave, had the depth beyond words.

How to show my face?


  1. Hardev

    Thank you for posting some remarkable photos that that excite, disturb and communicate in a hundred different ways.

    You may have reasons for the title “Ashamed”, but I see her condition beyond that. Her world is beyond the photographer’s; infringed with the click of the shutter. It is the dilemma of photographing poverty, and keeping aloof.

  2. Dear Hardev,

    I am glad to read that you got shaken by the work.

    On your thoughts about the title “Ashamed”, suggest you read it with context to the three lines of prose. “Ashamed” is not with reference to her minimal dress or poverty but to the spiritually elevated state. I feel her eyes are saying that having killed the desires, she has transcended death and is therefore ashamed of the way she was living in the past.

    Having said that, I fully recognize that this may not be her state of mind. Through my photo and prose, it is a state of my being that I am ultimately communicating.

  3. Charu

    This image is riveting to say the least. The way you have portrayed her Amardeep, i find i can connect to her river of life ( or death as she may thought of it previously) through the gaze of that one eye!

  4. Haunting and riveting… have completely captured all of her life in this one shot. Brilliant.
    Sat Nam,

  5. Harawant Singh

    That one eye, and she is talking to you. What a ‘capture’. Syabus Bhaisaab.

  6. Geetali

    Amardeep, this is a profoundly moving image, and a humbling moment for me as a human. You have, with one click, captured that fear which we all have of not being loved or wanted enough; the shame of being abandoned by those we love.
    This photo is a good moment to stop and count one’s blessings. Thank you, once again, for your beautiful insight.

  7. sanjay sangwan

    Fantastic pic, the frame, the play of light and the look. My sincere compliments.

  8. Surupa Chatterjee

    Deep, and makes us delve inwards…..Thank you

  9. kishore kumar biswas

    She had question for ” us ” in her eyes. Eyes that pierced through the glossy cover of our life. It brings out our cold indifference to our surroundings. It tells that we live in a world of ” lies” turning our face from the ” truth of life.We live in an imprisoned world of ” self interest “. Then do the people like her has any hope ?
    Perhaps they have. There is person like you Amardeep who feels for them and tells us to look around , to feel for them . Some of ” us ” may feel ” ashamed ” on being indifferent to ” others” who though being human like us live inhumanly.
    If ever we again see anyone like this old lady we perhaps won’t be able to turn our face . Something will stir within us . We may for some moments be a ” human ” instead of a heartless machine .
    That is the success of your picture Amardeep.

  10. jasmeet

    Heart rending….apt title as well…you have your reasons for naming it so….but I do feel the lady is ashamed that you see her so… anyone would be. And as geetali so rightly says…we should count our blessings. ..I am reminded of john lennon’s “imagine”. Will that day ever come or is it just utopia?????

  11. amarjeet kaur

    Seeing this photograph I felt the depth of poverty, old age ,loneliness and lac of interaction due to illiteracy.The major cause is irresponsible society.

  12. It tells a story

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *