She is attending as the official photographer of the wedding with her Nikon D80 digital camera. Nani Maya never went to school, and cannot or read or write, but she is a self-taught professional photographer.
In this culturally conservative society, women are usually seen at home, tending livestock, or toiling in the fields. But Nani Maya stands out for her entrepreneurship and self-assurance in her new job.
“Could you please tilt your head a bit? Look at the camera. And we are done,” she tells a customer in her makeshift studio behind her electrical shop. She then takes the memory card to her laptop, edits the photos and prints them out.
It is a busy day at the studio, and customers are lining up outside for their turn. Some of them can be quite demanding, but Nani Maya is patient and tries to meet their requests.
Gothijyula village is a local hub in Sinja Valley with government offices, banks, and a rural market: residents of many surrounding villages travel there for official documents, to deposit money, and to do some shopping.
“I want sindur on my forehead,” says one. “Make my skin look smooth and less dark,” demands another, “can you get rid of the moles in my face?”
Nani Maya replies: “I will make you look like a heroine in a Bollywood movie.” There are peals of laughter from the women.