Connect With Rajasthan, Northern India
Street photography leans your eye out, narrows the squint, keenly trained for events about to happen.
Solitude appears to be the number one rule to keep your mind focused on immanent unknowns, namely, people about to launch into prize winning capsules of life’s best moments. From this, one would presume travelling alone will finesse street smart photo procurement, but practise in solitude is not necessarily a requirement. Just in case you are engaged with other travellers or a significant other who desperately demands “face time” over the camera equipment, you may have to politely or impolitely excuse yourself, risk their scorn and wrath if you see street potential unfolding. Some signs to keep your eye on, children shyly peeking from behind protective facades, street conversations, body language about to turn into your shutters view. Be ready with camera settings on guard for the perfect moment.
For more on northern India see:
Indian Labour, Land of Contrast
Like most things in India, when it comes to labour, the subcontinent is a frenzy of contrast. The same country that is the world’s largest employer (bureaucracy at its height at Indian Railways) also wins the race for street Mom and Pop stalls. Then there are the open-air preindustrial factories (see http://www.ecobrick.in/BrickMakinginIndia.aspx).
Although India’s streets and countryside are full of dizzying ” busyness” a glance in a different direction has relaxed India lazing neath the community shade tree watching the world pass by, and discussing local politics or when the monsoon is coming this year or whether last nights dinner had enough chili pepper. It’s just the way things are in this land of contrasts.
The old man feeds the animals twice a day. They know when to expect him and he never lets them down. Spotted Deer, Wild Boar, Pigeons, Indian Peacocks, they are all there. The wildlife sanctuary on Lake Pichola, Udaipur, India where the old man has worked for over forty years was once a hunting ground for tigers and wild boar. The Sarus Crane, tallest of the flying birds was abundant, now it is a species at risk. How things have changed yet man’s desire to relate to wildlife remains. Man and Nature.
For more on northern India see:
Udaipur, It’s The Live Connections
Most folks go to the fine city of Udaipur, Rajasthan to see the palaces and the lakes (including a palace in a lake) and soak up the history, scenery and culture. The Lake Palace covers an entire island but there are others, Monsoon Palace, City Palace. The former is made mostly of marble (that is, an entire island made of marble! What else, ho hum…) and the latter is so massive it has a palace for a guesthouse. Oh well, only in India. Udaipur dates back to the mid 16th century and had the usual litany of kings and maharanas, ultimately becoming a princely state in 1818. That means the British liaised so they didn’t have to fight to get what they wanted, trade of goods. Water is a big feature of the area: the two lakes being manmade in the 17th century, one of them is 4 km long and 3 wide. It’s hard to find good lake builders these days. Understandably there are temples and gardens and museums but one of the more unique things is the Udaipur Solar Observatory, the only one in Asia. Udaipur made it in Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book and is the occasional backdrop to Hollywood and Bollywood movies, stars canter around the city occasionally (Madonna took over our hotel when she came to town).
Notwithstanding all of that history and drama for the visitor sometimes it’s the live connections that create a lasting memory beyond the tourist trappings.
For more on Udaipur, northern India see:
Camels are scattered here and there throughout India and show up whether or not you are camera ready. This one obliged in the streets of Udaipur with a nice backdrop.
The national bird, like the camel in India, pops up when you least expect it and obviously it was not the first time it was caught on the roof.
This man was special. You can tell by the glint in his eye, he has more than one story to tell. He has seen Udaipur, Rajasthan, India pass from princely state, aligned with the British, to Indian rule. He continues to feed the deer and the peacocks and the Indian wild boar and the pigeons in the wildlife sanctuary at Bara Mahal, just like he has for the past four decades.