26 March 2007

STREETS OF BANARAS

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Never a dull moment, you'd love it. Its the people who make the place beautiful. Very respecful and courteous.
What do I mean by respectful people ?
Everybody treats you with respect, educated or illeterates.
It means a lot to me as I come from a city (Chennai) where people are very rude and arrogant with strangers. This includes educated people, greatly influnced by the crude Tamil movies they watch day in and day out. Nowhere you would find film actors winning elections and becoming head of the states.
Cheap and crude movie culture rules my city and the state.



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People people people everywhere, please don't be scared by the crowd. Just accept the chaos, you'll be fine.
It requires a slight shift in attitude and you'll enjoy your holiday.
I did not have any kind of bad experience. Filth garbage and the stray animals on the streets is not a bad experience for me.

You'll find all modes of transport, all kinds of contraptions on wheels, two three four.



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Let me explain, this contraption is called share auto. The box has two seats facing each other, that can accomodate eight people. You normally find 15 people stuffed inside the box and four with the driver. So this vehicle carries nearly 20 people. I took a ride in one such contraption in Lucknow, I'll write about my ride in Lucknow post. This cheap mode of transport is spreading fast all over India.


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This is the art of survival. You would learn to adjust without complaining.
These are rickshaws. I avoided riding in those in Jairpur Rajasthan last year. Preferred an auto. Then I realised that I could contribute to their survival. Slight shift in attitude. Now I take regular rickshaw rides. I don't mind rattling of my bones, good for me, free exercise.




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These rides are ridiculously cheap, I always pay them double of what they demand. I am never alone, I have my lunch breakfast or tea with them. They keep talking to you, they talk practical philosophy. Show them little kindness and they die for you. At the end they offer to wait for me
No Thank you Sir, I tell them, I am going to walk and take pictures it may take a couple of hours.
and he says with utmost and sincere respect that he'll wait for 2 hours, Please wear a cap sir it is getting too hot. I see them sweating. This is hard labour. This kind of care and respectful attitude always touches me. This man could steal, commit crime to survive but he chooses such hard labour in sweltering heat. This is culture, they are civilised people, uneducated or illeterates.


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They are part of our lives. Watch your step. You would step on cow dung. They are behind you in front of you. They are everywhere. They mind their business. They have to survive eating garbage.


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This is how I eat. Road side stuff. Fresh and hot, straight from the frying pan. You would never get any stale food because food moves fast. Always fresh. My attitude is, fill your stomach don't complain and be thankful. Taste is a bonus. And it is always tasty. Carry your mineral water bottle and eat hot food anywhere and you are safe.


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Lots of sweets, The aroma is over powering. I fight the temptation to eat every thing I see. I lost and temptation won most of the time. Told you I am pretty reckless. I love experiments, but so far away from home ?? not a good idea. Avoid eating things which are cold and not covered. Sweets are served hot as well. Like gulaab jamoons and jilebees. I had a cold ras malaai which was better than any ice cream.



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Paani poori and Dahi vadaa. I had dahi vada here, risky but couldn't resist. Its the white stuff, incredible taste. They add brownish sweet chutney and masala as toppings served on a hard leaf plate. Lot tastier than what we get in the south. I sit on the pavement and eat nodding my coconut counting the passing rickshaws. Having one more plate would be pushing things too far, have to know my limits.


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Two days in the train, and I'll be home, my train was leaving in an hour, the aroma was too tempting.
What would you have ? There were so many things
Shamelessly, shamelessly I pointed towards a gentleman eating in a mud pot. I said I want to eat that,

this.... this .... I nearly dipped my finger in his bowl. I should have dipped and tasted it. No cold stares no complaint. Some name of the dish which I forgot. Had to wait. It was so tempting that I found it hard to wait. It was served very hot in a mud pot.
I was not disappointed.


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He gave me a leaf plate to keep the mud pot so that I don't burn my palm. It was just wonderful.
Too tasty for words. It was sweet and sour, tilting a little towards sweet.
He took time preparing it and I took time eating it, very slowly, glancing at my watch, looking around to see if any one is watching my greed, I was looking down at the bowl, looking up,

looking down, looking up, looking around and back to the bowl
no one is watching me. Wonderful, just wonderful. Unique taste.
Just ten rupees, 25 cents, you are in heaven for ten rupees. I loved it.
Had to rush to the station. It was quite filling. After eating you have to throw the mud pot, its for one time use only. I smashed it on the pavement. Tea also is served in mud pots which you have to break so that they are not used again.


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You would be in tears if you see child labour. No, legislation helped. I'll have a post on this subject soon.

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Banaras is famous for Paan, I normally don't take it but I thought let me have the pleasure. There are many different ingredients added. I chose a simple sweet one. The mouth turns red when you chew it. I kept sticking my tongue out to see if it has turned red. This is chewed after a sumptuous meal, it helps digestion they say.


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I was tired, had to rush back to the hotel room and pack. Bought just one silk piece for my niece, that would come in Banaras silk weaving post. No other shopping, though there were lots of things to buy. You can pick up stone jewelry from the pavements. Very cheap. I did not buy because my next trip was to Hyderabad, better place for cheap jewelry.


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This is a funeral procession going towards the holy river ganga for cremation. Saw many such processions, The final journey.


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I don't have pictures of any singers or musicians. Banaras is famous for particular style of Hindustani music.
Most well known is Ustaad Bismillah Khan who recently passed away. Mala took me to his concert in my city. He was too old to play the wind instrument called Shehnaai. But what ever little he played was breathtaking. He was very witty. Perhaps the most respected musician in India. I can tell you the names of many musicians who can play sitar, sarod, flute, but I do not know of any other name who plays shehnaai other than Ustaad Bismillah Khan. He dominated the music scene for decades.



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Behind these closed doors are the artistes of exceptional talent, mostly women and children, No one will see them, no one will know them, working on silk. All of them are muslims living hand to mouth, struggling to survive, living in utter poverty under the threat of communal riots which can break out any moment. They have suffered a lot and still suffering.
But I saw a great deal of communal harmony during my last three visits. India is a very complex country. We survive.
Silk weavers of Banaras would come next in the first part of handloom weavers series. I know you are tired of washing of sins, one more place to go SANGAM, We'll go there and wash our sins after the 4 part Weavers series
All my love

BLUNT KNIFE
WILDPIC

STREETS OF BANANAS

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FOUR DINNERS misread the title of this posts as streets of Bananas and was looking for pictures of street full of bananas. Neil, you will not be disappointed, here they are for you.



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But these are not the streets of Banaras. These are the streets of my own city Chennai going bananas.
Lot more pictures there, but this post is already too heavy with pictures.



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Early morning went out to shoot these pictures for you Neil, found this sweet girl in school uniform praying in a temple. This is examination time. Wish she comes out with flying colours, please pray for her too.

58 comments:

ruth said...

All the photos loaded this morning on dialup, I don't know what you're doing, Rauf, but it's working so well for me.

The only thing missing is the noise. Wish I could hear the noise. I can almost taste the food. Can't believe you throw the bowl and cup away. Reminds me of making mud/clay pots as a kid. That food in the mud pot looked incredible!!! So glad you didn't get sick. Would have been a long ride home. (Longer) Is the tea the boy is pouring sweet? We have Indian chai here that is sweet, spicy and delicious. Wonder if it's close.

In Istanbul we had dolmuş for riding in, elongated cars for many to ride, maybe 9 people. Dolmuş is the same word for stuffed pepper. Women used to stare at me, my hair, my nails, my shoes. Does she wear polish? Where did she buy her shoes?

I saw their cow parade. :) Do cows have a purpose? Or are they just vagabonds?

I love all the photos, but especially the one of the doors: modern one, orange/brown with latch, and in the distance beautiful wooden ones, so beautiful. (last photo) One quiet place in Banaras.

I didn't see any Westerners in these photos today. Do they stay
by the ghats mostly?

So glad to hear about the gentility of the people of Banaras. It does my heart good to hear about such courtesy in the presence of struggle and daily survival. This is what makes life anywhere sweet. Doesn't matter if the place is dirty or crowded, but if the people have a sweet spirit, it's a beautiful place. I see now why you loved it.

iamvisheshur said...

frankly,for all the places you mentioned i wouldn't have eaten in any...guess i am your arrogant chennai wala..though i dont watch tamil movies if that is what they make..filth..thats all...
i seriously would be happy to travel a lot and enjoy life...maybe i can now..ny exams are over..

mystic rose said...

waah! what a great post! totally loved it. u made me laugh so much. how child like you are. got the flavor of benares ..have never been there.

good one!!

mystic rose said...

i love my India. did you really sit and nod your coconut? :))

mystic rose said...

this tree is much better than the old one...but why not your sunrise pic? that looked nice too!!

priya said...

Now why do you makes me hungry with all those pucchkas and vadas ther rauf:)

Beautiful asusual..

Kate said...

Rauf, Your photos are wonderful examples of photojournalism for your unusual and exotic (for us) country. I have only one wish--that you might have posted these separately so your viewers can comment on each on as we look at it. There's too much for me to take in at one time. I love India and would like to be able to do that.

Anonymous said...

As Kate I have fallen in love it through your lense...It makes me so sad to see how life goes on instrugle and I feel my hands are tide ...

The blog is (www.livinginpoetry.blogspot.com)

TC
Nasra

Rauf said...

Dear Ruth,
You are not going to believe the noise level. The cows don't make much noise. They are everywhere. Only now after reading your comment I realise that I did not see any tourists on the streets. As you say they stay by the ghats mostly, thats where everything happenes but the streets are full of life (all kinds) and activity. I don't go near high rise buildings and modern shopping malls usually, in any city. I love any place that can show me glimpse of some remaining history. The city is full of temples. nothing much to write about. Temples in the south are huge, very old and maintained well.

I have reduced the number of posts on the first page to two, perhaps that is the reason the pictures are loading fast.

Rauf said...

Hi Vishesh, Its not good to generalise but I have done just that. But this is the general attitude everywhere in Chennai. In Kerala you'll face just indifference, only one out of ten will stop to guide you or give you directions. This again is generalisation. Any one from Kerala would not like this comment.
People of Kerala hate to live in Kerala, because their neighbour is earning well abroad, sends a lot of gold and money and builds a new house. Every one you meet is in a bad mood. What I say is out of my experience, not with any kind of bias. I love Kerala, I keep going there often and i travel a lot in Tamil Nadu as well.

I have been traveling alone since i was a kid of 12 or 13. with just ten rupees in my pocket I used to roam around in Kerala, sleeping in railway stations bus stations. Now things are different. I would not advise you to travel alone. Go with the family or join a group.
Please enquire at the Youth hostel in Indira Nagar if they are conducting any trekking programme.
like NHTP ( National Himalyan trekking programme) Or any treks in the south. You'll get to know people, make new friends. I really enjoyed these programme and volunteered as a camp leader too long time ago. Once you join you'll find many doors open for you. Once you finish college you would be ready to travel alone.
You'll find many intersting places forests near Pollachi-Valparai. I have posted pictures long ago. You can avoid Ooty and Kodai and visit the surrounding areas like Kothagiri.
By the way i have traveled only within India. I love the country so much that I don't even have a passport. I have friends who don't know where Mahabalipuram is and have gone to North and the South pole. There is so much to see in India, one life time is not enough.

Rauf said...

Yea Yea Mystic rose, I am nodding my coconut now in my room sipping pilter kaapee. You would love Banaras if you have the right attitude. I traveled with a German friend in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, she was pretty comfortable with the garbage and the stink. Kerala being cleaner of the two states.
Still haven't decided on the template Mystic rose and I have not been working on it. You don't know how lazy and messy I am.

iamvisheshur said...

rauf,
interesting..when i said wanted to travel i wanted to do it alone..i go to a lot of places with my family....i have never been out of india..the only place in the north i have been to is mumbai...yes our country is huge and vast..

Rauf said...

Priya, recently I had a chance of staying in a five star hotel in vijayawada with friend who lives in the US. there were some chaat items in the buffet and I did not touch any of them. it was hard for me to breath in such an atmosphere
completle alien to me. I am a sadak chaap Priya, I am comfortable in the streets I love the atmosphere, i belong there with the garbage and stink. I would not advise you to sit there and eat. the best place where you can sit and eat chaat items is in fort cochin in the evenings. You'd love it. Terrific atmosphere. Fort Cochin also is pending for a long time, I'll post the pictures as soon as I can.

Rauf said...

Hi Kate, long time, How you've been. I kept checking your travel blog but there were no recent entries.

I normally post pictures on one subject, so it will be difficult to post pictures separately. I don't treat this as a photo blog either where I can post only what I consider as best. Many times i have posted very bad pictures, bad exposures, bad compositions, but they go with the subject I am talking about.

hope you are doing fine Kate.
All the best.

Rauf said...

No Nasra, you need not feel sad. People here are spiritually very rich. We take chaos and struggle as a way of life without complaining. I belong to the streets and i am struggling myself, though I can't claim to be spiritually rich. I am proud. I accept inefficiency, I accept chaos, garbage and filth. I know things could be better with a bit of effort. India is a land of extremes. no other country has been invaded repeatedly as India, I have repeated this fact many times and I will keep repeating it.
Hope one day you'd come and see for yourself Nasra. India lives in its villages, not in highrise buildings and shopping Malls. People who come to india stay in a five star hotels eat french cusine, visit Taj Mahel, have not seen India at all. you have to walk on the streets, travel in crowded trains or in contraptions you see in this posts eat local food to experience India.

Rauf said...

Vishesh, when I said things are different I really mean athings are lot different now. There was no competetion earlier. Now you face stiff competetion everywhere. you can't afford to waste time even on video games. You have to prepare for your next year's classes. You can't afford to lag behind. Traveling alone can wait. You can get lot of knowledge out of watching discovery, National geographic or History Channels. Please wait some more time to get first hand experience. please focus on your future. I sincerely wish you shine in your life and make the country proud of your contribution. you are the furute of my country vishesh. Your efforts can make things better.

magiceye said...

absolutely awesome as always
such a visual treat!!!!!!

Rauf said...

Thank you MagicEye

Hayden said...

everytime I visit I use the word gorgeous, I'm afraid, but I can't think of any word beyond it.

wonderful stuff, rauf, as always!

mud pots! never heard of that! 25 cents for food AND a one-use pot, then! the tea cups are beautiful.

Four Dinners said...

Misread the title n spent a few minutes browsing the pics lookin for a street full of bananas...

The food looks gorgeous. In fact my mouth's watering. In fact I'm off to the local tandoori for lunch.

Rauf said...

Thank you so much Hayden, such a sweet compliment.

With a little adjustment a little shift in attitude any one would love Banaras. So full of life Hayden. It has problems but this is India, we learn to survive, yesterdays calamities are forgotten and we live today, we adjust, ofcourse we complain about lots of things. Things could be better. No one runs this country. India runs by itself.

You get tea in mud pots in Railway stations and in running trains too. I love smashing the mud pots just like kids do. Tea is generally very tasty, sometimes with masala (spice tea) sometimes with ginger. Sometimes to your bad luck tea would be awful. it all happens Hayden.

Rauf said...

haha FOUR DINNERS, I have added pictures to the post for you. I couldn't stop laughing. I already had pictures but couldn't locate them, since it is a daily affair, I went out early in the morning and took some pictures. Had a good morning walk and some fresh air before the traffic pollutes the place. The local beach is hardly half a kilometer from the Banana street. The area is called Jaam Bazaar, Pycrofts Road. The name has been changed, don't know what the new name of the road is nor do i know who this chapee Pycroft was, must be some high ranking official of the British Raj.

her indoors said...

so colourful and so busy! thanks rauf and thanks for your kind words I am pleased to say that I am feeling much better, take care x

Rauf said...

Yes HER INDOORS busy round the clock. Chaos is the way of life here. Though we export tranquility neatly packed through our Gurus and swamies.

Hope you are feeling fine and had a good weekend, please take rest HER INDOORS.

MYSTI said...

I have always wanted to see the world. It has been a dream of mine. I have not been able to do so, but you have made me feel like I have seen it! How totally awesome it is to look at these pictures, read what you write about each pic. Sounds, and tastes are the only thing missing. Thankyou for giving me a little bit of my dream my friend.

Mysti

Rauf said...

Dear Mysti, I was very surprised to know that the flight tickets are so cheap these days. With my meagre income I felt that I can afford to go abroad.

Normally I mention the money I spend on my journeys or cost of good food but not in fancy restaurents. I am afraid to step in to such places. This whole trip from Chennai - Allahbad - Lucknow Banaras, I spent less than 60 dollars including train ticket, lasting 8 days.(actually 4 days, and nearly 4 days in the train) Only one day I spent 300 rupees (in Banaras) for a room, that is 6 dollars, rest of the places i paid only 200 rupees for a clean comfortable room with TV which I don't watch. 200 rupees is what ? less than 5 dollars ? food is ridiculously cheap. please ask your friends who have visited India. Hope you make it one day Mysti. All you have to do is make up your mind. You don't need much money in India Mysti, I will give you all the details and in Chennai I'll be your host.

isabella said...

Oh, Rauf - City of Bananas! - your sense of humor shines through like your bright smile! (I think you should post your picture here so everyone will see how devilishly handsome you are).

The streets of Banaras teem with life so exotic to me, I feel dwarfed...And so ignorant...all I have is more questions:
-in the second photo, you'd trust someone on the street to shave you with a sharp razor, I presume? And no lather?
-who owns the free-roaming cows?
Would you ever milk them or kill them for meat?
-that's a lot of bananas! is that a distribution center? you don't eat them green, do you?

Well, it's been great taking this trip with you, learned a lot about Banaras and...you! One of the sweetest thing is - you can't resist sweets! We have that in common, too ;-)

Rauf said...

Isabella, I have to get some money, make a passport (I don't have one) buy a ticket to Naples, Florida, because I want to give flowers, to the only person in the world who has called me handsome. Thanking you on my page is not enough.

I added pictures of my city Chennai as FOUR DINNERS misread the title of this post as 'streets of Bananas'., Yes Isabella it is a distribution centre, just one kilometer from my house. Bananas are very cheap here, so are other fruits. Raw bananas are used to make BAJJI, a slice of banana cut vertically mixed with flour and fried in oil. Kerala bananas which are bigger are used for making chips. Rest are allowed to ripe.

On the streets of Banaras, I was the only one doing nothing, rest were busy doing something, even I felt dwarfed.

Only now I realised that the razor in the second picture is on a delicate area. Using lather adds to the cost. Even I have no money for comforts Isabella.

Unproductive cows are abandoned by their owners. In the south, they go to slaughter houses, which is a sin for many Indians, but they wear leather shoes and they have no problems wearing silk.

I love sweets anytime of the day Isabella. I used to run erands for my neighbours in my childhood which still continues (both childhood and running erands) and I am always rewarded with sweets by the gentle ladies.

I carry candys in my camera bag. cookies, mostly for tribal children in the forests or for those I travel with. I eat half of them myself.

shimmer said...

wow the pics are so crisps...so clear...i've always been curious about other cultures lifestyles...
and this post has given a bit of introduction...thanks! ;;)

Rauf said...

Thank you Shimmer. This is just one small town. Culture food language change every 100 miles here in India. I am an Indian, but I am a complete alien just 100 miles north of my city of Chennai where people speak the language Telegu which I don't understand. I get along as I speak Hindi, which is supposed to be the national language and it is not spoken anywhere in the south. You would be just as alien as I am in my own country. Hope you would visit India one day Shimmer and you will not be disaapointed. With one ticket, one holiday, you would experience hundreds of different cultures.

Prashant said...

Hey Rauf,
Do you know which picture is missing from here??

Pictures of Gangaghat....

But its beautiful colletion....
India is beautiful.....

Rauf said...

Prashant,
Thank you.
This blog is only for those who have time and patience.
Please take a look at the post immediately below this one.

FOUR DINNERS said...

You're getting me into trouble with the mrs you are due to the fact I'm tone deaf and when I try to sing a strange wailing sound comes out - a bit like a deranged air raid warning - and I just started singing "Yes we have no bananas". Caz has been driven out to the shops to escape!

Contented said...

Great pics. Totally in love of the post. Post reminds me of my old good days, I spent back in my home made me miss my place so much.

Real heaven is eating chat and bajjis clandestinely with friends in the evenings.

And ya, as you said Spain indeed made me better...:)

Will be waiting for pics of Andhra!! Hope you got some to post!!

Lotus Reads said...

Ohhhh mi goodness, I just LOVE your blog, Rauf! I intend to come back here and spend a longer time just savoring your pictures...hope you won't mind! I also want to send a link to your blog to a friend of mine who just loved Banaras when she visited there recently.

Thank you so very much for sharing these wonderful,wonderful pictures with us!

Rauf said...

'deranged air raid warning' ??? hahahaha! FOUR DINNERS, i know what it is, I have seen too many war movies. Battle of Britain for one.

But FOUR DINNERS, you can't defeat me when it comes to dancing.
The only experience I have ever had. New year eve, some 30 - 40 years ago, a friend's house it was. Half of them were Goans (from Goa, a small state on the west coast of India) I refused to dance, I was sitting quiet watching a huge ferocious dog. I was afraid even to move a muscle. Rest of the boys were dancing, all boys no girls.
They tried to pull me in, I refused, just sitting nevervous.
'Common RAAFF, don't be a wet blanket' No, Still watching the dog. One chap pulled me, I joined them, never danced before, took one hop swung my arms and knocked down a big porcelain flower vase, smashed to bits. All stopped dancing. I made no attempt to pick up the pieces from the floor. Door opened. My friend's mother shot out of the door. Huge she was. She tapped the pick up arm from the record, resulting in a deep scratch, it was my record, Herman's Hermits. The stylus was gone too, diamond tipped. The music stopped. Out of 20 to 25 boys, she came darting straight towards me, carrying such a bulk. RRRAAAFF ! You ! You ! It has to be you !!

No MAA ! My friend Funchoo tried to take the blame on his head. I knocked it down MAA
god promise MAA !

I could feel her hot breath on my forehead, she was taller than me.
You SHUDDUPP !

I bought this in singapore, you idiot and you knocked it down just like that ? She bawled at me

Why you lying MAA ??? You bought it on the pavement Bazaar here Why you lying MAA ?? You paid just 3 rupees MAA !!

she swung her big fat arm and slapped her son. He went reeling and hit the wall, nearly knocking the Gerrad record changer, spilling all my 45's on to the floor
Get out, She screamed, all of you get out. I did not even wait to pick up my records.
I never danced after that.

Rauf said...

Hi Contended, good to see you back,
feeling fine and comfortable in your new apartment??
Hope there is no Reese whitherspoon to bother you. ('just like Heaven' I love that guy Mark Rufallo ?)

Oh yes i eat only roadside food when I am traveling, Chaat 'n all.
Lots on Andhra Contended, vizag, vijayawada, Hyderabad. But Pochampalli Silk will come in the post after next. Then Kancheepuram. Four part series on Handloom silk.

Pochampalli is such a sweet Village Contended ! Very clean, perhaps the cleanest villge I have ever seen, just 42 KMs from Hyderabad. Had a good time at Hyderabad as well. Bought lot of bangles for my niece and sisters. Went after bangle makers, took lots of pictures on how they make them. I'll post the pictures soon after the Handloom series.

Rauf said...

Oh forgot Contended, i was so desperately seeking the Banjaras !!
Lambadis ? please correct me. I was so disappointed, couldn't find them. Finally as i was boarding the train at Kacheguda station I found one, and a bunch of them in the next station. I left my camera bag money everything on my berth and ran after them clicked some pictures in a hurry as the train started moving. I could have lost everything that day and miss the train too with al my things lying on my berth. You don't know how stupid i can get ??. Exotic jewelry they were wearing, can't wait to post the pictures. Colourful dresses too. Managed to take only a few pictures.

Rauf said...

Lotus Reads, how nice to see you here. Welcome to Daylight again. i see the Jewelry there in your profile picture, looks so lovely. The post before 'Banaras the holy city' was on Indian Jewelry, and want to do one more post on temple and tribal Jewelry.

Do you teach Lotus Reads ? My friend's lovely daughter Shalini teaches Bharathnatyam in Dallas. No, She's not there in the post I mentioned. I'll be posting her pictures in future, have to take her permission first.

I'm afraid my views on differnt subjects could be annoying. I try to stick to facts. You are always welcome Lotus Reads, please feel free to comment and criticise, Please correct me on any factual errors you find, tear me to pieces if you have to. My friends would be very glad if you do.

Ruth said...

I don't know when you added the banana photos, Rauf, but I see them now, and they're great. I like seeing the branch, which I've never seen as such before.

Yves said...

those who are generous see nothing but generosity. Rauf, you are one of these, you have given me India. Bless you for this. I am enamoured of your photos and descriptions and embrace those whom you have encountered. We are one family and I am honoured to hear of a distant branch of it.

"Angeldust" said...

Hello my dearest Rauf

Something "is different" I know I have been here already, read this wonderful post - don't see my comments...
Where is my head?
Where are all the bejewelled women and mother ganga?

OK,then.... I like the carriages you started with, and the entire series.
I have always found that "country" people are polite everywhere, unlike city folk that are not always predictable but can manage a nice surprise.

The photo of the young woman in prayer is really exquisite, also I like those of the alleys or back streets?

I know I wrote, I recognize some of the food. I am serious about samosas... very popular around here, hmmm all they need is a good finger-liking chutney.
I know for sure I was here - I mentioned (just like yourself) not being able to resist food when I travel.
lol

Big hug a with loads of love.

(I am sorry to hear about the drought, I wish I could sent you container ships full of water.)

Rauf said...

Ruth, actually I agree with FOUR DINNERS, the title can be easily misread as streets of Bananas. This is hardly one kilometer from where I live now in my temporary residence and still closer from
my old house. Lot of activity there early in the mornings. Soon I'll start posting pictures of my city in 'Blunt Knife' but daily picture blog is difficult for me, though I have my city pictures for 3 years of daily posts. There are lots of cows in my city too walking free on the busy roads Ruth. I am very much at home with cows walking behind me, in front of me and I am fine with stepping on cow dung too. But scared of stray dogs. I have been bitten twice. Once in my childhood and and once in my twenties.

Rauf said...

Yves, I checked the spelling twice before typing your name, only four letters and still made a mistake, I corrected it the third time. I think it is pronouncec EVES ?? please correct me.

India belongs to every one Yves, not just to Indians. Its a part of sunny side of earth. I hate passports and visas and money. Under protest I have not made any passport for myself. You have the right to walk into any land under the sun(I don't say any country) we have made countries and drawn the boundries) You don't know how angry and frustrated I get Yves.

You are absolutely right We are a family Yves.

Rauf said...

Dearest Angel,
i have changed the setting to only 2 posts in the blog so that the pictures load faster, Since i have marathon posts. rest will be in the archives. Ganga ghats are right below this post.

there are many types of samosas Angel, taken with different mixtures, chutneys. there are fish prawn samosas too.

Banaras can't be called a city, say a large town, and it has a floating population of surrounding rural areas and the usual tourists and pilgrims. You are right about the cities Angel. survival is very hard and still people maintain good manners and humour. Chaos and poverty is a way of life.

so far the water is available in my city, we had good rains last year, but not enough for a large city. there is always water scarecity and water is brought to the streets in tankers. When accute shortage strikes people psychologically want to store as much of water as possible. what id the truck does not show up tomorrow ? People panic and fights break out, all for water Angel. Not wasting water has crept in to our culture. Its precious. We don't spend water like money. We have to buy water. If you want to see the future of our planet, you have to visit my city in the months of june july, you can see people fighting in the streets for water, long queues all over the city waiting for water tankers, long line of colourful plastic pots.

lots of love and Hugs Angel.

quilly said...

Going through your blog is a mini vacation in itself! Wonderful, wonderful photos. The colors are awesome -- and the food -- I wanted to taste it. I could dang near smell it.

Rauf said...

Mixed smell Quilly, but mostly pleasant. Terrific taste, spicy. Smell of cowdung is acceptable here in India and not considered stink. Rajasthan is much more colourful, I have posted pictures some months ago. Thank you so much Quilly

Oya said...

Rauf, I just take a quick look at your photos. I think I have to stop another time and take time to look at them longer. So far, I lovve the food piccies. I will come back. Cheers.
( It takes very long to download your photos. Is something wrong with your template?)

Rauf said...

Take your time Oya, Nothing wrong with template but my page usually takes time to load, too many pictures in one post, and to post a comment you have to travel to south pole. I am sorry about that Oya, please bear with me. I tried to restrict the pictures but felt I am not giving an accurate account. I present good and bad, pleasant unpleasant to give you the right atmosphere. Sometimes I have to post bad pictures as well.

Anonymous said...

You have added more photos (didnt you??)

I have it in mind to tell, how poetic is your photo, presenting the colors of your country ....

Nasra

"Angeldust" said...

Yes! Dear Raufie I have tasted a variaty of samosas...
they have become part of our fast foods in certains areas
We have a community of 400.000 Indo-Canadians whom, are very much influencing our lifestyle - one way or the other.

I am sure that many of us have at least one item made in India (a candlestick or such)- I have various, including a dreamlike dark blue beadspread embroidered with angels... the loveliest!
Many of us enjoy going to Indian restaurants in "Little India".

Recently read a sing atop a SUrrey Restaurant "Indian Cuisine Chinese Style" or vise versa - neither one us could understand it... no matter how long we stared at it
We kept on asking ourselves WHY?!

With that, I leave you (hopefully smiling) and with a big loving hug


AS for the water, we are all advised tohave at lest 6 litres per person available at all times in case of emergency. After Katrina, emergency services issued allerts of most likely not being able to assist for the first 73 hours of any disaster...
So, we are now hoarding water.

e2d said...

Hi Rauf...
hope you are doing great.
I think yr blog doesn't like me very much. This is the thrid time I am trying to leave a comment on yr blog and now it works...finally :)

The streets of banaras..so much chaos, confusion and colors.All very beautiful...but I am findng a hard time associating this place as a "holy city". Is it supposed to be paradoxical?...I don't know.
Anyways...what a vibrant place!

Saw Mira Nair's movie The Namesake. Felt the movie dragged a bit but the images are so beautiful.The street scenes of Calcutta, New York,the people...well all of it.Reminded me of you...the kind of images you would capture.

Rauf said...

Thank you Nasra, yes India is colourful, you find everything, most religious people,
most number of
athiests in the world, poverty pain suffering, struggle, display of wealth, and we export wisdom, though as a society we seem to be the most confused people. You will be confused too if you come to India Nasra.

Rauf said...

Aha Dearest Angel, please note down one name HALDIRAM. Its the name of one person. Products are named after him. Ironically HALDI is termeric, i really don't know if it is a joke. But terrific taste. HALDIRAMS is available in the US and Canada, different stuff, very spicy, you have to drink a lot of water to dilute the impact of the spice.
Indian chinese food ?? Its the Chinese who teach rest of the world what to eat. How i wish to read some chinese blogs, i don't find any, with pictures of places, streets, rural areas I have to check Isabella's daily Naples picture blog, there's a list of other cities there.
lots of love and hugs Angel

Rauf said...

e2dees, yupsee me only half great.
went to a movie with nirmal sindu
'in pursuit of happiness' saw a huge poster of 'Namesake' poster was lovely but but

love to see calcutta, have to wait for reports. Is she the one who made komma suraatta ? i have one track of the OST. Haven't seen any of her movies. How's the music in Namesake ?
Which is not holy place ? I think the whole country is holy and at the same time unholy.
How you doin e2dees ?

Chimera said...

ur foto blogs r the best, they have a whole story woven in them.
but do write something about those days when u used to wait for english movies to be released in Madras. (something u had commented upon on lotus reader's blog)

Rauf said...

Princess Chimera, Zahe' Naseeb !
Sorry, my red carpet is faded to grey with age and it has so many holes that there is no carpet left.

Welcome to Daylight again Your Majesty ! you can experience a lot here if you have time and If you don't mind walking barefoot with me.

i love my country so much that i never bothered to make a passport for myself. i am comfortable sitting on the pavements and eat all the amazing variety of goodies the country has to offer. i find peace in chaos. i have lot of time to travel becuse i create time for myself. i had lot of time in the past as well to stand in the queue for a movie for hours. The passion has faded now as the passionate movie makers are all dead and gone. i'll be posting Hyderabad soon, perhaps next month, one more depressing post on environment to go, (You won't believe i had 13 part series on environment a few months ago) and a four part series on handloom silk after that. Hope you have heard of Pochampalli, 42 KMs from Hyderabad, which will come in the 2nd part of handloom series, Such a beautiful and clean village. Some more traveling this month, towards Kerala.
Thank you for your visit Princess.

Amina said...

i recollect my visit to streets of banaras , very true cannot imagine as the holy streets speak as a young muslim woman with a camera walked in there and the reactions..