28 June 2007


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Pochampalli is one of the cleanest villages i have seen in India,.
pronounced PO - CHUM (like Chart not Cart) PALLI, now PALLI is pronounced with rolled tongue stuck to the top of your mouth for a couple of seconds more, not Pally. Its in Andhra, 42 Kilometers from Hyderabad. Sorry Hyderabad is pending for a long time, i'll have a post soon.
Once you move away from the market, rest of the village is very clean. i was happy one hot April morning.
it is TELUGU, not Telegu as i have written, Mystic Rose Corrected me, Thank you Mystic Rose.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Well known for Handloom Silk Sarees, and famous for the design and patterns. i asked the price, it is 1900 rupees in the showroom and they get less than one fourth for each sari for their 15 days of labour.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

If you wear a Pochampalli sari you are a college professor. Beautiful pattern with a dash of jazz.
I'll tell you about silk later, Pochampalli will appear in the silk series. i am not talking about silk or how clean the village is, i am talking about something else here, about more adjustments.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

i walked in to a house of a weaver, and darted towards this gorgeous old lady, and started clicking pictures, for some strange reason her lovely eyes went moist. i stopped taking pictures and started my monkeying, i am a professional monkey and a good clown, there it came, her precious smile.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Isn't she a darling ? Look at her gold ear rings, nose jewels, She started talking to me in Telegu. i don't understand a word of the language though it is my neighbouring state. i knew she is talking about her past glory, her daughter tried to shut her up. i said let her talk, she wants a patient listener, and i have all the time, i told her in Hindi, i squatted on the floor with all my attention to
her story, nodding my coconut as if i understood what she said. i could understand that she is hurt about fast changes around her. She told her daughter to give me coffee. sipping hot coffee i sat listening to her story for more than half an hour. Her narration was beautiful. Telegu is a beautiful sounding language, even the fights in the crowded trains sound so musical. Then she said she is tired and wanted to sleep, i folded my hands in respect and said thank you. This her daughter

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Why are these silly girls laughing at me ? The chap with me lied to them that i am taking pictures for a Telegu magazine. i said no no no thats not true. . the girl in the middle, the most mischievous one said that the magazing would go bankrupt with no readers if he takes our pictures, tell him to go take pictures of beautiful film stars. This was translated to me, and they started giggling more. girls don't need a reason to laugh. They are very poor but happy, they are picking up tamarind fallen from the trees, they'll clean it and sell it in the shop. i knew they were pulling my legs, good that i did not understand what they were saying. Movies and movie stars are always on their minds. they go to sleep dreaming of a good life like they watch in the movies. i walked towards the village temple.
i am coming to the point now.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This is a temple alright, but what are the children doing there ?
there is a school building but there is no room for them, they are writing their exams in a temple. These are their classes.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

They are busy writing their exams.
No desks, no chairs, no fan, yes i have heard of airconditioned class rooms we have those too. These children want to learn, they have dreams, they don't ask for comforts, they want to be there.
This is a hindu temple, but you'll find muslim and Christian children too.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Aha ! she has written Daddy and door, she is learning the alphabet D. good girl. This girl is telling me what she has written in Telegu

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This girl is blushing, because i took a picture of her note book. The other girls are teasing her.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Telegu has a lovely script. i have such contempt for handwritings,
No, it is below my dignity to write with such an inferior pen. i will write only with this pen and i chose my nibs. But i forgot to learn. These kids are learning happily under some pathetic conditions.
Am i ashamed of showing these pathetic pictures ?
No i am proud of these children. i am proudly presenting them to you.
They don't even have a mat to sit on. they are sitting on the ground, moving inch by inch trying to sit in the shadow area.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Hello ! Perhaps it was her birthday, she is wearing a jazzy dress and others are wearing uniforms. They are allowed to wear a 'dress' on birthdays. Happy she is. God ! how i love them.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Ah ! the teacher is blushing too.
Now i suddenly realised that i have to stand in the middle and let all the kids kick me. i deserved it. i just go there and disturb their class and writing of their exam and none of the teachers protested and told me to get lost.

There is a generous amount allocated by the ministry of education in every budget, i don't know where the money goes.
Our politicians are nthing less than vultures.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Our democracy is alive, though bleeding, infecion on wounds every where, legs smashed, walking with crutches, dragging itself forward by inches, eaten by vultures, yes the democracy is still alive.

These are the people who make the democracy work, these children, and not the I.T industry and software giants. This is our culture, accepting conditions without protests, making adjustments.

Hope one of these children grows up to be the President of India, It is possible. its a democracy. i love them. i am proud of them.


Ruth said...

Are they raising their arms to see your lcd screen, rauf? They don’t look like they’re waving at you.

Yes, I see the tears there in Old Mother’s eyes. They’ve welled up as much as possible without spilling out. Some lovely man has come to listen to her and take her picture. I can see that she has always been a beauty, and a petite little woman who is strong.

I saw parts of “The Tamarind Seed” – don’t remember much, but I loved (and love) the word “tamarind.” I had never heard the word, and it invited me in, just the word, made me want to watch the movie. I also remember that Omar Sharif and Julie Andrews were very sexy. dictionary.com says “tamarind” means “Indian date” in Hindi.

I see myself in those little girls, especially “Big Smile Holding her slate to her chest.” I loved school. I think I would have been happy in those strips of shade too. But I might have been unhappy if I had to sit in the sun. And I’m afraid my back would get sore. They must get up and walk around when they are tired of sitting. Everyone there is happy and excited to learn. I was always like that, because at that age, learning was easy for me. I started to hate math in 7th grade when I didn’t understand algebra.

I want these kids to have every opportunity. But it makes me sad to think they will have to choose between the traditions of their village and the race of the world playing out in India and everywhere. I hope they will find a way to choose the best of it all without losing their happiness. We all find our own way.

Ireland is having a major adjustment problem because of their new-found prosperity. The world is at their feet, and the traditions are being lost little by little. Someone said it’s like taking one of the gorgeous, winding country roads in the Irish countryside and imposing the Internet on top of it. How do they mesh the two? Adjustment is essential, but it makes me sad that it has to happen, because I’m afraid some of what will be preserved will be for tourists.

vishesh said...

lovely post !

thanks for showing the heart of democracy!

lol i will never have a handwriting as good as that.....:)

Rauf said...

Oh no Ruth, that was a big blunder i committed. i had to sit down and to show the camera screen. They all fell on me and the teacher too popped his head pushing the children away. You are right, they are not waving. Just doing something for the camera.

The word for Tamarind in Urdu is beautiful, it is called IMLI, No indian curry is made without a dash of it. Ripe tamirind is sweetish and don't know the word for it, KHATTA, Sour is not the right word, have to ask Mystic Rose, the right English word for it. They are far far away from dates. Raw, tamarind or IMLI are very very KHATTE' Girls love them,
a group of girls, boast and cook up stories about themselves licking raw IMLI. i used to have them in my younger days.
You get soar throat next morning if you have too many of them. I have never heard of that Omar Sharief movie.

Girls are not free to choose Ruth, this is really sad. Very few are lucky. men always decide for them. How ever intelligent they may be, most of them are by nature, they are forced to drop out of school. For lack of money or sent to work and parents get them married at the age of 15 or 16, theough there is a law against it. But seldom implemented. While still in teens, the days to enjoy themselves and have some fun, they become mother of three or four. Then comes the atrocities from the in-laws. If they fail to have a child in two years, they are sent back to the parent's home and the husband marries another 15 year old girl.
This still happens in the villages.
more in the north, less in the south. Its the same everywhere in Asia, Orhan Pamuk says the same about Turkey. Women are expected to make all the adjustments.

i was afraid of Algebra Ruth, i used to get nightmares in algebra.

One good thing here Ruth, Old people are kept at home, well looked after, they are not sent to old age home. But i see old widows suffer a lot in North India even today, they are sent away from home by their sons and daughtes - in - law. Its another sad story. Very painful. some charitable organisations take care of them in big cities like Banaras.

Rauf said...

thanks Vishesh. Telegu and Kannada script looks the same. i speak a little kannada but not Telegu.

mystic rose said...

This post brings back so many precious memories, right from the weavers' pics.. and the old lady.. precious! a darling indeed! reminds me of my grandma.

And all those kids.. you have to love them. what you say about democarcy in Inida, so true.. and that is the concern.. the corrupt politicians that prevail everywhere.. the huge moneymaking machines that seem to think they run the world.

but this is the world.... this is the real life. i love their eyes.. so sweet.

and by the way.. telugu not telegu. We do have a lovely script.. all swirls, and circles..

Im glad you took a pic of that notebook.. I havent read telugu script(written, not printed) in a long while.. she has a lovely hand for writing.

wonderful post!! everything about it is awesome.. the houses, the ladies and the little girls. and ur write up too..

Rauf said...

Mystic Rose, sorry about the spelling. Never knew actually, no one told me, though i have many TELUGU speaking friends, but it is better than THALEGOO the way my other friends pronounce. TELUGU sounds even better.
Tamil is THAMIZH.

What struck me most Mystic Rose, is how these children adapt themselves, make adjustments and find happiness in pathetic conditions, Believe me in my childhood i would have refused to go to such a school which had no desks chairs or benches. i had a sheltered childhood, but i found myself breaking out of it and have my happiest moments with my less fortunate friends and classmates.

Telugu script is such that even if you try you can't have a bad hand writing. Even the worst of handwritings would look beautiful.
How is yours Mystic rose ? please write something on a piece of paper take a picture with your digital and please mail me. My Tamil writing was not bad but not as good as Urdu and English, but now it is all gone, thanks to this silly keyboard. If you can find a couple of verses in Telugu please write and send, i am getting ideas.
Ruth's English handwriting is just beautiful.

No democracy is perfect, every system has holes in it, but the worst is taking innocent people for a ride. Denying basic amenities to children is not all that difficult for Indian Government. The amount of money wasted on election campaigns alone is enough to provide basic requirements in educating poor children all over India, We seem to have wrong priorities Mystic Rose.

her indoors said...

the old lady is a star, and so are you for sitting and listening to her even though you could not understand that was so sweet of you, people just dont take the time these days to listen.
the children all look so happy bless them.
it is so sad to know that the girls, in my opinion, are forced into womanhood far too soon.

Rauf said...

awww thank you HER INDOORS
Old people need company, some one to talk to, though i enjoy solitude and silence myself, sometimes i also feel the need to share my feelings with some one who cares. i don't know where we are going. People don't even have time for themselves.

Things have changed a bit in urban areas, but they remain the same in the rural India. Women suffer the most pushed into marriage at early age. My mom was 13 when she married my father. i never asked her if she missed childhood. She thought she had a good life. At the age of 14 i became a man and defended her and my sisters from my father's atrocoties. But i was the most disobedient of all. i was a big pain myself. i was afraid i will do the same to my wife. i decided never to marry, there are various other reasons too.

isabella said...

You are a kind soul, Rauf - no use denying it. Granting that sweet old lady what she needed the most - someone to validate her. Very respectful on your part...

I admire the children's hunger for knowledge and hope that, despite all odds, one of them becomes the President of India!

And then you photograph will be immortalized ;-)

her indoors said...

it is a shame you will never marry, you would make a kind and caring husband x

Pauline said...

Such a wonderful experience to view your pictures. They reveal an impressive documentary. Thank you for opening my eyes, my thoughts.

Rauf said...

oh No Isabella, i don't want to fool myself by thinking that i am kind, though my name means a kind person. Sometimes i have to make unkind decisions. Kindness that people talk about is grossly misplaced. We cannot survive with kindness all the time, there are limits to kindness. Plucking and eating an apple is an unkind act. We do it for our survival. There is love kindness in all of us and we all bring them out when ever necessary in right measures.

This is a great lesson for me Isabella, i will not send my children to a school without desk or chairs and rooms. Now i see that our aim is only seeking knowledge and be better human beings. So no comforts are necessary.

Rauf said...

thank you HER INDOORS, i have seen women suffering in my life. i have great respect for their capacity to endure pain. i am a weak person, women are emotionally ten times stronger than men. they are willing to take risks and they are expected to make all the adjustments. Its sad HER INDOORS i would accept a god if it is a female. Women have to be worshipped for the sacrifices they make as a way of life.

Rauf said...

Hi Pauline, such a delight to see you here, welcome to daylight again.

We die the day our eyes are fully open Pauline, we think we can see hear and feel, we don't. Our eyes slowly keep opening as we grow older. When we are fully awake it is time for us to go.

Cindy said...

Rauf, that portrait of the old woman is beautiful, as she is. You can see the years of her life in her face and the acceptance of it in her eyes. Seeing those children should fill us full of shame-we take our comforts for granted and are outraged at the lack of them, while those children suffer whatever they must to obtain an education. They can teach us a lot more than algebra.

arvindh said...

I feel so happy just looking at all these smiling people in this post! what vicarious pleasure you are able to spread around the world with your photography!

Tea & Margaritas in My Garden said...

Amazing pictures Rauf. The old lady looks so very wise. Sad that thee workers don`t make very much money. If only everyone had everything they need in this world, instead of just the rich who flaunt it ridiculously.....
Hope you have a lovely weekend.


Rauf said...

Cindy, accepting conditions are complicated. Frustration in trying to change the conditions, feeling miserable and refusing to accept things we cannot change and those who willingly happily accept conditions. This is a simple shift in attitude which makes our lives worth living. Comfort is a state of mind. i am comfortable in a crowded train without a seat. i can make my journey miserable by complaining and fighting it. Sometimes i am angry that the train reached late but most of the time i am thankful that i have reached, though not on time.

i have seen people who are very rigid with their principles and i have seen those who are quite demanding Cindy, i know that they are asking for misery refusing to adjust. i see those people too who take advantage of the adjustments you make.

When ever i used to complain about the quality of the writing paper, my mom used to tell me about a child who grew up to be a judge, who had no lights at home and used to do his homework under street lights.

Rauf said...

Thank you Arvindh

Rauf said...

You have various amazing talents yourself TEAS, You are a magician in the kitchen. It is no less than the art of the greatest artist in the world. The delight that you provide is a trip to heaven. It is spiritual as well.

Every other person is an artist here TEAS. Craftsmen craftswomen are usually very poor, Trader and the middleman take advantage of their basic needs. They are always kept hungry so that they always work. No relief. And the fruits of their labour and craft hardly reach them. i'll write about their plight soon.

Pingu said...

Dear Rauf Uncle,

The photos of the old lady are poignant...the sadness in the eyes in the first and the beautiful smile in the next...
Appreciating the simple joys in life is something we should learn from all the people in your photographs. They do not wait for a reason to be happy...a reason to smile...
We 'urban elite' are dependent on so many things to entertain ourselves. Parents these days spend so much on their kids to keep them happy - expensive clothes, toys...and the children grow up leading such protected and comfortable lives that their 'needs' cannot be satiated by simple pleasures.For people used to air-conditioned comfort, the shade of a tree just wouldn't suffice.

I have seen a lot of extremes in my life. I studied in an esteemed convent school in Delhi.A school full of the oppulent business family kids - the sort that used to go on a vacation abroad while their chain of stores were getting rennovated over the summer!My classmates used to have chauffer driven cars with maids bringing them cool drinks and fruit juices in the afternoons!
Now look at the other extreme.After we moved to Chennai, I studied in a Central School (Kendriya Vidyalaya) for 2 years. This school had children of fathers who worked as tailors in the Ordnance clothing factory.Let alone cars and maids, most of the children walked barefoot.The school was an old one, and in complete contrast to my previous school, this one had a proper building only for classes above 10th,asbestos roofs for the middle school and koorai-type roofs for the primary school! Many of our teachers used to take classes outside under the shade of trees. Maybe because I was only a kid then I never realised the difference.It wasn't dificult for me to make 'adjustments'.Children have less inhibitions and prejudices than grown-ups do.I actually loved the Shantiniketan-like atmosphere! Was the quality of teaching or teachers inferior to that of my previous school?? Most definitely not. It was, in fact, better. I owe a lot to those teachers and that school.

Love your blog dear Rauf Uncle. It is so different from the hundreds that abound in the blogosphere. With some people you can just be yourself without being self-concious or being pseudo-intellectual. Some places make you feel you belong there. Some people make you feel you are family.I am so happy to have 'met' you. We shall definitely meet some day. Saw your photo Rauf Uncle. Showed it to everybody in my family. You look like Rabindranath Tagore. I made a sketch of Tagore a few days back and my mother thought I had made a sketch of you!!! Meri shakal dekhne ya dikhane layak tho hai nahi par phir bhi I will mail you one photo.

You look frail. Eat properly. Take care of your health. Avoid Romeo-style daredevilry like hanging out of trains. Always remember there are people around the world concerned about you and your well-being.

Lots of love,

Pingu said...

P.S: Sorry I left such a huge comment! I didn't realise it while I was typing!

Nothingman said...

been there done that :)

I live up north but India is the same all over, the same things we see here too. This country needs a better government for sure!


Chimera said...

ah, only 42 kms from Hyd'bad and I haven't yet been to Pochampalli - shame on me!!!

and just when I thought that children these days seem to be losing their innocence, you show me such awesome pictures to prove me wrong.

Matangi Mawley said...

they r so full with "life"!
esp. the kids.. brimming with innocsense.. beautiful!
n u'r "overload" is gr8 too! :)
keep posting!

Moi said...

loved the weavers set and tghe kids set Rauf. brought my husband to the blog and we sat through admiring some of your posts together.....Thanx for sharing the part of India known to us but not seen in person


Proud of em too mate. Incredible children who will have an education despite everything because they're determined too.

They're smiles brought a tear to my eye and I don't know why.

I hope they never change and then rule the world.

Children help us to keep the faith. maybe there is a future after all?

Rauf said...

Piyari Pingu bitiya, sorry for the delay in response, have to do this with a right frame of mind, had to wait.

Sometimes i feel that we have become slaves to comfort bitiya. i break out and go. i am not punishing myself for anything. i feel the need to experience how people live without comforts that we are used to. But i always come back. i know that i am going back to comforts, though i am a phateechar kangaal, there have been some basic comforts in my life. But these people can only dream of comforts. i don't say they are not even aware of comforts. Our movies give them a dream. But i really appreciate that they are aware of ground realities and try their best to be happy. i am also very reluctant to say that they live in miserable conditions.
i measure their level of comforts with my yard stick. i am wrong.
i accept that i am wrong. Comfort is in our minds. With all the comforts in the world people still cannot sleep peacefully, they need the help of drugs.
These people here sleep peacefully.

Your Kenda vidyalaya experience teaches you to be a human first and what contentment is. With all the comforts we can make our lives miserable by demanding more or expecting more out of our lives.

Thank you so much bitiya, you are a delight, you look very natkhat and shareer and very beautiful, very sweet nature, looks like you have made the connection with the earth, not many have done that. Many are still very high, still floating in the air.

hahaha i have many mothers and you have joined their club, my mothers are as young as 12 and 15. they keep advising me feeding me. On the way to Banaras there was a family occupying the opposite berths. 2 day journey. They were eating, Little Vasini was passing what ever was given to her in to my hands, without the knowledge of her parents. She would make an ishaara 'eat' you eat, i made another ishaara. no you eat, bas ishaaron ishaaron mein i experienced the earth. i loved her so much. later the family became friends, i was alone and a a phateechar, couldn't offer them anything. Since it was a 2 day journey my things were scattered, her mom managed my things. i have posted Vasini's picture in my Banaras blog. Herat warming experience.
All my love Bitiya
yes i will follow your advise.

Rauf said...

Oh yesNothingman you are right

Rauf said...

Your Majesty princess Chimera, Hyderabad city bus goes to Pochampalli. Yes Bus, pretty close.

Rauf said...

Thank you Mathangi, feel so guilty not visiting your beautiful page, been traveling a lot, i'll add your link here so that i don't forget. idiot i am.

Children make us better humans. Children are our teachers. parent's life changes when a child is born. They do their best not to create a bad impact on the child. so they behave, no bad words, no fights, they learn to control their anger. My life completely changed when my nephew was born.

Rauf said...

Mathangi, i have added your link to all my 4 blogs, Blunt knife, Portraits and Passion green being the other three.
Thank you so much for being all set to do nothing. That is exactly what we humans are supposed to do. A sweet young girl like you has understood that and all the philosophies and religions have not. Animals have understood that. We have not.

Rauf said...

Please go to Kokkra Bellur next time you visit MOI about 20 KMs from Maddur, Close to Bangalore. its a beautiful village and beautiful people, You'll find pelicans in January. No use going in a car, the villagers will not come near you. Take a bus from Maddur, you'll see how sweet those people are in the bus itself before you reach the place

Rauf said...

These children are happily learning without chair, tables, FOUR DINNERS, out in the hot sun, trying to sit in the shadow area and they keep shifting themselves. No complaints. Happy lot. The situation is same all over India. A school building exists on paper but there is no school. They money for the school building disappears. Over worked and under paid teachers plight is universal. They do not understand that the teachers are the most important members of the society.
Money making Doctors and Lawyers are respected but the teachers lead a miserable life. There are hardly any retirement benifits for them. We have government built teacher's colony, if you lean on the wall the whole house would collapse.

lesleyanne said...

the looms are gorgeous, and my heart goes out to the artists, practically sitting on the concrete floor. would love a loom of that size. then i could make my own geometric sarees. weaving is a lot of work. i'm glad you can understand the magnitude of it.
it really is a clean village! i loved going here with you via blogworld.

power ranger said...

dear rauf,
I love the pictures on your blog.
When I saw those houses, I felt like I should go to India, then I remembered the painted stork.
You gave me such a good picture.
But I dont want to go to school when I am there.

Rauf said...

Ahaa !!POWER RANGER, so good to see you here. The houses you see here are in eastern coast state of Andhra Pradesh, it is your home state and people speak your mother tongue, Telugu, mom corrected my spelling, i spelt Telugu wrong. It is a beautiful sounding language, when you speak it sounds like you are singing, that is why Telugu is called a musical language. You are very lucky POWER RANGER.

Haha ! these children are doing what you are doing there, Learning.
Please aquire as much knowledge as possible. Knowledge would make you a very good human being.

Rauf said...

Lesley, Some are stone slabs but mostly earthern floor, a mixture of wet clay and cow dung. I know you are surprised, Cow dung for floor in a house ? Mosquitos, insects ants don't enter a house with cow dung floor. And it doesn't smell of cow dung after a week of application. Cow dung has various other uses and i want to do a seperate post on it.

You would go wild Lesley if you see the gorgeous patterns.

your head is lit up with brilliant ideas. i love your designs Lesley, When i buy sarees for my sister, some times my niece makes a Shalwar Khamees with them. college professors, artists, writers seem to love them. i mean intellectual class not elite class.
When you come to India i'll take you there Lesley. there are many silk weaving centres, the best of all is Kancheepuram, about 80 kilometers from Chennai, my city.

Ex-Shammickite said...

I have really enjoyed looking at your photographs and reading your dialogue. The Indian children at the school are indeed lucky to be at school. And I hope that they can grow up to make the most of their education, and that the girls especially will be able to live their lives independantly and make their own decisions.
Beautiful pictures.
I can tell you love your country.

Rauf said...

Thank you Ex-Shammickite, yes i do love my country, but i don't let my patriotism cloud my judgement. We have many social evils, racism crippling the country. Education is free in Government schools, teachers are underpaid and lead a miserable life themselves but still they do their jobs pretty well with all their devotion without any basic amenities.

lorenzothellama said...

This is an amazing piece of writing and photography. It makes me want to weep. The children there are so eager to learn. In England they have everything and can't be bothered to turn up to lessons half the time.

The three girls you were teasing are so beautiful. Much more than most film stars.

The old woman is wonderful and how happy her daughter looks. What a family!!

My own daughter imports 'Fair Trade' goods. A lot come from Nepal but we all feel very strongly about what we call slave labour. It is disgusting how little the workers get for such beautiful and creative work. They are so talented. The bosses treat them appallingly. Fair Trade pays a fair price and all the profits go back to the workers or their commune.

Congratulations on such a lovely piece.
Love Lorenzo.

Rauf said...

Welcome to Daylight again, Lorenzothellama, These craftsmen and women works so hard to make their ends meet, they are such talented artistes but the rewards are so meagre. And they have to compete against the technology. the potters are a dying tribe. Technology has killed them. i feel so miserable that i am not able to fight the system and the society. And the worst of all these poor people are not respected by the society. They are the victims of racism and the cast system. but still they swallow the pride and lead a life of dignity, they don't rob and steal and cheat the government like the traders and business people. These are the people who make all the adjustments and these are the people who make the country. i have written about farmers too in my post 'Thank you Farmers' some months ago.

The percentage of dropouts is getting less and less every year and literacy is on the rise. thanks to the determination of these unfortunate children who want to learn without basic comforts like a table and a chair.

DJ Kirkby said...

Both the pictures of the old woman are strikingly beautiful.

Sharon said...

Everytime I visit your site I feel like I'm in India. Your photos are so candid.

The young girls that were giggling at you are as pretty if not prettier than any movie star.

lorenzothellama said...

Thank you for your comments on my blog and the link to your photos and words about Indian potters. I am so spoilt here. I have an electric wheel and an electric kiln (although it needs a major repair at the moment). I don't have to struggle to dig my own clay - I can just pop down to Stoke-on-Trent to pick up clean, sieved clay, nicely packed in 25 kg bags. The stuff I make is without the character that more 'humble' potters make. I cannot compete with them. They are the true artists

There's me moaning about a little bit of rain and my garden. OK, I love my garden, and like you I like it wild in places. I never use chemicals on it as I like the wildlife to come and inhabit it.

I have been to Turkey a couple of times and have spent time visiting some of the carpet weavers communes. These are Government run and are supposed to pay a fair wage to the workers. I have also talked to Turkish carpet sellers, and they say it is just a sham. I have a couple of Turkish carpets. One is old, a Muslim prayer mat. It is battered and has been repaired quite badly. I love it, and it is the fact that it is battered that I love it so much. It has really been used and so it is a holy object.

My eldest son worked for some time doing voluntary service teaching in Namibia. More about that another time. I am taking too much of your blogsite. I am so glad I came across you.

Love, Lorenzo T. Llama

Rauf said...

Your thoughts and ideas are most welcome here Lorenzo, They would help me and i always appreciate contributions made by my readers, and they are educating me. i think you'd love to meet Ruth, She spent some time in Istanbul too, and both of us are reading Orhan Pamuk now. i am a bit slow though.

i am proud of my culture which is not just music art craft or literature. But i always maintain that every part of the globe has something unique to offer. We learn to appreciate the crafts but the talented craftsmen and women are often not aware of it. The traders who make a living out of the labour, efforts and talents of others often keep the craftsmen in dark about how much their crafts are being appreciated.

Please feel free to offer your thoughts ideas and suggestions which would be useful not only to me but to all my readers

Rauf said...

i am a bit confused about our Indian movies. i am not sure that i am proud of them or ashamed of them, but i often find myself defending some poorly made melodramatic trash. i can boast about the quantity not quality. Largest number of cinema goers and most number of feature films made. What ever trash they may produce, they provide phenomenal entertainment to the poor and the rich, educated and illeterates alike. its a very good subject to study. Poor people go to sleep in sheer ecstasy after watching an indiian movie forgetting about their own misery.
they live in a dream and make believe world that the indian movies present. Indian movies and the movie stars have done a terrific job in keeping India united and maintaining communal harmony that politicians have damaged. These poor girls always think and talk about movies and movie stars and accept the miserable living conditions hoping that they would live like movie stars one day.

Rauf said...

Thank you DJ Kirkby, welcome to Dalylight again.

Anonymous said...

As always I get stumbled in my world ..its good to be here and as always Rauf you light up my world with the colors of India...You fill me with sadness and hope at the same time...Sad cause some of us live such hard life..hope you still find us smiling...



AlterinG Abhishek said...


it brings out the so much more that is there to life..
and we get lost in this Faltu-stuff of life!!!


shooting star said...

Beautiful!!!! the people..the old lady...her misty eyes....the children and their and their innocenmt smiles.....haven't seen such smiles in a long time....

Kathy said...

wow! incredible pictures...you are the best! I loved the lady in pink.
Thank you sooo very much for sharing.

Rauf said...

Hi Nasra,
TC is take care ?

There is misery all around us. Not just in India, but all over the world. People don't give up, will to survive keeps them going. They have dreams too, but keeping their dreams aside they get on with life.
Here in India, people do their best to make their life intersting by making some adjustments and happily accepting things they cannot change. This attitude is positive. These people Keep the democracy alive.

Hope you are doing fine Nasra

Rauf said...

How are you Abhishek,
quite true, we get lost in faltu stuff. When i sit and spend time with the tribals, smoke their beedis, talk to them i realise my knowledge and education is faltu too. If there is no electricity, shopping malls, i would die, i don't know how to grow food. i don't know how to survive without comforts.

Rauf said...

Hi Shooting Star, welcome to daylight again, sorry for the delay in response, no excuses, just lazy.

We have many philosophies. Book of rules, code of conduct, follow everything, still life is miserable. These philosophies bind us, they don't teach us to be free.
These people survive in miserable conditions without complaints, and accept their fate making adjustments. They find joy and freedom. Am i a free person like the bird and the monkey ? i am not a free man Shooting Star, i am bound by comforts, i am a slave.

Rauf said...

Kathy Hi, How are you.Enjoying the summner ?
Hope richard and Marcey are doing fine
lots of love and Hugs Kathy

Sangita said...

Hey good that u reminded me I had just forgotten abt daylight again..Wonderful post..I knew abt the sarees but never thought it was the name of a village as well..U must have made the day of the old lady..Good that u bring smile to so many faces..That handwriting was soo neat and so rounded..remined me of our school days and now we find writing so difficult :( Do u get ur articles published in a magazine and all. U surely cld at least the one on the village ,wld bring so many ppl in touch with our villages..and with such wonderful photograhy we can't ask for more

Rauf said...

1900 Sangita, poor people, but they don't sell, they'll tell you to go to the retail shop. They can't wait and they don't stock as they have no money. The traders make most of the money and the people who do all the labour get just enough to survive. One house will have two or three looms, The younger generation is not interested and they go out looking for jobs. It is slowly fading. Very few houses have looms now. When you go to Hyderabad please go there Sangita, just 42 KMs

"Angeldust" said...

Raufie dearest

This is why I did not dare to even take a peek at your blog for all this time - I knew I was going to hoocked on every picture and every word.

You have such a way of capturing the faces, the expression in the eyes...

The children are beautiful - happy, healthy, wholesome - nothing to be ashamed of or be given a second thought!

Only an ignorant and arrogant westerner would find "fault" with it.
Maybe a chair would be better - but what matters is the spirit all the learning is carried out with. No?

The old lady captured my heart before I got to your lines - she was most likely in need to be acknowledged.
YOu know my dear friend, indiference is the slaughter of the soul, and we live in a very indifferent society - you were her heavenly gift.

It is getting late here and I am ready to slow down a bit.

Big hug :)

Rauf said...

Dearest Angel,
Life is fast and today no one has time to give a patient listening to old folks. I am old but i have a blog where i pour all that is in my head. Glad that some friends read it. But if i want to talk, there are some people who listen but in a few years time there would be no one to listen to me. but i will keep my head clear, i will make no attempt to talk.

i live in my own world, but i am glad that i don't live in an elite world. The world is full of kids you see in the picture, eager to learn without basic comforts.
love and Hugs Angel

Nirmala said...

Dear Rauf

I was searching for Pochampally saris and came across your blog site. Enjoyed the pictures. You are right, it is these people, the real people who make India what it is. I really hope every child will be able to keep the bright smile they wear. I am not sure I will be able to visit the village, are they moving out of the traditional lifestyle and moving into the cities at a rapid pace?

rauf said...

Dear NIRMALA, You are an artist yourself, i just checked your website, very pleasing water colours you have painted, Ganesha seems to be the favourite of my artist friends too.

i ignore pain and suffering poverty injustice, corruption, religion, cast system and see only the brighter side of being an Indian. No one is free of pain and there is no paradise, its only what we make of our lives, i am happy if i could bring a smile on the face of one unfortunate person in my life.

What you say is true, village people are moving out of their traditional lifestyle. there are many reasons for it. We are more interested in digging oil building huge shopping malls, automobile factories and we are confused about progress and development. Real India, the villages are ignored, and viilagers dream of a life in the cities shown in our movies.
i have written a series on environment titled 'Speed'. In conclusion i hold male domination responsible for the damage to the environment.

Thank you for your visit Nirmala, Let me try to introduce you to some of my friends on the face book.

Nirmala said...

Dear Rauf

I saw your reply today, after almost half a year! Thanks so much for the wonderful post and sharing your thoughts and ideas.

And thanks for mentioning my paintings and glad you like them. I have not been able to pursue this passion recently for several reasons, but dream always of folk art, cultures and traditions, ways to make the world more natural. More people I know seem to be interested in environment issues. Though there is the awareness I think people are caught up in the rat race. Hopefully there will be ways very soon for increased sustainability and less hoarding.

I really consider myself fortunate to be your friend and look forward to more meetings.