14 August 2007


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What is this ?
i don't know

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Looks like some procession
what procession ?
i don't know

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Who are these people ?
i don't know
There are going somewhere
where are they going ?
I don't know
Why are you posting these pictures if you don't know anything
i don't know
No one has time to stop and ask who you are and where you are going

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Looks like some cult
what cult ?
i don't know
India is a country of 1 billion people and there are half a billion cults here.
Its written there in Tamil. i can read only cinema posters and bus destination boards in Tamil. But this banner is beyond me, hoping some reader would help, explaining who they are, what they are and where they are going.
All i know is they have not made it to the top ten of the Guru charts. Doesn't look like they are best sellers.

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Guruji likes me but Mrs. Guruji doesn't seem to like me, No i am wrong, see see, Mrs Guruji also likes me

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i was going to Chenglepet 50KMs from Chennai, where i live, saw the procession and jumped out of the bus and started clicking pictures. No one objected, they all were pleased.
This is India.

Ha ! singing in the middle of the road ?? i love it, its fun, nice to see people enjoying themselves, little problem for the traffic, but we adjust, always, We don't mind a little delay, by the time we reach, we forget what we saw on the road today.

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If you want you can start your own cult and take out a procession, You have to let people know that you exist, This is marketing. There is money in it. lots of it. All you do is, come up with some kinky philosophy, some weird rituals, i'll give you all the weird ideas if you want. You'll soon have followers, lots of them. And within six months you would be dancing in the US and Europe, thats where the money is.

I won't be surprised if they are marching towards the US embassy, but for that they have to turn back and go in the opposite direction.

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Ah ! you'd love this. This is such a relief. Isn't it nice to see people dancing on the road ? having fun ? Enjoying themselves ??I love it.

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Added later:

Now my friend Anand read that banner and tells me that this is a march for world peace and for the upliftment of the society.

While i was adding this, AAARTI also contributed in the comments confirming the reason. Thank you Aaarti

Traveling again, going to North Kerala, Wynad with my friends Nirmal and Sindu, i'll be back on the 19th and reply to all your comments and mail.
love you all.


iamnasra said...

ALl is alive with the souls of these people..sheer hapiness I can see

Ruth said...

People want to follow someone. They want someone to give them a list of things to do. If someone else thinks there is a right way to do something, then they must be right, and someone will follow it. Just speak with authority. People want to believe the answer is out there.

This guy looks like other gurus. His smile is very knowing and guru-like. He has got the right look. I hope he is good to his followers.

her indoors said...

yes it is good to see happy people enjoying themselves.
have a safe trip my friend x

Aaarti said...


Trust you to take these pics.. the banner says they are doing this procession in want of world peace and happiness.. am pretty sure its just to fill their piggy banks, rob a few ppl,innocent souls, gullible ones and make away wit it till the next group comes up with something innovative n wacko n goes abt the same thing again... god,i swear people here are crazyyy.. but crazyyy smart... scaryyyyy....

have a fun trip.. me been wanting to go to waynard for so long.. :)

Ruth said...

There is an excellent, in depth web site about Wayanad:


Ex-Shammickite said...

I can just imagine you leaping from the bus and starting to take pictures.... and such colourful pictures too. The people are obviously enjoying their procession, thanks for sharing your experiences.

Anonymous said...

another crisp pics...happiness can't be bought with money...umm...ever wonder what these people were thinking seeing you holding a digicam...and taking pics of them? ;))

DJ Kirkby said...

Great pictures, thank you for taking us on your travels. Wishing you a safe journey.

vishesh said...


for everyhtin we should accept one thing these people are good at business :) maybe the It companies should think of recruiting them :)


Somebody once told me I was a cult. Least I think they said that...

Thanks for your thoughts mate. Back home and ok now.

Sandy said...

So interesting to see these photos and great job on photographing the activity and "spirit" of the street...peace on!!


Sewmouse said...

More amazing photos - you are an artist, Rauf.

Here where I live if people were to annoy the traffic for even a very short time - especially if it was for a demonstration for PEACE!!, the police would drag them all in with billyclubs and in handcuffs. Thanks to our Pretender to the Presidency, supporting PEACE is tantamount to Treason now.

Nathalie said...

Rauf thank you for your beautiful photos and fun message.

When you jump out of a bus to take pictures like this, do you climb back on the same bus which was held up anyway, or do you have to wait for hours for the next one?

Anyway, all right, let's start a new cult, the followers of Rauf the photographer. I suggest you help us devise rituals as well as a colour scheme for our saris - then we will be all set for you to take pictures!

BTW, I have a new blog in Avignon. Hope you enjoy my photos

So Hum said...

More people ought to pursue this career of singing and dancing in the name of World Peace! I am back, Rauf! Had a wonderful summer. I'll be posting the whole adventure, a little at a time:)

Marie said...

Nice colors again.

Rauf said...

Yes they Enjoy themselves NASRA

Rauf said...

Oh Yes RUTH, they are good to their followers, some go beyond being good. Lots of scandals flying around, but people don't want to hear about them.

We don't have any Guru who doesn't want peace Ruth, All of them preach the same thing, Peace, love, kindness compassion, but they never agree with each other.

Believe me Ruth, if you take an opinion poll all over the world, majority would like to have their kings back in power. People want some big figure to worship or bow to. In the absence of kings, we have movie stars and Gurus, and some of them have claim to be gods

Rauf said...

Thank you HER INDOORS, some gurus say have fun. Thats what they do.

Rauf said...

Thank you RUTH for the link.
unfortunately locals are unaware of some of the beautiful spots around them. Meenmutty Falls (Mother Earth Alive post) where i nearly lost my life is in Wynad

Rauf said...

EX-SHAMMICKITE, there are so many of them, i jumped out of one bus, clicked some pictures and got in to a next bus which was crawling due to this procession. They have to take a police permission before taking out the procession. There are just too many of them, half of them are political. Now the police too got sensible. they don't grant the permission to religious procession unless they use some political power.

Rauf said...

Hi AAARTI, thanks for the translation.
These people are spreading.
why do we have so many of them ?
Simply because many people are too weak mentally to stand up without without any support. They have the strength to stand up on their own but prefer to use a walking stick, and some are so weak that they need a wheel chair when they have the strength to walk on their own. These philosophies are like wheel chairs, without them people think that they would die. People think that they need a book of Rules or Commandments. People refuse to own their minds, people refuse to be the masters of their mind and body. They want to let some force rule them. They very badly need guidance. A friend of mine once said that he would not take a step without his holy book. i said good for you, these books are written for people like you.

Now even the President of the nation bows to these people. The country's future lies in the hands of these gurus and astrologers.

Rauf said...

Hi SHIMMER, long time, How was the wedding ? Did you go on a holiday ? Been a while Shimmer, i've been traveling too, many blogs to visit. i am going again. i'll see you on your page when i get back after a week.
hope you are fine Shimmer.

Rauf said...

Thank you DJ Traveling again, i'll be back in a week.

Rauf said...

They recruit themselves VISHESH one fine morning they wake up and decide to be a god, a new business venture. there is money in being god.

Rauf said...

aaah ! I am glad you are back and cracking like mad FOUR DINNERS You must become a guru, i'll give you ideas. You have a cult of your own anyway FOUR DINNERS. please give my love to Caz and Jaxie

Rauf said...

There is no shortage of activity on the streets SANDY, some pleasant and many unpleasant. Its a free country. Lot of them come out with some good intentions and ideas. Some want to make their presence known. They invite the press. This guru asked me if i was from the press. i said no, and the smile turned into a frown. i disappeared in the crowd.

Rauf said...

oh no SEWMOUSE ! That does not happen here. When students come out with processions they are generally beaten up by the police and it turns violent, leading to more trouble. i can imagine the plight of the people who have trains or flights to catch or to attend interviews on time. Many are thoughtless. nobody thinks of them. Fun on the road coud cost some one their life, when ambulances carrying the sick get stuck in traffic jams.

Rauf said...

Oh Nathalie so nice to see you here. tippitty tapping this comment in a hurry, have a train to catch in an hour. hope there is no procession on the way very early in the morning to hold me up, i'll start screaming.

No, all the buses were crawling so i took a few quick shots and got into another bus easily.

Thanks Nathalie, i'll be back in a week. Been missing your pictures. i'll see you on your page.

Rauf said...

Hi Rachel hope you had a wonderful holiday, posted a few pictures on pottery, please check a couple of posts before this.
Going out again, be back in a week.
lots of love

Rauf said...

thank you MARIE

lorenzothellama said...

Thank you Rauf for the pictures. Did you dance and sing along with the procession? I think it is a lovely idea for world peace, but like you, it should be done without money involved. Just get my big brother Maalie on religions and money and your site would smoulder!
Have a lovely trip. Badger and Scaredy have had their strokes from you. Scaredy is asleep on my lap right now! Hard to type.
Love Lorenzo.

"Angeldust" said...

Hello dearest Raufie

Full of mischief you are always!

World peace - we are both for it and all your blog visiting friends too - my goodness, it is certainly worth dancing for the prospect of it.

As for the money making propositon - we have our own - also possibly reaching your shores...
Brace yourself, the "fundamentalists" are-a-coming and, they are righteous and they are healers too... oh, yeah
No matter how "debunked" they are by investigative reporting on their scam, people still send them millions - absolutely sickening.

The most shameful sort: indicent, unethical thieves of money and souls... Truly sad when people are so desperate that give themselves up to another - a total stranger they trust more than themselves.

On that wonderful thought - must love you and leave you once again!


finished mural - posted further details
having some breathing space - almost hard to wind down after the 10-12hr days
nice to visit your oasis

petitlouis said...

Sympatic coloured street scenes ! Well done.

Ruth said...

rauf, I looked at google images of Meenmutty Falls, and I had to close them, it's just too frightening and disturbing considering what happened to you.

Looking for those pics, I found another good web site, just change the "com" from the last one to "org":


lesleyanne said...

i love random colorful processions. they should happen more often. i also love painted oxen horns. that should happen more often too, although i'm not sure how happy it makes the oxen. maybe they don't know.

her indoors said...

trust you are well Rauf, really missing you here and so looking foward to seeing your next photos
take care and please come back safe

Nathalie said...

Back for a second visit, your photos are so amazing.
I have posted my latest batch of photos of Avignon, a very different city to yours!!!

Sangita said...

I was thinking where are you no posts..now get the answer when came here..Ur other 2 blogs ar ento bene updated for so long why?? I love them..Hope u are having a niec trip and bringing in laods of ncie pics..U an eternal traveller never tired..Me jsut back frm one trip and still unwinding :-(

Matangi Mawley said...

ha! cool pics and cooler write up! tht s india.. as u say!

Cindy said...

Hi Rauf- beautiful pictures as always! I wonder what the colors orange and yellow have to do with what's going on in them? Stop over when you get time- I've got something there for you- hope the pink doesn't clash too bad with all your reds!

her indoors said...

glad you are back, looking forward to hearing and seeing all about your trip, will be away for a few days but will catch up when i am back, take care my friend x

isabella said...

Good to hear you're back, my friend! Missed your epic posts ;-) and your irreverent comments on my blog! You never fail to bring a smile to my lips...

Rauf said...

Dearest ANGEL,
People have lot of money to throw, they are looking for some excuse and want to believe that their money is going in the right direction and for right purpose.
Every body claims to be right. That is the main problem. Now it is difficult to avoid such 'Saints'
Every other person you bump into is a saint. And there are lot of people who think they can't stand up without any support. They lean on to a lamp post or sit on a wheel chair when they have enough strength to walk on their own. these saints, babas and Gurus take advantage of such people and make themselves rich. The lamp post and the wheel chair is belief.

Hope you are taking enough rest ANGEL.
lots of love and Hugs

Rauf said...


Rauf said...

RUTH, thanks for the link, there are many places i missed in Wynad, it is actually very close to Coorg. Coorg and Wyanad put together would take a lifetime to explore. i'll take you there Ruth.
Its still raining now, been there recently with Nirmal and Sindu, but did not go on treks.

Rauf said...

Hi LORENZO, hahaha, no i did not dance on the road with them, very tempting though. Indians love to be photographed, none objected to my clicking pictures. Does Maalie have any blog ? i would love to read his views.

I apologise for my late response LORENZO, as you know i was away for more than ten days.
hope your toe is healed fully now
My love and pats on Badger and Scaredy

Rauf said...

LESLEY, you must see painted oxen during PONGAL festival in Tamil Nadu villages, celeberation after a rich harvest.
i think i have posted pictures of Pongal festival on my 'thank you Farmers' blog. Pongal is celeberated in mid January. poor cows and bulls, yes they don't even know why they are decorated, all they want is some good green grass. They get some goodies to eat. its some mixture of dried coconut waste after extracting oil and raagi and something more.

Waiting for autumn in New York pictures Lesley

Rauf said...

Slept and rested for 2 days HER INDOORS, Back safe and sound. You must take rest too. Is that Milo on the profile picture ?

Rauf said...

Oh NATHALIE thank you so much. oh yes couldn't wait, saw all the Avignon pictures. what treat ! i wonder how Avignon is pronounced ! Avinyon
like Le Mans, N half pronounced (Leon)

Rauf said...

Yes SANGITA, been away for more than ten days, went to topslip side of forest then to Mudumalai side a place called Masinagudi. Its on Mysore Ooty road. Many resorts there. I'll write about my friends Resort where i stayed in my next post. the roads are pretty good. its been a while since i saw Mysore Bandipur road, not sure of the condition, Tamil Nadu side is pretty good. Would you like to spend a couple of days in a Tree house Sangita ? You'll be a little girl again. Go there with hubby . One honeymoon couple was staying there. I'll add the link to Wild canopy Resort tomorrow

Rauf said...

Thank you MATANGS

Rauf said...

CINDY, orange or saffron is associated with Hinduism, flags of Hindu organisations and political parties are saffron, there is saffron on Indian National flag too, green white and saffron, with Ashok Chakra on white. I think its about unity and harmony green is associated with Muslims, i have to correct myself. Muslims associate themselves with the colour green. And believe me it has nothing to do with nature. A leaf is not a Muslim flag or symbol. I do not know the significance of Saffron.
Sure Cindy, i'll check your blog, i do it regularly

Rauf said...

oh yes I'll post the pictures tomorrow HER INDOORS Still sorting them out, Tired and sleepy.
Enjoy your Holiday HER INDOORS

Rauf said...

Sorrreeee been away for a long time, couldn't visit your blog. i love to make you smile IZZI, i want you to smile always. wish you all the sunshine and joy in the world.

Sonia said...

Just amazing reportage! Great pictures, too! Thanks for sharing!

I found you through Isabella and I am glad I did!

chinna said...

nice pic of the woman with the out of focus women in the background who like her daughters.

about cults, i guess these people tap into our need to 'belong'.

Rauf said...

Thank you SONIA. Welcome to Daylight Again. Its good to know your part of the world as well Through your pages and lovely pictures.

Rauf said...

CHINNA Yes they are mother and daughter in the next post, there is a grand daughter as well, which i'll post next

Cults are the result of boredom, an escape route and nothing else.
there is money in it like Tourism, movies TV. Its a good buisiness.

JoAnn - NL "My digital eyes" :) said...

Dear Rauf ,
I don't know you very well but good enough to pass you this nomination-award for the following reasons:

The 'Power of Schmooze Award' is The Award for bloggers who “effortlessly weave their way in and out of the blogosphere, leaving friendly trails and smiles, happily making new friends along the way. They don’t limit
their visits to only the rich and successful, but spend some time to say hello to new blogs as well. They are the ones who engage others in meaningful onversations, refusing to let it end at a mere hello - all the while fostering a sense of closeness and friendship".

Just to let you know that we are all on the same level, and we got this far by peace and loving behavior,

:) JoAnn from Holland

Rauf said...

Oh thank you JOANN i am honoured. But i stay away from competetions and awards.

i am interested in cultural exchange of ideas and love to visit blogs of people of different countries. your blog is a wonderful treat JoAnn. For me blogs offer an ocean of education.
i want to know more and more about different parts of the world.
Blogs bring people of different culture together. What i regret most is not knowing many languages.
but the pictures make up for my lack of knowledge of the languages.
thank you once again JoAnn