26 October 2008



no no, i won't i won't... promise
oh deah ! i can't mess with this guy
tough looking
big ear rings
Oooo !


He is a cowherd
Hellow !
Thank you sir
have a good time with your cows
oh nunnoo ! no NOOOO, NOOOOOOOOOOO
oh deah ! No sir, no sir, i am sorry i am sorry
i mean have a good time with your family


GAAAAD ! you gave me a head and a skull but forgot to put something in there
oh this is sweet ! and he is smiling toos !!


This is Kutch, far end of India to my west in the state of Gujrat where Gandhiji came from
Remove the turban and give him round spectacles, you have a Gandhiji there.
He is a shepherd, they all wear Jewelry. Long before it became fashionable for men. i think Gandhiji's ears were pierced too. not sure, have to check.




This is his family, its a macho thing, big turban moustache and ear rings, other jewelry



He has problem with his eyes, i didn't notice while taking pictures, i am half blind anyway, i don't notice things. They are poor people, Even very poor are obsessed with gold in India.


Does he go to school ?
i used to feel sad about it, but not anymore, i had a useless education, this boy is learning how to survive in the desert and i can't. Geometry, world war one, world war 2 are so useless. But we repeat our blunders, whats the point in learning our history ?



Another shepherd, he is wearing tiny ear rings.
What do we have here ?


thats me, Never wore any jewelry, wrist watch that i wore 40 years ago was just an instrument
i don't wear it any more, i always look up and know the time
that's how i missed many trains.
gorillas don't wear Jewelry, so i tried a turban,
gorillas don't wear turbans ?
What would i do with Jewelry ?
useless, i can't even eat them when i am hungry
How about hanging a couple of carrots down my ears, i can always pluck and eat them when i am hungry, a bunch of grapes the next day ?
Like always i am sitting by the road side and eating hot jilebees. Sweet they are.


What do we have here ?
He is making PAAN for us.
Well, what IS paan ?
Aaarti can tell you, i know what it is but can't explain, she writes beautifully
Aaartidee yenge' dee Nee ? please explain.

oh ! look at the stuff he is wearing ! wow !
smile please
he's a bit shy of his possessions
aaah ! aaaaaah !


deah o deeeah ! This is fantastic !
why are you shy about it ?
i have seen those golden teeth in my childhood, none in my family, we never had gold, we just ate all the money, This is fantastic Wow
You look like a movie star sir !




You can't afford to smile on the streets of Bombay or my City of Chennai
You can get mugged.


Yea yea ! they pulled the wrong tooth in a hurry !
no no that, is my mischief, i painted the tooth in photopaint.


Ruth said...

I think Sam Elliott would fit in with these fellows, have never seen him in earrings, but his mustachio is all set.

Aaarti said...

Looks like ur Guj trip was fun!!! wow at all their jewellery pieces!! esp the one with the kid n the goat!!:D
[irony- isnt a baby goat called kid??.. am conpused now.. is that a kid with a kid??hehehe...]

upto no good.. shading his teeth black n all.. too much i say!!:D
was gooood talking to u .... have a safe the trip okayva...

Paan- well, that is a kind of digestive eaten in India, north n south.. flavours differ, fillings differ but the yearning for it is the same amidst paan lovers...
Made using betel leaf, diff spices, sweet n tangy sauces..all rolled up= paan!!

chk this out if u wanna know more!!

the Vonly thing i hate is people chew chew chewing on this and then spitting out red liquid..eeeks!!!!

ithu poduma...innum konjam venuma???[singing it like they do in the silly tv ad...]
btw, cool pic of urs...sema smart..wat u eating yaa???

Rauf said...

Thanks RUTH i'll come back and write to you

Thanks for the explaination AAARTI, i'll be back in a couple of days, Happy Diwaali to you
i am eating jilebees Aaartidee

Claudia said...

It's good to see you, Rauf! And your pictures are awesome, as always. I always feel joy and learn when I look at them.

vishesh said...

lol,so Gujju :D should show my Gujju frnds :D HA you look very wise :D wiseana wisea?

Priya said...

You made me laugh like hell. SO many rings all heavy and loaded like tiny bombs. Wow:)

Innocent faces but all rich in smiles:)

kenju said...

Such colorful photos of colorful people, Rauf! The gold earrings are amazing.

Jewelry said...

Such a good and colorful villagers and their photos.

Paresh Palicha said...

Rauf, you've a knack of capturing emotions :) Wonderful pictures.

Ruth said...

So I did a little Googling, like I often do after reading one of your posts, Abi. Googled "india men jewelry" - and hey, your post showed up on the first page. I also found a couple of other sites of interest. This one talks about the significance of the ears and wearing earrings in Indian cultures, mostly about the spiritual significance, and mostly about women. And then this one that talks about Indian men wearing ear studs nowadays, "Men in India have worn earrings through the ages -- Rajputs, Gujratis, kings and Hindu gods are always depicted with their danglers." I wonder what the history of Gujratis wearing earrings is!

Sorry, rauf, I'm such a nerd. :D But see how your posts peak my interest?

Ruth said...

Oh, and the poor guy whose teeth you blacked out, he's got some good Buddha ears, no? Shows good spiritual development, apparently. But all necklaces and gold teeth, no earrings on him.

Sewmouse said...

Those are some spectacular moustaches you have photographed, Rauf! Very impressive. M. Poirot would be jealous, I think.

And is that really you in that photo? Does not look like a gorilla to me - looks like a very friendly man with a great big smile and bushy bushy beard.

Sandy said...

As usual great seeing an update here and I really enjoyed it. Wow, there are some cool pics here, all those earrings...

is that a photo of you...so nice to see you!

Nautankey said...

Wow...earthy,rustic and colorful..loved them..and the man with tiny ear rings actually had the most villainous look in the collection..reminded me of nana patekar.

And the man eating jilebis was having a great smile which can beat any gold jewellery :).

about the turban,i have heard this trivia,not sure how true it is. Seems some shepherds have long cloths coiled as turban..I mean as long as 30meters.During dry season they uncoil their turban into the pretty much dried up wells to check for water and if they do have some water..they wet the turban cloth take it out squeeze the water to quench thirst.Sounds like a indigneous idea if it is tue :)

Alok (आलोक) said...

A macho post! with beautiful pictures.

monsoon-dreams said...

hi dee,
all macho macho guys!and walking jewellery shops.wish i could travel with you.btw,who is that guy in jeans and turban?what a combination :-)

•♥Sindhu :)♥• said...

Rauf Uncle! That was a fun collection of photos!

The kid boy's earrings were the most fascinating, I would say :D

And the 2nd pic - doesn't that cow look a little like a cross between a cow & a horse?? :-?

tulipspeaks said...

Loved the pics!! You have just brought me to places I may never get to visit. Detailed observation with the earrings! :-)


Leila said...

Rauf it has been a while!

Glad to see you have beautiful pictures as ever. You always seem to capture such earnesty. Makes me think its there for all of us to see, we just dont stop to look. And for that, I am grateful to you, for freezing moments for me :) To remind me to stop and look!

I hope that you are well!

sonia a. mascaro said...

Hi Rauf,
I am glad to see you! You look very nice!

Great post! Love your pictures, they are gorgeous as always!

I hope you have a nice week ahead!

iamnasra said...

A man who travels ..learns more than holding a book

monsoon-dreams said...

please,please,please update ur blog.i know u have a lot of stories to tell,wonderful snaps to post and intelligent thoughts to share.u r such a joy!

The Manic Street Preacher said...

excellent bling!!!!

soz I haven't been around lately.

hope Mumbai is ok

The Manic Street Preacher said...

I used to have both ears pierced myself. On the left an anchor - which with hindsight is a worry - and on the right a diamon stud which some bird nicked in '84.

Glad you're ok old bean.

If you haven't a pot to piss in you're my brother!!!

Not robots by the way. Just going very slowly and painfully out of business.

petitlouis said...

Wonderful report ! Well done !

SwedeHart said...

Dear Rauf, I have heard about the attacks in Mombai, and I am sorry to hear your people's pain. The best, Rachel

Gwen Buchanan said...

You are funny.. Understanding humor and having wit is the surest sign of great intelligence.. so you're not fooling me!!!Mr Smart guy!!

These fellows sure know how to express themselves with their jewelry.. I have never worked with gold.. never had a piece of any kind of gold... but that is ok.. I don't yearn for it.. but I do see that it holds a strong value... It makes them feel good and set themselves apart .. doesn't matter what job they do...

and i so agree most everything one needs to know to survive and succeed is learned first-hand... learn by doing... also having the time to learn at ones own speed and being able to have enough of the precious Time to absorb it.. ahh yes, learn from the world from your own fingertips.. trust ones instinct.. it is survival of the fittest after all...

I loved seeing all these photographs and you are so cute!!! Now don't blush!!

Take care,...

Gwen Buchanan said...

Rauf, Please forgive me for not expressing my sincere concern on the horrible things that have happened in Mumbai.. it is on our News many times a day... Anything that hurts others breaks my heart...

mystic rose said...


mystic rose said...

Now before you pointedly remark on my earlier comment, let me say that most times the only thing I can do when I read one of your posts is smile happily, and it lasts the rest of the day. You are indeed cute. but you have lost a lot of weight, I feel.

Lots of love and please take care.

Anonymous said...

Cool pics-this place in computerland always astounds!


d@r$hi said...

1st of all thanks a lot sir...
such an amazing treat forsomeone who loves photography...

lovely pics i must say!!!
and lovly text tooo :D
and u hav eone new fan of ur work ...

JoAnn's-D-Eyes said...

Fantastic photography Rauf,
I love your way of looking at Indian people , They are all like TOP-photomodels, I love their smiles and their earrings , weeldone Rauf! My compliments,

JoAnn from Holland

Löst Jimmy said...

Fantastic set of photos. As for the jewelry - if you've got it flaunt it!

All the best

Jimmy - in Scotland

Marie said...

a lot of very good portrait !
merry christmas to you and your family !

Sandhya said...

Hey.. Hi.. This is Sandhya.. R'ber?? I met u in train.. How r u?? Happy New yr..

rauf said...

its been so long RUTH, that i forgot how to respond to comments. no comparison with Sam Elliot. For these guys a woman is nothing more than a baby making cleaning cooking and washing machine.

rauf said...

EEEEEEEEE AAARTIDEE, thanks for the details, now i forgot where all i went. i think i get very lazy when i get back home, responding to comments after months, i can offer no excuses.

rauf said...

Thanks CLAUDIA, Hope you and Children are enjoying the holidays.

rauf said...

VISHESH, i am allergic to intelligence and wisdom

rauf said...

PRIYA, actually these guys make a lot of fun of us, the people from the city. We are weird for them. One of them really felt sorry for me, rightly so. i don't know how to survive in extreme conditions, i do not know how to grow my own food. they do.

rauf said...

Surprisingly JUDY, these guys go to the goldsmith and they are specific about what they want, some of them give the designs.

rauf said...

Thank you PARESH

rauf said...

RUTH, Jewelry is more than passion here in India, its religious. Gold is offered to Pujaris, teachers, not poor school teachers but music and dance teachers. Since the kings wore all kinds of jewelry the subjects were not far behind even the poor ones. Piercing the ears is a religious ritual followed by a feast.

rauf said...

SEW, Hercule Poirot is proud of his moustache. Here in India it goes beyond pride. Its just a silly unwanted growth on the face. they don't mind losing hair on the head but not their moustache. A Couple of Indians were in the guinness book for the longest moustches. They grow and stickit on their cheeks in circles. Yuk !

rauf said...

Thank you SANDY, people with impressive moustaches (even dreadful looking) are preferred for security jobs. if i look for a watchman i'll choose a guy with most impressive moustache.

rauf said...

hahaha NAUTANK NATWARLAL, never heard that story. i played a role of a chor swamiji, they gave me additional moustache which kept falling. i already have a wild growth on my gorilla face. i rejected it. it had a clip but it kept falling.
the play was in Tamil. i insisted on no dialogue, all i had to do was bless my devotees and take money from them. It was conducted in museum theatre perhaps long before you were born. i was given a saffron veshti which kept falling toos. i said give me veshti or give me moustache, i can't handle both.

Arpz said...

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