Tuesday, May 16, 2006,10:25 PM
RAJASTHAN - Jewellery and attire.

Been very lazy, I am sorry, too hot, I don't complain about heat, I end up ruining my day. Too many pictures to choose from, difficult, want to post all of them, Rajasthan itself is enough for one whole year of blogging, there's so much diversity. If you buy a book on India, half the pictures will be on Rajhasthan, rest will be on Kerala, very little will be on rest of India.
So its better to buy books on each state, each has its own charm.
Please click on the pictures, all are full screen size.

Its very hot here in Chennai, south of India, and it gets boiling hot in Rajasthan, fuming hot burning hot. Please avoid summer months. The climate decides the attire. In chennai people normally wear white, or very mild colours to beat the heat. Different style in Rajasthan, they go for saturated colours. Your camera gets invaded with vibrant colours, you just can't resist.
So please carry an extra card for Rajasthan alone. You need not worry too much about the card as there are studios in every street where you can transfer the pictures to a CD for 60 rupees (abt 1.5 dollars?) Every thing is cheap here.

These people are not dressed for any occasion or a festival. This is normal wear. All very very poor people, but still they love to decorate themselves with exotic colours and jewellery.

Young ladies cover their faces, this is called 'ghoonghat' or cover their heads, first to protect themselves from heat and dust, but the idea is to respect the elders, mostly married ladies cover their faces when appearing before the elderly male members of their in laws. Lot of muslims as well, Pakistan border is very close. Muslim women follow the same fashion.

Hi sweety, lovely smile through your ghoonghat, But her mother in law down here doesn't seem to like the idea of smiling for a maniac like me.

No gold and diamonds, plastic is fine, as long as the jewllery makes them cheerful. They have their own worries, they walk miles to get one pot of water fully decorated, and when their drunk husbands kick and beat them, they receive all the kicks and beatings fully decorated.

Next day they are happy, walk 2 miles and fetch one pot of water, cook, take care of the children, clean up, wash clothes, ready to get kicked by their husbands again. . If you interfere and try to save the wife, you'll end up getting kicked by her, the wife or the other ladies. Its a way of life. Next morning they are happy again.

this lady is selling bangles and arm rings, plastic glass or metal.

she is happy selling jwellery, she said buy some thing for your wife or daughter. i said i have no wife, she started pulling my legs, making fun of me some other ladies joined her in pulling my legs as well. I bought dresses for my niece from jodhpur and Jaipur. I am not good at this but you have to bargain a lot. When the shop keeper says 100 you have to offer 10, you go up a little he comes down a little, somewhere near 30 we meet. please don't feel shy to bargain. some times we feel we are offending the shop keeper by offering one tenth. they like it. They like it even more when they manage to cheat you. so please don't hesitate to bargain, offer the lowest. they never get angry. In south like Chennai the shop keeper gets very angry.

December January it gets pretty cold, and less people on the streets and you will not find vibrant colours.

Daylight Again
Wake up call blog

posted by rauf
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  • 12:15 AM, Blogger e2d

    So beautiful and vibrant Rauf.
    And you are so right about the "way of life" you just described.To work that hard ,doing all the chores and fetching water after walking for miles--only to be beaten and kicked.I want to make all those stupid ,jackass husbands stand in a line and throw stones at them till they beg to die.Wow!! I just created a gory image didnt i?
    Anyway I guess what we perceive as a problem needn't be a problem for them.

  • 4:41 AM, Blogger Rauf

    e2dees I tol you , ther's a train Ernaks-jodhpur, it has a pantry car.

    Yupsee same subject here, don't know when they'll wake up. education is not helping. Educated ladies sit down and say ' kick me'
    I get yelled at if i interfere.
    we had a maid shakuntala was her name. She'll hide under my mom's bed to escape from her husband's kicking. When i yelled at her husband she came running out and warned me not to interfere. I said why don't you leave him. I was stunned when she said, ' a husband who does not kick is not a husband'
    she lost entire upper row of her teeth when her husband slapped her. My sister got it fixed. Still she'll never leave him. I don't understand them.

  • 11:41 AM, Blogger Claudia

    Some things are not meant to be understood.

  • 1:22 PM, Blogger Ruth

    I love every photo, but the last one is splendid. The word I give your photos of women, men and birds is "dignity." Thank you for always treating your subjects with dignity. You teach me every day.

  • 3:28 PM, Blogger Hayden

    so lush and vibrant that gazing at these pictures is like eating a full meal.

  • 9:20 PM, Blogger kathy

    Thanks Rauf for taking me to far away places! :)

  • 1:48 AM, Blogger Rauf

    We hope to know when the first second ticked, we hope to know the beginning of life, but we caanot know what women want. Many think that women want to be in total control of their lives.

  • 1:59 AM, Blogger Rauf

    You give me new ideas Hayden, I'll have one post on food now. The colours around you makle you forget about every thing, including food. I was afraid while eating I may miss something. Every second person you meet is an artist in Rajasthan.

  • 2:04 AM, Blogger Rauf

    For you and me Kathy this is not a far off place. For the people in the picture New Delhi is a far off place, which is hardly few hundred kilometers away. I asked an old man while trekking in the Himalayas What his ambition was, he said he wants to see a train.

  • 2:23 AM, Blogger Rauf

    I try to take pictures without intruding Ruth. but I can't claim the same with wildlife. I am an intruder there. In my current post in Daylight again I have mentioned how the birds attract your attention, i said that just for fun. Your pictures of Paris too are taken without disturbing any one.
    Now since I have switched over to digital I show them the pictures on the screen. the joy it gives them is incredible. Nobody objects Ruth, everybody loves to get themselves photographed here in India.

  • 1:09 PM, Blogger Ruth

    In Istanbul, the gypsies refused to let you take their picture, maybe there was some superstition involved. I pointed my camera at an Asian women in a park in Paris and she motioned to me "no." I try to be discreet and sensitive, but I still feel odd sometimes.

    I read in Ken Wilber's A Brief History of Everything an interesting thought: men did not control women all by themselves for so many centuries. If we think that, we do not give women enough credit for their power. Women have allowed themselves to be controlled and have co-opted the situation, like the women in your post who are beaten and don't get away.

  • 9:11 PM, Blogger kathy

    Rauf hi

    you said: I asked an old man while trekking in the Himalayas What his ambition was, he said he wants to see a train." amazing!. we all want what we don't have. To live in a place without Modern technology sounds good too.

  • 5:16 AM, Blogger Miss Wendy Eileen

    so amazing - this is incredibly interesting. And I love the rich diverse colours.

  • 9:58 AM, Blogger Rauf

    Kathy, I was lot happier without a telephone, I still don't have a mobile. there are two extremes when it comes to internet. When I am at home I am always on the net and Sometimes I am away from the net for weeks without any worry.

    People were happy in the year 1100
    and before, they had problems of their time. Still they had ways to keep themselves entertained and ways to make their lives interesting. Other wise there would have been mass suicides in history.
    Technology has not solved the problem of monotony of living. The efforts to keep ourselves happy have remained the same over thousands of years. We have TV video games movies computers internet, still we have to make an effort to keep ourselves happy.

    I keep wondering about Amish people. I wonder if they are happy people. I think there is not much sense in denying ourselves the fruits of human evolution. I have live in the forests trekked in the himalayas, following the shephards where ever they go for weeks, but there comes a time I long to get back home for what ever little comforts it offers and to come back to enjoy the love of family and friends.

  • 10:00 AM, Blogger Rauf

    Thank you Miss Eileen

  • 5:53 PM, Blogger Rauf

    I do it fast Ruth as I am walking.
    I just keep walking and don't look at them. Some one says Hey Hey ! I am already 20 feet away after clicking the picture. In the country side there is absolutely no problem. Here in India people love to get themselves photographed if they get to see it or not. Like the gypsies you have mentioned there are times when people show their displeasure.

    Yes Ruth, what you say is true. In all the pagan rituals and old religions Women are in power. The trouble started with organised religion. Hinduism is much older but treatment of women is pretty bad. They are denied education. Still worse in Islamic countries. What would you say to European and American women who had no right to vote until last century ? Its difficult to imagine living in those conditions.

  • 4:49 PM, Blogger Leila

    Excuse me if I am nosy, Rauf. And don't feel obliged to answer me by any means. Did you never marry?

  • 7:49 PM, Blogger Rauf

    You are not being nosy Laila. Never married, no particular reason, perhaps didn't want to ruin some poor girl's life. I didn't want her to suffer marrying a lunatic. I don't have a wife but have lots of mothers who have never given up repairing me at the age of 58, they still love kicking and chewing me. but I am fed very well.

  • 12:09 AM, Blogger kathy

    I know what you mean about technology. I'm not that impressed by it. I have found myself addicted to the internet, i think i like the interaction between people from all over the world. like with everything i guess...technology has its good points and its bad points.

  • 8:07 AM, Blogger Rauf

    Yes Kathy, we have to accept some and reject some, otherwise we put others into trouble. My not having a mobile is causing a great deal of anxiety to family and friends, but i call home everyday while i am away. i ask them what were you doing five years ago when there were no mobile phones ? Life went on at the same pace, now my family cannot breathe without a mobile.
    When we were kids we had no electricity, there were no fans or air-conditioners. the climate was pretty much the same, still we slept peacefully. Now we have become slaves to these gadgets. My family cannot sleep without an A/C.
    Though I have a fan in my room i sleep even when there is a power failure. I accept it has gone a bit warmer now. today was 40 C
    when the power goes off every one is upset in my house. We have let these gadgets rule our lives. Nothing wrong in having them afterall technology is offering us the comforts, but we don't learn to live without them.

  • 3:14 PM, Blogger Candy Minx

    Wonderful wow as always.

  • 4:29 PM, Blogger Rauf

    Thanks Candy. India stands as one country, with all its diversity in culture, religion food language. But things are far from perfect. The places you see in the pictures are not very clean.

  • 8:09 PM, Blogger Anu

    Seriously into those bangles. As always, the pictures are stunning.

  • 8:29 PM, Blogger Rauf

    Bangles and only bangles Anu, you'll go wild with the variety and colour there. Other place I know for bangles is Hyderabad

  • 11:24 AM, Blogger Imemine

    They don't look that poor to me. It's a good thing they have so much dignity inspite of being poor.

  • 6:17 PM, Blogger Rauf

    Imemine, life of these people goes beyond the struggle for survival
    Quite true, there is dignity in their poverty.
    You will see thousands of beggers on the streets of India making an undignified living, so are the politicians and businessmen. India is rich in natural resources, sun shining for 365 days a year, self sufficient in food, still India is considered as a third world poor nation, largely by the attitude of the government which always extends a begging bowl to the west. the governmet and the politicians themselves have no dignity. They are nothing better than a begger or pick pocket on the street.

  • 9:48 AM, Blogger Ruth

    My great-grandparents hiked the Himalayas, and how I wish I could have talked with them about it, but they were dead before I was born. I wonder what they came across there, in the early part of the 20th century.

  • 7:43 AM, Blogger Rauf

    They would have enjoyed it lot more than I did Ruth, with lots of trees and wild life which has disappeared now. People have been smoking charas (higher form of marijuana) here in India long before Sir Walter Raleigh 'invented' tobacco smoking. Charas grows like grass in northern Himalayas. quite a lot of drug trafficking going on there. Place is infested with criminals now

  • 9:33 AM, Blogger Ruth

    Where there are humans there will be crime. A few take away freedoms of many.

  • 10:24 AM, Blogger Rauf

    Greed in any form is the unfortunate side of humans Ruth which leads to crime.

  • 2:05 PM, Anonymous Zarina

    excellent post.
    Yes I got threatened one here in canada for trying to help a girl being pulled down the stairs by her hair by her boyfriend. Maybe its a show to try and stop the beating who knows...help him get another victim.

  • 10:38 PM, Blogger rajasthan diary

    Rajasthan, popularly known as the ‘treasure trove of Indian handicrafts’ and ‘shoppers’ paradise’, has been able to preserve its craft despite several ups and downs. Its rich heritage has played an important role in the economy of the state. The glittering jewelry and attractive handicrafts of Rajasthan have caught the fantasy of the people abroad and earned rich dividends.
    For further assistance visit our website http://www.rajasthandiary.com. We are here to solve your queries

  • 8:04 AM, Anonymous chinna

    i've read somewhere that the pattern of the veils signify the family/caste they belong to. a bit like kilt patterns.

  • 6:21 PM, Blogger Rauf

    there are some rules followd for Pagdi also Chinna

  • 4:34 AM, Blogger intelligentwins

    u project the sweetness of the place!

  • 6:17 PM, Blogger Rauf

    most striking feature of Rajasthan is the people Neerja. There is still so much to see. i don't have a passport, i never entertained any idea of traveling abroad as there is such a lot to see here in India.

  • 6:05 AM, Blogger Elisabeth Strout

    These photographs are absolutely stunning, and your captions are a wonderful insight into the culture. Thank you so much for posting!


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