Tuesday, May 09, 2006,8:15 PM

I was walking through the romantic streets of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, I saw this sweet girl, turned my camera towards her, her mom was sitting inside, started screaming, shut the door ... shut the door, because I look like a maniac, a terrorist, a kidnapper, and escaped convict all put together,
but before she closed the door she gave one sweet smile for the camera.

These are the streets of Jaisalmer. All pictures are full screen size, please click on the pictures for a full screen view.

Daylight Again
posted by rauf
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  • 12:10 AM, Blogger Anu

    They're beautiful.

  • 12:57 AM, Blogger Sangita

    That is a very sweet innocent smile there..Love the intricate pattern on one of the pics and of course bright colored dresses in the last..Rajasthan jaislmer all come so alive with these bright colors..Guess this is their way of putting colors to the desert ..

  • 7:21 AM, Blogger Ruth

    Oh my, so beautiful. These photos remind me of the old streets of Istanbul, which I love. You feel connected with the ages.

  • 8:12 AM, Blogger Rauf

    Thank you Anu, been there thrice already, Jaisalmer fort appeared in Sathyajit Ray's 'Sonar Kella' (goldern fort) It was so beautiful and dramatic in the movie that I wanted to go there immediately but it took me nearly 20 years to go to Jaisalmer.

  • 8:17 AM, Blogger Rauf

    Sangita, all the craftsmen migrated to Pakistan. The new work is not so good. You can see highly intricate jaalis cut out of yellow stone. All more than 200 years old. Its a lovely fort. Its colourful where ever you turn your head. I was fascinated by the colourful pagdis. Most of the time I was taking pictures of only people. I'll post more Rajasthan pictures in after a few blogs.

  • 8:30 AM, Blogger Rauf

    Yes Ruth, very romantic place, narrow streets are just so beautiful. There are streets inside the fort. I forgot the history, but they are more than 200 years old, perhaps 300, not sure. You'll be fascinated by the colourful dresses people wear. This town is surrounded by desert. The maintainance is very poor. The town is very dirty inspite of the fact that it attracts many tourists. It is very close to Pakistan border. At the time of partition of India, most of the highly skilled craftsmen migrated to Pakistan. Though the houses are built on narrow streets they are quite big inside and they are called HAVELIS, You can spend hours in each haveli studying highly intricate craftsmanship. All built from local yellow stones.
    Rajasthan is famous for its marble. There are quite a few marble quarries, though not as hard or as good as Italian marble, It has fascinating history, people are very gentle, not as aggressive as neighbouring states.

  • 11:14 AM, Blogger e2d

    Awesome!..I got to see a bit of Rajasthan.The pics are beautiful Rauf.You are right--the girl did give u a very sweet smile.Wish u had taken a pic of the mom as well...the contrast would have been fun.lol!
    I can walk around those "galis" and probably never get tired.So colorful and down to earth!

  • 2:19 PM, Blogger Paper Mache Art

    How long have you lived there? It is so striking there. Bright clolors and old stone work. I think the girls are very pretty.

  • 3:40 PM, Blogger Rauf

    e2deeeeees, so nice to see you after long time, yavary thing vovar ? all yakjaams vovar?

    Yea yea very down to earth, lot of cows and cow dung on the streets, but still the entire Rajasthan is charming. Every corner demanding to be photographed.

    We go Rajasthan e2dees ? Direct train from Trivandrum-Ernakulam-Jodhpur thru breath taking Konkan Railway. wat a journey ! WOWWEE ! Have posted pictures 'konkan Railway long time back. I take e2dees Rajasthan when you come. and you don't need much money there, every thing is so cheap even for a kangaal phateechar like me.

    Yupsee I saw the mother screaming
    She was horrified to see me, but the kid was fine sweet she was.

  • 3:53 PM, Blogger Rauf

    Paper mache art,
    No I don't live there. I live in the State of Tamil Nadu South of India, eastern coast. West coast is beautiful kerala. Tamil Nadu has its own charm. But State of Rajasthan is exceptional. Where I keep cursing myself for not having enough money or enough time to stay there longer. State of Rajasthan is on the west of North India, Bengal is on the east. From Jaisalmer Pakistan border is less than 100 kilometers.
    I need another life time for Rajasthan alone, there is so much to see. It is a photographer's paradise. Take any pictorial book on India, you'll find more pictures of Rajasthan in spite of the fact that it is a desert

  • 3:58 PM, Blogger Paper Mache Art

    I meen India...Have you always lived there? If so, you seem wise, like a teacher. For your English is perfect and memory of American Films & books seems as good as my own..( You rememberd "A Star Is Born")
    I was just wondering.If you've lawys lived there,Do you write the blog in your native launguage & the blog thingie changes it to English or do are you this good at our launguage?
    I just find you interesting because I like photo's. Especially of places i'll get to see in person.

  • 4:01 PM, Blogger Paper Mache Art

    sorry, i ment to say ..places i'll NEVER get to see in person. No way could i ever in my lifetime afford to go spend a week in California let alone There.
    Sorry about mis spelling some words.. I need a new keyboard. mine s sticking and mesing up my spelling.

  • 4:58 PM, Blogger Rauf

    yes Paper mache Art,
    I have always lived here in India, its like living in thousand different places. Language, food and culture changes every 100 miles. I have never been away, Under protest I don't have a passport, I am fighting with myself and the establishment. why do I need a passport and visas to see places under the same sun. You get the same sunlight as I do. If you look at the earth from space you don't see any boundries, All the lines we have drawn to divide ourselves make no sense. I have written about in some old blog.

    No I don't have a blog in any native language. I have seen blogs in Malayalam, the language of state of kerala. Apart from English I speak four other Indian languages and I am not good at any of them, including English, I manage somehow.

    You will be surprised to know that a comfortable train journey of 1000 Kilometers costs less than 10 dollars here in India. Food and stay is ridiculasly cheap even for a low income guys like me. Though there are places to stay and modes of travel which cost the sky.
    Pretty chaotic which is fun sometimes irritating, India has its own evils, though a land of enlightenment and wisdom(we Export it through countless Gurus and swamys who make merry in western countries selling our philosophy, please avoid them at any cost)
    You would love it or hate it but you'll never be indifferent to India. It will be a unique experience.

    Paper mache art, I welcome you to India. I would do my best to guide you so that you spend the least amount of money and see the maximum number of places.

    Its 5.30 in the morning here, I woke up at 4

  • 5:02 PM, Blogger Rauf

    By the way Paper mache art, I love Barbara Streisand as a person and as a singer.

  • 5:03 PM, Blogger Paper Mache Art

    Sound wonderful, but it's the "plane ticket " i'd never be able to afford..
    Like you, I'm a starving artist. Not Starving..but poverty level is no fun here. everything is expencive. everything. my country sounds great, but it's really not a perfect place to live..

  • 5:06 PM, Blogger Paper Mache Art

    I'm not big on barbara but i do love Kris..

  • 5:10 PM, Blogger Rauf

    Paper Mache Art,
    the term 'Starving Artist' fits me like a glove. I sm happy that I am in good company. Its a pleasure knowing you. I'll find out from my Indian friends living in the US, since Indians are very clever ( I am not ) they would know the cheapest way to India. I'll keep you posted Paper Mache Art.

  • 5:13 PM, Blogger Paper Mache Art

    don't ask Terri Jean..she's my daughter, and would want to come along with me, i'm sure of that.
    It would be fun though. If i ever hit the jackpot,i'll be sure to come there and visit.

  • 5:20 PM, Blogger Paper Mache Art

    is it 5 o'clock May 10th or may 11th there?

  • 5:29 PM, Blogger Rauf

    its May 11th here Paper mache Art.
    I know Terri is your daughter, came to know just 2 days ago. I would welcome all of you, Heather Terri and you paper mache art. First step is to make up your mind, rest will follow, all the pieces will form a shape. I live in a small house in Chennai, South India. I would be too glad if all of you could stay here,as a guest, if you don't mind sleeping on the floor and bathing in cold water, we have no winter and its pretty hot even in December. It gets pretty cold in the North though.

  • 5:40 PM, Blogger Paper Mache Art

    If i wanted hot water,couldn't I heat some???
    it's fun to dream about going different places and seeing different things? for this computors are nice and blogs are fun.
    Good night ...work tomorrow. I hope you have a great day today..

  • 5:40 PM, Blogger Paper Mache Art

    If i wanted hot water,couldn't I heat some???
    it's fun to dream about going different places and seeing different things? for this computors are nice and blogs are fun.
    Good night ..I.work tomorrow. I hope you have a great day today..

  • 6:01 AM, Blogger Rauf

    Sure sure Paper mache art. Hot water is absolutely no problem.

    Dreams can become reality if you start thinking towards it.

  • 12:43 PM, Blogger kathy

    I love looking at your pictures! the narrow streets made with stone, the people, the artwork, i would love to walk these 200-300 years old towns, wow!

  • 12:48 PM, Blogger kathy

    I've been to the Aladdin in Las Vegas, and the windows and the rounded doorways look just like the artwork in picture # 2 that you posted here.

  • 8:38 PM, Blogger Darius

    Most exotic pics I've seen lately outside National Geographic. Wow...

  • 8:54 PM, Blogger Rauf

    Thats a great compliment Darius, smiling ear to ear. thank you.

    I am running out of time, I'll be 59 in January, though I have tonnes of my old pictures but the new digital technology is exciting.
    Hope you get time to visit India Darius, things are still fine. Utterly chaotic but one can manage with right attitude. If you hate day one, your entire holiday would be a disaster. You can still see history even in un protected areas. Old cities have character like Hyderabad, old Delhi, Jaipur, jodhpur, jaisalmer Mysore Newly developed cities don't fascinate me like Bangalore. And you can still see patches of green.

  • 10:23 PM, Blogger Candy Minx

    What a beautuful looking city. It seems like another world and so rich the walls I love them, the clothes the faces. Another amazing set of pictures.

  • 8:07 AM, Anonymous Zarina/Tanya

    Rauf you should send you pictures to magazines...
    TOURING INDIA- inner India....

    wonderful pictures- you bring your topics to life for us

  • 8:07 AM, Anonymous Zarina/Tanya

    Rauf you should send you pictures to magazines...
    TOURING INDIA- inner India....

    wonderful pictures- you bring your topics to life for us

  • 4:00 PM, Blogger Rauf

    Dear Kathy,
    sorry I missed your comment, perhaps it came as I was responding to previous comment.

    The town of jaisalmer is surrounded by a desert. Place is famous for yellow stone, most of the houses are built with the same yellow stone. Rajasthan has many many forts, If the place with many forts could only mean that they had a very violent history with many wars and bloodshed. The most beautiful fort of them all is in Jaisalmer. there is a small township within the fort and people are still living there, I am told they don't pay any rent as they have been living there for generations. Each stone is screaming with history.

  • 4:06 PM, Blogger Rauf

    There are lot more pictures Candy, I'll post them in a few days. Jaisalmer is yellow, jodhpur has lots of blue and the walled city of Jaipur is predominantly pink. Most of all I love the people, they are very cultured, even the low cast opressed rickshaw drivers hawkers are very polite, not a trace of arrogance.

  • 4:14 PM, Blogger Rauf

    I am a frog in the well Tanya. A lazy frog. 15 or 20 years ago only the pictures of Kerala were published and made into posters by kerala tourism department. I had rough experience dealing with government departments as they wanted to take possession of all the pictures I shot. I got angry and yelled at them. I am not diplomatic and I don't have a business mind. Thats one big reason why I am hand to mouth, always struggling and have absolutely no savings.

  • 11:54 PM, Blogger Imemine

    Beautiful exotic place. I love to live in these places. I stayed in Hofuf, in Saudi for a time; it looked like a desert and seemed deserted. One day I went to the commercial center or market after Ramadan, and saw hundreds of Arabs in black or white robes.
    Beautiful children! There seems to be a lot of Caucasian blood in Indian people.

  • 12:10 AM, Blogger Rauf

    Ah! you wake up early Imemine, I wake up at 4 in the morning. Sometimes I go back to sleep.

    There could be some traces of Cauicasian blood, through thousands of years, though many nay claim direct connection to Aryans who invaded India during Indus valley civilasation, and the local Daravidians fled to south India. For a brief period when BJP was in power they rewrote history books claiming Aryans as original residants of India.

    Rajasthan has two extremes, Rajputs the warrior kings and low cast Harijans. there are a few inbetweens, very complicated Imemine, thats what makes the country painfully interesting. I think I have to post more Rajasthan pictures here.

  • 9:55 PM, Blogger Hayden

    ahhh, rauf.... so much dreaming for me to do....

  • 5:38 AM, Blogger Claudia

    You are a great photographer, Rauf! I have rarely seen such beautiful pictures outside specialist magazines such as Geo and National Geographic. Your photos also say a lot about you: they vibrantly exude remarkable sensibility and an acute perception of moment and setting. A pleasure.

  • 6:22 AM, Blogger Don Iannone

    Simply wonderful. Love to see the people pictures. They say SO much. Thanks Rauf.

  • 7:47 AM, Blogger Rauf

    Aha ! profile picture, how wonderful, Is that you Hayden ? Lovely it is.

    September to March, all you have to do is make up your mind. it will no longer be a dream, and this is not europe where you need lot of money. please make it a reality Hayden, you will not be disappointed.

  • 7:57 AM, Blogger Rauf

    Hi Claudia, Thanks for stopping by.
    If you love the place, you would pour your heart in to the pictures Claudia, I don't care much about technical quality, its a pretty ordinary digital, can't afford SLRs and lenses. Its a tragedy that I have not used film from past 2 years, my film cameras are getting rusty, digital is lot cheaper, half my travel money used to go for films and processing. Now I can travel more frequently, spend more time in the forests. that way I don't regret not touching the film

  • 8:29 AM, Blogger Rauf

    Rauf said...
    Thank you Don, I'll be posting more Jaisalmer pictures tomorrow, just feeling lazy, too much heat, I never complain though, i end up ruining my day complaining about the weather.

    People of Rajasthan are very colourful both in nature and attire, you will not find such colours anywhere in india, their folk music is very popular, I went after the men's colourful head wear called PAGDI, I'll be posting them soon

  • 7:25 AM, Blogger Gangadhar

    first time on your blog....it's just wonderful...lovely pics with beautiful explanation!!! i don't know how i missed your blog..Anywayzz..i'd love to come over here again and again...

  • 9:09 AM, Blogger Rauf

    Thank you Gangadhar, there are thousands of blogs out there. Please pop in when you are free.
    Please click on Daylight Again, it will take you to my wake up blog.
    Thanks again


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