Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Rich; poor and industriousness

I suppose no visit to India is without its contrasts in terms of rich and poor.   From the obvious wealth in Mumbai with its high rise apartments on Marine Drive and apartments with roof top gardens overlooking the Hanging Gardens:

To the people who arrive in the cities hoping for a better life and living on the pavements or in slums by the railtracks while they earn enough to live.   I struggled with a range of emotions as to whether or not to take pictures which showed this side of India.   Then I struggled with should I take photos blatantly or be surreptitious.    In part I felt intrusive; I also thought how would I feel if that were me.   I realised that by no stretch of the imagination could I ever know how it feels to be living on the pavement.

In the end I offered to pay to take photos which some people agreed to and some didn't.    The picture I'm sharing has no people in it.   I cropped it because what caught my eye when I looked at it again was the care and tidyness of the persons belongings.   They may be living in a lean - to on the street but it was tidy.

A story about industriousness:

In Pushkar I was taking some time out enjoying the peace at a Ghat when I heard behind me a Yorkshire accent.   It truly is a small world and I got talking to Lynne who was taking time out before starting work in Leeds.  

As we returned to pick up our shoes she was bemoaning the fact that her favourite sandals had broken and she was thinking about buying a replacement pair in Pushkar market.   At that moment a man came up to us and said he could fix her shoe.   She looked at me and we agreed that she had nothing to lose it was bust anyway.    She agreed a price 50 rupees which is less than a £1.    Within 10 minutes the sandal was returned and fixed.  

This just emphasises one of my strongest impressions of India. 


  1. I can imagine the quandry over whether and what to photograph. It looks to me as if you reached good decisions, and you have certainly captured some of the incredible range of ways of life you have encountered. I love the pile of tidiness...and the sandal story. I'm also enjoying the drip feed...hope there's lots more to come. Fondest wishes Celia, Janice x

  2. This is a most thought-provoking post, Celia. The contrast is certainly huge; outrageous. I love the cropped picture and your thought-process behind it's presentation. I agree absolutely that it's a small world - it doesn't really surprise me that you should meet someone from Leeds. But I love the story of the sandal-fixer. It is my tendency to replace broken things - Cesar likes to fix. I shall go with fixing in future as it is, without doubt, the better principle.


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