I spent a lot of time travelling through Rajasthan, Agra and Varanasi in the winter of 2012-13. In some visits, the focus was all-round photography in the city and in some occasions we wandered the streets aimlessly, holding a camera. Here is a collection of images from the streets, taken during these and earlier visits.
The narrow lanes adjoining the ghats in Varanasi offer unlimited street photography opportunities. A part of people’s lives here is lived outside four walls, and they are more often than not happy to share their way of life with strangers. Shops and working spaces in the lanes have an amazing diversity that is perhaps not seen anywhere else in the world in such a small place. Sweet shops, silk handlooms that work in very tiny spaces where you can barely step in, vendors on bicycles crisscrossing the tiny spaces, chai shops, guesthouses, grocery stores, lassi shops, statue-makers,… the list is endless.
A goddess in the making..
Aging wheels and an aging wall. Bicycles are a convenient tool for crisscrossing the incredibly busy traffic and constrained spaces of Varanasi.
Time to go to school, but friends have not yet arrived..
Red! lips, shirt and the wall..
Every second shop in Varanasi seems to specialize in some eatables. Savouries, tea, lassi,..
Smiles laced with sugary stuff..
While the diversity of Varanasi seems to be confined to narrow patch of a few kilometers length, the entire state opens up to myriad possibilities in Rajasthan. The old never seems to fade though the new continuously attempts to change the system. In Jaipur, the old city area still mirrors much of its past – its pink facades, turbans, big moustaches, old temples and monuments haven’t yet lost there space to tall glass facades.
Life outside the famous Hawa Mahal, Jaipur. The means of mobility may have changed, but the commotion we see today is perhaps the same that queens witnessed from the windows of Hawa Mahal once.
Undecided! Do I smile.. or not? A hardware shop in Jaipur’s old city.
The scooters, once believed to be extinct! Now, the old ones are being brought back on the road and new releases are coming out from factories as well. A case of classics. Photographed somewhere not too faraway from the hardware shop above.
Jaipur’s fetish with pigeons may not be as legendary as its forts and palaces. But it should be. Everyone, everywhere wants to feed them and see them proliferate.
Somewhere on the way from Jaipur to Agra, mud pots still rule over steel utensils.
..and the good old tailors are preferred over ready-to-wear stuff.
Delhi’s Chandni Chowk is another area where, similar to Varanasi, a small place is home to amazing diversity. Ever heard of anything you wanted that is not available in Chandni Chowk?
A scrap yard.. Everything can be recycled.