Faces of Rajasthan

by

by Carol Johnson

One of the things I love best about our lives is that we have the opportunity to travel and to take lots of photos when we go anywhere.

While Richard is masterful at documenting the history and geography and art and architecture of a place, I am always drawn to photographing the people we meet. I have collected a few of my favorites in this post.

Below is our first driver, Hanuman, who met us at the Jaipur airport and took us around the city for two days. He was so sweet and accommodating. And he wore the first of the many great authentic Rajasthani turbans that we saw.

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All throughout the Amber Fort and palace in Jaipur were these women in bright yellow, the uniform of the workers there. So many women in Rajasthan were alluring in their sarees with their heads and/or faces covered. These “yellow ladies” were delighted to pose for a photo, but they expected some rupees in return.

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Oh my gosh. Is she precious or what?

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This man was in charge of the lower shrine inside the Galt Kund at the Monkey Temple.

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This severe guy was outside the shrine, accepting donations for feeding of the local cows.

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Our second day in Jaipur we had Kameesh as our guide. He told us that he was an active musician. His main instrument was a flute. However, he boasted of having mastered many instruments. He took us to a restaurant for lunch where there was live entertainment. During the break, he tried out the entertainers’ stringed instrument, to the amusement of its owner.

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The entertainers who played music and danced at the restaurant. The young boy, surely the son of the instrumentalist, was totally charming. I’m sad that he was working rather than attending school.

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Kameesh took us to a musical instrument shop. It had an amazing array of antique and contemporary instruments. He got to show off his skill with the flute.

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The children always get to me. Here’s one of my favorite shots.

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So many Indian people always ask us to take their photo. Here are some random guys who approached us in Bikaner.

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Here is our guide for Bikaner, Ananda. We are just coming out of the Camel Breeding Research Farm, and we’re tasting some camel milk ice cream. Even though he’s a native of this place, he doesn’t seem too sure about trying it.

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It was actually pretty good!

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Below is Mahivir, our second driver, who took us on most of the journey outside of Jaipur. He had the brightest, most engaging smile whenever he turned around from the driver’s seat to look at us. Darn it, I never once captured his smile with my camera.

Here, we have just exited the Rat Temple, and he is looking at a souvenir to take to his son.

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Some kids in Jaisalmer fooling around. They were actually there to sell stuff to tourists, instead of being in school.

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A kid on tour with his family. He is the photographer today.

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The manager of the Oscian Desert Camp. He was disappointed that we declined his offer of a free camel ride in the sunset. We tried to tell him we were still sore from our ride in Jaisalmer the evening before, but, alas, our languages were too dissimilar.

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A drummer with a small group providing music for tourists at one of the palaces.

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We drove through one town where it seemed like all the men were wearing these bright pink turbans.

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An old goatherd walking with his flock along the highway. Another amazing turban.

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This young man was selling flowers outside the Jain temple.

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Some random kid. What intense eyes!

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Here is Richard with the official greeter at the Fateh Bagh hotel.

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Many of the Rajasthanis looked like a different ethnic group than the Indians in Tamil Nadu. Many people had really light-colored eyes.

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Mahavir in the mirror. No smile here, either.

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Stopping for petrol, I caught these girls helping their father get fuel for his scooter.

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In Mt. Abu we were strolling by the lake when we came across these young girls in such pretty clothes.

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Here we’re at a roadside stop for a minute. My camera has this weird setting where it takes more than one shot at a time if I depress the shutter button too long. During my shot, this kid’s mother turned around to see what he was looking at.

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In the Udaipur palace, another couple kids wanted their photo taken.

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Oops, wait a minute…

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Now we’re ready. Sister is here, too.

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At some public garden in Udaipur, we came across these colorful women. They asked for a donation for this shot.

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Again along the roadside, stopping for chai.

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Workers near Ranthambore Tiger Reserve.

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Along the road. This guy was selling some kind of fruit that we didn’t recognize. We never tried it, since our driver said it wasn’t any good. We should have, though.

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The fruit guy wanted to make sure I took his daughter.

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In Pushkar, walking around the lake, lots of people, mostly youngsters, wanted their photo taken.

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In the photo below, this guy, obviously not Indian, looks pretty stiff. Oh, wait. It’s a statue.

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Sitting with Grandpa.

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On the streets of Pushkar a family poses for me.

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At the Camel Mela. These guys were tending their horses. We couldn’t figure out what kind of tool they’re holding.

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Young men working the Fair.

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Older guy tending to his horse. These were, by the way, some of the most beautiful horses I’ve ever seen.

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A noticeable phenomenon all over Rajasthan was that lots of people that we passed waved at us. It seemed so welcoming. It wasn’t until our last stop, Pushkar, that I was able to capture this with my camera.

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My guess is that these are tourists here enjoying the Fair, just like us.

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One of the finalists in the Camel Decorating Contest.

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I think this guy was the winner.

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At Pushkar Lake, waiting for the evening Aarti, Richard and I had split up so we could take pictures from different angles. This man approached me and wanted to give me a huge, beautiful mala. As I politely tried to turn him down, he emphasized that he didn’t want money, and wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. It turned out that he was some “famous” spiritual leader from the next city up the road.

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Waiting for the Aarti.

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Here I am with my mala. And the pigeons.

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Final faces: the Pujari and the crowd.

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It was so much fun for me to go back and gather some of my favorite people pictures from our Rajasthan trip. I am so grateful to Richard and to the universe for this wonderful, blessed life we are leading.

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2 Responses to “Faces of Rajasthan”

  1. ab202012 Says:

    The “fruit”, as far as I can tell with my poor eyesight, may be Trapa bispinosa, an emergent hydrophyte, which grows in shallow fresh water, rooted in muck. When young and tender, both the red and green varieties CAN be delicious, although if picked a bit older when they are heavier and larger, they taste starchy and super MEH!!

    There is a safety issue connected with these “fruit” since they are collected from standing water, that may have attracted undesirable contaminants in the context of modern India. I would be very, very careful with even fresh greens like cilantro and fresh mint, so say nothing of salad greens, being raised outside cities with water from “fallouts” which are the settling tanks of sewage treatment plants.

  2. Manoj Gajbhiye Says:

    very nice photo shoot of rajasthan

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