Pehlwans and Gurus

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This is a picture with a few pehlwans (Indian wrestlers) and their gurus (teachers) which I took in front of the little akhara (gymnasia) which is lost in the fields near Sakalhida, a village in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
It was in winter, early in the morning before sunrise, and it was still cold and foggy all around.
They are not used to have visitors but they were very friendly and they allowed me to stay for a while and to take as many pictures as I wanted.

This stiff way of posing is classic in India, many people believe that this is the right way to be in a picture and it often happens that people strike this pose whenever they think I want to make an “official” picture.
That morning I managed to make everyone laugh in order to take less formal portraits but later I selected those images as I wanted to show a genuine rural akhara.

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