Archive for kushti

A Circle of Reflecting Metaphors

Posted in Pehlwans & Gurus with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2009 by designldg

© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved. 
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

“The mind is a metaphor of the world of objects which is itself but an endless circle of mutually reflecting metaphors”.
(Pierre Bourdieu, French sociologist, 1930 – 2002)

This is inside the little akhara (gymnasia) which is lost in the fields near Sakalhida, a village in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
It was early in the morning before sunrise in winter and there was no bright light inside.
Those pelhwans (Indian wrestlers) are practiscing their daily traning which is an integral and important part of everyday life.
Wrestling is more than a sport, it is a vocation, a way of life.
One chooses to become a wrestler.

“My focus is not on moves and countermoves, holds, takedowns, or the other skills a wrestler must master.
I am interested in the ideals and values associated with wrestling as a more or less bounded system of meaning.
Although much of what wrestlers do is to practice techniques and moves, they regard this aspect of their art as specialized and somewhat esoteric.
In contrast to the unproblematic issue of skill and technique, the wrestler is eminently concerned with such complex questions as the relationship between moral and physical strength, abstinence and celibacy.
As such, wrestlers are concerned with wrestling as a way of life that defines the boundaries of their everyday actions.
For a wrestler, wrestling and all it entails is an ideology, a partial and incomplete but nevertheless holistic ordering of the world.
At the locus of this ideology is the identity of the wrestler—what it means, among other things, to be strong, skillful, celibate, devoted, dutiful, honest, and humble”.
(“The Wrestler’s Body: Identity and Ideology in North India” by Joseph S. Alter)

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Shaktî Shâlî

Posted in Pehlwans & Gurus with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2009 by designldg

© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved. 
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

“SHAKTĪ SHĀLĪ” is an aura of energized strength which characterizes an invigorated wrestler.

This was shot inside the little akhara (gymnasia) which is lost in the fields near Sakalhida, a village in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
Those two pelhwans (Indian wrestlers) are having a break during their training.
They are standing in front of a window from which there was no colours yet as it was early in the morning before sunrise and at that time during winter we could still feel the heavy fog all around.

In India the wrestler’s fame is defined by the character which is fostered by strength with a majestic body and stamina, skill, experience, and, if educated and well read, for having knowledge and wisdom.
Pehlwans have humility and are well mannered.

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No Submission

Posted in Pehlwans & Gurus with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2009 by designldg
© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved. 
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

I was driving early in the morning before sunrise on the road from Varanasi to Bodh Gaya and at a few miles before the border of Bihar I saw a little akhara lost in the fields near Sakalhida, a village in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
An akhara is a place where Indian wrestlers practice their training.
I took a few pictures of those pehlwans covered with mud who looked like the heros from the recent movie 300, those Spartan soldiers who attempted to repeal Xerxes’s invasion.
This young man seemed to be the champion of the gym, he was shy, I had to make him laugh in order to make him feel easy with the camera and later he enjoyed to see his portraits on my camera screen.

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An Attitude Toward Life

Posted in Pehlwans & Gurus with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2009 by designldg
© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved. 
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

I was driving early in the morning before sunrise on the road from Varanasi to Bodh Gaya and at a few miles before the border of Bihar I saw a little akhara lost in the fields near Sakalhida, a village in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
An akhara is a place where Indian wrestlers practice their training (gymnasia).

“Although the majority of wrestlers tend to be in their early to mid-teens, the term pahalwan designates an identity that is by no means limited to the teenage wrestler.
In fact, the term pahalwan includes men who were disciplined wrestlers in their youth and who, as married adults, continue to subscribe to the ideals, if not the strict regimen, of a wrestling way of life.
These men are employed, support families, and are integrated members of their communities in every sense.
However, their whole identity derives from the complex discipline of wrestling exercise and values.
A wrestling identity, then, is not restricted to the context of an akhara; it is an attitude toward life in general.”
(“The Wrestler’s Body: Identity and Ideology in North India” by Joseph S. Alter)

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A Source of Strength and Wisdom

Posted in Pehlwans & Gurus with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2009 by designldg

© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved. 
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

This was shot early in the morning before sunrise on the road from Varanasi to Bodh Gaya and at a few miles before the border of Bihar in a little akhara lost in the fields near Sakalhida, a village in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
An akhara (gymnasia) is a place where Indian wrestlers (pehlwan) practice their training.
This man was one of the teachers there, generally speaking, Muslim teachers of wrestling are known as Ustaad, whilst Hindu teachers are known as Guru.

“A wrestling guru is one who instructs his disciples on the fine art of wrestling. He prescribes each wrestler’s individual regimen by delineating the number and sequence of exercises, the types and number of moves to be practiced, the content and quantity of diet, and the time and amount of rest. A guru is also a source of strength and wisdom, and a wrestler must be willing and able to commit himself totally to his guru in order to gain access to this strength and wisdom”.
(“The Wrestler’s Body: Identity and Ideology in North India” by Joseph S. Alter)

Join the photographer at  https://www.facebook.com/laurent.goldstein.photography