Archive for sari

Head of Hair

Posted in Timeless Black & White with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2013 by designldg

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“O fleecy hair, falling in curls to the shoulders!
O black locks! O perfume laden with nonchalance!
Ecstasy! To people the dark alcove tonight
With memories sleeping in that thick head of hair.
I would like to shake it in the air like a scarf!

Sweltering Africa and languorous Asia,
A whole far-away world, absent, almost defunct,
Dwells in your depths, aromatic forest!
While other spirits glide on the wings of music,
Mine, O my love! floats upon your perfume…”

These words are the beginning of “La Chevelure” a poem by French poet Charles Baudelaire from “Les Fleurs du Mal (Flowers of Evil)” published in 1851.
This is a link to the original poem in French with several translations in English,
fleursdumal.org/poem/203

This picture was shot along the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
After taking a bath in the holy waters, this lady was styling her long white hair under the sun.
She was old, beautiful, graceful and bearing the quintessence of femininity.
This is why Baudelaire’s words came to me quite naturally as he was the base of my educational journey when I was a teenager…

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Everlasting Beauty

Posted in Timeless Black & White with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2013 by designldg

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“It`s not how old you are, it`s how you are old.”
(Jules Renard – French author, 1864–1910)

This lady came from South India in order to worship the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
After taking a bath in the holy waters, she was styling her long white hair under the sun.
The quintessence of femininity was visible through her graceful gestures…she was beautiful…

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Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
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The Good Life

Posted in Dreams of An Enthralling India In Colour with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2013 by designldg

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“There is a special spirit among people who call themselves Banarsis, whether they are rickshaw-pullers, merchants in the market, or the old aristocracy.
It is an art of living, both passionate and carefree.
They call it masti (“joie de vivre”), mauj (“delight, festivity”), and phakkarpan (“carefreeness”).
It is the exhilaration and drunkenness of Holi, the extravagance and culture of Burhwa Mangal, and the glitter of Divali.
It is enjoyment of life without ostentation…”
(From “Banaras, City of Light” by Dianan L. Eck)

These ladies were bargaining religious accessories sold in front of the Swami Narayan Mandir (temple) in Varanasi (Benaras).

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Bette Davis Eyes

Posted in Dreams of An Enthralling India In Colour with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2013 by designldg

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“…She’ll expose you, when she snows you
Off your feet with the crumbs she throws you
She’s ferocious and she knows just
What it takes to make a crow blush
All the boys think she’s a spy
She’s got Bette Davis eyes…”
(From “Bette Davis Eyes” by Donna Weiss and Jackie DeShannon)

Those people bargaining religious accessories in front of the Swami Narayan Mandir (temple) in Varanasi (Benaras) caught my attention and especially the lady wearing the yellow sari who had a few expressions reminding me of Bette Davis…

This is a link to an amazing version of this song by Karen Souza, youtu.be/ydTzfPBw_tY

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An Endless Well

Posted in The Oldest Living City in the World with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2013 by designldg

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“Vel once told me that the heart isn’t like a cup of water.
You can’t drain it.
It’s more like an endless well, and the more you love, the more it pumps out.”
(From “Endgame” by Ann Aguirre)

After sunrise this lady was pumping water near Raj ghat along the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Posted in Banarsi (Portraits) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2013 by designldg

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“Her drama was a drama not of heaviness but of lightness.
What fell to her lot was not the burden but the unbearable lightness of being.”
(From “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” by Milan Kundera)

This is one of my favourite sentences by Milan Kundera which I kept in mind since his book was published.
Challenging Friedrich Nietzsche’s concept of eternal recurrence (the idea that the universe and its events have already occurred and will recur ad infinitum), the story’s thematic meditations posit the alternative; that each person has only one life to live, and that which occurs in life occurs only once and never again — thus the “lightness” of being.
In contrast, the concept of eternal recurrence imposes a “heaviness” on our lives and on the decisions we make (to borrow from Nietzsche’s metaphor, it gives them “weight”.)
Nietzsche believed this heaviness could be either a tremendous burden or great benefit depending on the individual’s perspective…

I met this lady at a gas pump on the road between Delhi and Varanasi.
Her expression, her saree and the way she wrapped it reminded of some Renaissance Italian paintings showing the Madonna.
Maybe the concept of eternal recurrence happens…maybe in another life this lady inspired a Master of the XVI°…”khabi khabie”…

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A Dash of Colours

Posted in The Oldest Living City in the World with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2013 by designldg

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“All colors are the friends of their neighbors and the lovers of their opposites. ”
(Marc Chagall – Russian artist, 1887-1985)

As the heat became unbearable, those ladies came to find an illusion of freshness under the big umbrellas used by the priests staying at Shitla Ghat.
The colours of their sarees and bangles enthralled my camera…

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© 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.