Archive for wrestlers

Pandering Satan

Posted in Pehlwans from Benaras with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2013 by designldg

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“Reveal your feelings to him,
Tenderly …
Then let Satan break him”
(Abu Nuwas (Abū Nuwās al-Ḥasan ibn Hānī al-Ḥakamī) – Classical Arabic poet, 756-814)

This is a picture of Vinod and his cousin Manish shot in the akhara located at Scindia ghat along the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
The two young men are pehlwani and they often train there before sunset.
Sometimes they also pose for the pictures of the Red Halo collections.

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Eric Jourdan – “Le Jeune Soldat” – Published by La Musardine

Posted in 7 - Events, Publications & Press with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2012 by designldg

© All rights reserved.

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.

Eric Jourdan – “Le Jeune Soldat” – Published by La Musardine

“Body language” is a picture shot at Scindia Ghat along the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).

It was selected to make the cover of “Le Jeune Soldat”, a novel by Eric Jourdan, published by La Musardine and released in November 2011.

Eric Jourdan is a French novelist and playwright born in 1938.

Sometimes his books become source of controversy but they are critically acclaimed and well-received.

“Le Jeune Soldat” is published in French.

Time Is Very Short

Posted in Pehlwans & Gurus with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 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.

A few pehlwans (Indian wrestlers) who were practicing their daily training accepted to pose 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 it was still cold.
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 I wanted.
Those writings on the walls kept my attention as well, on the left it says “Don’t let time go, do something”, on the write “Time is very important” and on the back wall “Jai Shri Ram”.
But I was surprised to see that on the top there was a painting of Lord Shiva with “Om Namah Shivaya” (ॐ नमः शिवाय) written underneath.
This mantra is an adoration to Shiva however akharas are usually following Lord Hanuman so I asked my brother Manish if it was customary but he answered that I should not use my mind the way I do…;)

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The Red Jiffy

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).
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This was shot on the road from Varanasi to Bodh Gaya and at a few miles before the border of Bihar in a little akhara (gymnasia) lost in the fields near Sakalhida, a village in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
Those pehlwans (Indian wrestlers) are having are having a break during their training and they accepted that I took a few pictures.
All around there was still some heavy fog as It was early in the morning before sunrise.
The red fabric was contrasting with the colour hues of winter.
It was in a jiffy, just the time for this pehlwan to hold this red langot (Indian underwear) that he wanted to wear later at the time to go to work.
Most akharas are active at a very early hour so that after practice members can go to work or school.

 

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Rubbing with Earth

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.

Those two pelhwans (Indian wrestlers) are standing at the entrance 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.

“After exercising, a wrestler rubs his body with the earth of the akhara to dry his perspiration.
This prevents his body from cooling too rapidly, and thus guards against illness.
While resting, he is rubbed down.
As the earth dries on his skin it is scraped off by other wrestlers.
By the time the earth is scraped, the body is cool enough for the wrestler to bathe.
It is vitally important that a person not bathe while still hot, for this will inevitably enrage the body and cause serious illness.
A wrestler must urinate before bathing in order to relieve the body’s inner heat”.
(“The Wrestler’s Body: Identity and Ideology in North India” by Joseph S. Alter)

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A Circle of Reflecting Metaphors

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

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Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
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“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

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“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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