Sep 27, 2016

Memoirs of Rangoli ... (p31) - khammaghani Jodhpur!

behind the bars
Jodhpur, Rajashtan
February 2016

we didn't get the chance to experience the night train in India. the original plan was, the ride from Jodhpur to Agra during our final leg of the travel. however, as mentioned by Syib, the train schedule in India sort of unpredictable as the train was cancelled for our intended schedule. hence, the plan changed from Jodhpur to Agra, to Jaipur to Jodhpur. and for sake of experience, the plan turned out to be an early morning train, leaving the pink city as early as 6am and reached Jodhpur after 5 hours.

it was a sleepless night for me, as i was too tired after our journey from Rusirani to the city of Jaipur that night. plus, knowing that we gotta leave around 5am to the train station, made my rem cycle disturbed with the thoughts of potential overslept.
we left the hotel as per plan and then only brought our daypack/camera bag with us as the bus continued its journey to Jodhpur with all of our luggages. Syib told us we would be sitting at the first class coach, not the sleeper coach as we'd be travelling for a relatively short journey i.e. 5 hours. it was a busy morning at the train station, with all those travelers waiting to depart for their intended destination. the smell and the crowd. brought back the typical vibe of India to my sense. the place was busy with all sort of people you could see waiting for departure, or probably just finding the shelter under the train departure's platforms.   
we wandered for a while, looking for the right platform for our departure, and memograph any interesting subjects that we could think of. the same time, trying to keep ourselves warm as it was kind of freezing as it was still 'winter' in this part of India. we got on board as the time arrived. it wasn't a big fuss as being on the first class coach, meaning we had our seat, instead of finding the empty spot and sharing with the locals.

i know, it sounds like we were missing the opportunity to experience the real-journey, but i guess my 9-hours hard seat train ride back in Yunnan last year taught me a lot, that enough sometimes could be enough. anyway, we still had the opportunity to wander around the economy coach as it was permitted for us, but not vice-versa.

the first part of the journey was a bit boring and i ended up went back to my rem cycle. anyway, the group were separated as we were on board. i was sitting together with Fariz and abg mie, and next to kak ros and aniq, while half of the group were sitting few rows in front of us. after a while, i saw syib stood up and gave a sign to join him. he came towards us, and mumbled something. mumbled?

well ...i was sleepy actually. hehe.
apparently, half of the group went to wander along the coaches and even managed to step their foot at the station, whenever the train made a stop to drop and pick up the passengers. gosh! i missed the moment! especially when thinking back my plan to re-create the scene from the original Dilwale, when 'Simran' was chasing 'Rahul' that was leaving by the train. huhuhuhu.

#regret!!!! rugi weyyyy...the 5 hours train ride ended up being only a ride to me as i didn't manage to memograph any significant moment. huhuhuhu.

Khammaghani Jodhpur!
it is Namaste Jodhpur in Marwari...the language of the local ethnic of Rajashtan. we were finally at the 2nd largest city in Rajashtan that synonym with the name 'Blue City'.


Sep 21, 2016

Memoirs of Rangoli ... (p30) - faces ... part 3

Rusirani Village, Jaipur
Rajashtan, India
February 2016

Smile tho' your heart is aching
Smile even tho' it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky
You'll get by

If you smile
Thro' your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shin-ing thro' for you

i was busy browsing pictures of the kids that i took earlier, hence showing to some of them that still lingered around before they ran towards other members, once the no longer excited to play with me. then one of the boy patted my shoulder and said something while pointing towards an old man that sitting near the window.

i wasn't sure, but i guess he was telling me that he wanted to be photographed. i heard they called him 'baba'. perhaps, he was the eldest of the host family that we visited there. it was a bit awkward to ask him to pose etc. and with my 35mm, i had to come closer to get my good moment. he just stood there silent, and gave a smile as i started to click my shutter. honestly, it was a bit stiff.

the boys teased him and he chuckled with a big smile.

our visit to Rusirani Village, was a memorable one to me. to see a different perspective of life in India, where less could mean enough. it took me away from thinking about the exhaustive rat life of Chadni Chowk and burnt my disappointment on the greedy mahout of Jaipur and their kids etc.

yes. always. it was one of the chapters of the trip that really made me smile.

Sep 17, 2016

Memoirs of Rangoli ... (p29) - faces ... part 2

Rusirani Village, Jaipur
Rajashtan, India
February 2016

the sister carried him to each one of us, asking for her brother's picture to be taken. but she never wanted to be in, hence the half-frame of her face. at one point, she forgot that she did came to me and asked, and i took it again. but the 3rd time, when i was memo-graphing other kids, i had to show her the pictures taken before so that she satisfied.

the kids of rusirani were a joy to mingle with. their laughter and excitement, obviously took all of my disappointment with the kids of haathi gaon of Jaipur, that nothing short of asking money for each time their picture taken. Dev told us that never to treat them with any money directly, as once it'd be given, it'd creep in like a disease. 


Sep 16, 2016

Memoirs of Rangoli ... (p28) - faces ... part 1

Rusirani Village, Jaipur
Rajasthan, India
February 2016

Hold me in your arms,
Love me like your best friends did,
Promise I won't hurt you kid,
Hold me really tight until the stars look big,
Never let me go

it took me a while to warm myself up into the action. action - memo graphing the life of the locals of Rusirani Village, especially the kids. yes...they were the most excited as seeing our gear being pointing towards their action. the elders decided to stay aside, but never turned down any request from us.

i only had my 35mm zeiss with me, while wandering around and memo graphing them. it is my favourite focal length, and lens, but doing portrait made me feel a bit limited as i am unable to play bokeh to a typical extend that you'll be able to reach with a fast 50mm lens. nonetheless, i feel that the work more organic and alive, as the 35mm brought me closer to my subject. i had to approach them, and establish the connection. once it was there, i let their emotion and do-about flowed. i didn't control other than asking to stand/sit at the right places.


Sep 14, 2016

Memoirs of Rangoli...(p27) - Rusirani Village (cont.)

the hut
rusirani village, jaipur
rajasthan, india
february 2016

the kids were cheering for us as our tractor made it way to the village and as we disembarked from it. the elders, standing at the side of their houses, gave us a big warm smile, welcoming us. i understand, the language barrier was limiting them to directly approach us, but it was good enough to see the smile faces and the kids cheer after a 40 minutes of bumpy ride.

Dev brought us to our shelter where we could leave our luggage and rest. he told us they were preparing the lunch and it would be served later. i took a seat and wandered my eyes around. there were few blocks of unfinished building, built to surround the place. there millet field, i guess next to it. Syib told me to go and mingle around, especially with the kids. they loved to have their photos taken.

i decided to wait and settle my solat first. but then clean water was a limited source in this village, and the was hard to tell. luckily i wasn't in my moment of nature's call, but the ladies had to do the business and was brought by Dev to somewhere as apparently there was no proper toilet within the our host's family compound. where and how did it look like? well..i didn't ask as seeing from their reaction as walking back from the place. hehehe. 
the lunch was finally ready and they brought it to our shelter. Dev told us not to worry as it was properly and cleanly prepared. Dev assured us it was prepared using filtered/mineral water etc. 

so what was in th e menu?

it was plain rice and roti from different types of flour, serves with dal. it was good! and i love the roti that they prepared for us. for desert, they served us a traditional sweet/candy made from sugar cane. kak ros even brought few of it back home as she loved it very much.
once with the lunch, it was time to start mingle around again. well...the thing of having a group of photographers as the guest, made the place turned like a red carpet thingy as everybody seemed to be the centre of attraction for each of us to get the best portrait. the kids loved it very much to pose and never short of cheers as they saw their faces on the camera's monitor. 

after a while, Dev called us to gather. as our host, they were preparing gifts to us. the boys were treated with the turban, while the ladies were presented with the cloth. i thought it was saree, but it was too short.

it was late afternoon already and Dev told us that we gotta move if we wanted to visit one of the attraction of the village, and an ancient monument which was believed built like more than 2000 years ago, if i've not mistaken.we bid farewell to our host and the family, after thanking them for their warm and friendly treatment. as usual, the kids, never short of cheers as our tractor leaving the village.

it was another short bumpy ride to the ancient monument. we had to walk further for 20 minutes from the parking before arriving to the monument that had the Mahaveer statue stood still, as major part of it. Dev told us the story about the place and apparently it was still under Indian government research, to determine the exact date and history of the place. it was amusing as Dev told us, so far they unable to connect the story of the place with any of the old kingdom that known in India. 

we had to leave as it was getting dark, and obviously, it was creepy to be around the place as the light went out. there was a stair well nearby the place, but we didn't had the chance to visit it because it was dark already. again..creepy!

we walked back to our ride and then had another 30 minutes bumpy ride, ascending the hill to the ancient gate that served as an entrance to the village, before descending to the place where our bus was parked.

Dev thanked us for our visit and was hoping we would write a good review about our visit to the village. i was indeed plan to do it, but when we were told that he recommended for 1000 rupee tips from each of us, all the good thoughts suddenly went to the drain. i mean, it was a unexpected, eventhough Dev justified to us that it'd be used for the village etc. , but we were totally felt like a ripped off. and Syib forgot to tell us about this. voila!

ah. drama. the driver apparently was in a bad mood as he had to come and wait for us that long. he was in rush to get back to the town. 

we left the village and continue our ride back to city of Jaipur. it was another 2 hours journey. everybody were tired already, and most of us were in our rem cycle throughout the ride.