Tag Archives: barber

red barber #3…

My third year of photographing the red barber of Buddavaram (see previous posts here and here), one of  my photos from last year is still up on his wall…

Even customers waiting got into the act. This is a requested portrait, both by the barber and this man with the rather fine head of hair…

For all previous photos of the red barber photo see my flickr set here

in search of the red barber…

…ah the red barber, i had such plans for him… i wanted to interview him, maybe even make a small documentary…but i was always very busy with the kids and it was hard to get someone to come with me to translate…

Finally, near the end of my stay i managed to arrange for Dalayya to come with me to speak with him. As luck would have it, the very moment we arrived, a very loud publicity car parked in front of his shed booming a commercial about pesticides…the car remained as did the soundtrack drowning out all possibilities of conversation. I have to say that in the 6 weeks i was in Buddavaram i never saw this car…except for this one time when i was trying to record an interview…oh well…

things i did manage to ascertain:

being a barber is a family trait handed down to him
the business is his
he decorated the shed himself
he likes red
his brother is also a barber
it costs 20 – 30 rupees for a haircut
it costs 10 rupees for a shave

the red barber’s brother – also a barber

As a thank you for all the times i photographed him and his patience and good humour, i took him a copy of one of the photos. Next time i passed i saw he had pinned it up. I was chuffed, you can see it in the photo below on the right…

See my flickr page for full red barber set so far

the red barber…

I photographed him last year, a young barber who plies his trade from a tiny hut at the edge of Buddavaram* just outside the orphanage, i hope do a series of photographs on him and his clients this year if he lets me…The inside is papered red and bathes him and his customers in a glorious red light… His black clothes mean he is following a Ayyappa Deeksha** (see also Bhavani Deeksha previous post for similar religious behaviour, the devotees clad entirely in red). Anyway he gets a post to himself because he looks rather splendid…

The Red Barber’s Hut – a genius use of a small space…

* Buddavaram means “Wednesday” in the language of Andhra Pradesh, Telugu

** Ayyappa Deeksha is an offering on the part of an individual as part of the Hindu religion, there are many many rules but what it boils down to is that the devotee must live a very austere life for 41 days preceding a visit to the Temple. During this time, the mind is made to withdraw from the worldly objects and is slowly directed towards Ayyappa.

The black clothes symbolise a mind withdrawn from all material  objects. The black cloth suggests devotee is dead to the world of perceptions, emotions and thoughts and he is immersed in the thought of Ayyappa.