Tag Archives: hindu

Diwali…

Diwali just took place. I walked into Buddavaram, the local village with 2 of my former students who are now in college. Everyone lights oil lamps, fireworks, sparklers… so we went to photograph the lights…

IMG_0121IMG_0109 IMG_0115   IMG_0141 IMG_0163 IMG_0174 IMG_0180

IMG_0133That’s Gowri and Puru, they are at college now and are very fine human beings indeed, they took photography classes with me a few years back, here are some of their beautiful shots:

DSCN0006 P1080879 P1080914 P1080928

gannavaram and multiconfessional temples…

Took an auto rickshaw taxi to Gannavaram…here are some of the people who shared it…

The ladies of Venus fancy goods store, Gannavaram washing pan leaves. They can be chewed and are a mild stimulant, but they also use them to wraps hand made sweets…

Up the road from Venus…I love this temple, it covers the Christian, Hindu and Muslim faiths…

The sign tells us it’s the Gannavaram temple, the address and it’s benefactors…

live kolam action…

Finally after 3 years of trying, i managed to catch someone actually drawing a kolam (Hindu welcome drawing). I found this young girl just beginning at 6am in the village of Buddavaram just outside the orphanage on an early morning walk. She is using rice flower to draw with…looks so easy, i tried…it’s not!

for more kolams see my flickr page

the neem tree…

The Neem tree is a big deal in these parts, worshipped by the Hindus and also revered for its healing antiseptic properties…everybody has a use for it…from cleaning their teeth with the twigs, to using the sap from the leaves for small wounds…to an anti dandruff treatment…Below Malathi tells the whole story why it is so revered, and how she uses it in her life.

The banana tree in an embrace with the neem tree outside a Hindu temple in Buddavaram

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.