Tag Archives: indian village

diwali and rogue fireworks…

P1090501
IMG_0112

I love, love LOVE Diwali. It’s my favourite Indian holiday, the festival of lights. Fireworks are prohibited in the orphanage campus where i live, for obvious reasons… so after dark i take a walk into the neighbouring village along with some of my much loved ex students (now in college) to take some pictures and see what is happening.

IMG_0216P1090470

But its not really as simple as that because Diwali can get pretty chaotic round these parts. Imagine, pretty much every child in the vicinity, armed with matches, fire and small and big, highly unreliable fireworks.

IMG_0147IMG_0123

Myself and my trusty companions walk in formation keeping our eyes open in all directions cos really, you have no idea where the next very LOUD big bang is going to come from…or some whizzing, ground based catherine wheel affair that might whack you in the legs…and i can’t tell you the amounts of time i see kids and adults returning to fireworks that were lit but had not gone off…arghhh!!!!

IMG_0174IMG_0159

i get asked in by this family who hand me giant sparklers and then proceed to take a lot of photos. I smile stoically despite the fact that half the time their small child is burning my ankles with his very large sparkler…

IMG_0120
IMG_0137 IMG_0201  IMG_0209

This year the Indian Govt. ran a campaign for a greener, firework free Diwali, but that’s a bit like trying to tell the tides to stop flowing…Truthfully we are a bit jumpy by the end but it’s all part of the experience and i would not miss it for the world…

P1090500

Advertisements

evening walk…

IMG_0510

another evening walk to see what i can see…
monkeys by the water…some have babies so can be aggressive, but i love to watch them, they are so HUMAN…

IMG_0519

…a nice thing about coming back over the years…a stroll in neighbouring villages means i will always bump into people i know, brothers Joshua and Job (left and right) were village boys whom i taught, both really good at art, now at college and studying elsewhere.

IMG_0529 IMG_0538 village kids having a whale of a time as they FINALLY fix the road in Buddavaram…

IMG_0543Mia boils water outside her home…but she wants a better picture so grabs a friend and poses in front of an autorickshaw…

IMG_0546

instant garlands from water lilies…

My ex student Mounika now studying for college asks me to come out with her and help her take better photographs one Sunday, i miss her in my classes (she’s a brilliant artist) so i am happy to have her come along, also if i go into the villages with any of my kids from school, it’s always a different experience…

P1240440

We go to Ajjampudi, about half a km walk from the orphanage. Mounika is Hindu and wants us to go into the temple…the priest insists on making a small ceremony (a puja)  for us, none of which i can film…darn it…but i emerge with a spot of vermilion pigment on my forehead and half a coconut in my hand as a memento. A (not tame) monkey observes us from the outside…

P1240452

As ever a group of kids start to follow, some of them are village kids from my class…

P1080311

They are mad keen to be photographed and even though i beg them not to they jump into water to swim and show off, climb walls, dive for water lilies…

P1240478

This little group of kids are all brothers and sisters…and they live in a ramshackle hut with no windows and no doors…with elderly grandparents…

P1240488P1240503The village kids who live in modest circumstances themselves consider this to be a very bad situation. This hut is in an awful position as the rice fields are full of snakes and mosquitoes…this little corner of India is a very tough place, full of extremes.

P1240515

the boys show me how to make instant necklace garlands from the water lilies…

sleepy sundays…

P1140733

Sunday, sunday…it’s very hot, after lunch and everyone is asleep…

P1140727

P1140736

P1140737

i see online that its -2C Edinburgh right now…am very, very happy to be here. I retreat to the roof to read. Kindle is making my time away much more reader friendly.

P1140735

View from the roof…the swamp behind us is gradually drying which means a few less mosquitos…

P1140135

Yesterday’s sun set, just thought i’d sneak that in…

P1140702

…and yesterday’s yellow moon over Rena Home…apparently a yellow/orange moon means a snake will come and eat it!

photography boys…

Some of my senior photography class on a field trip to the neighbouring village. Nice, kind, intelligent, funny boys…incredible considering the start they had in life. Some of their work from that day below:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

___

Dalayya, Santosh, Harsha, mvp, Syam, Ravi Teja, Daniel – the pose was all their idea

___

Actually the boys manage to take photos i would never get. I do seriously instruct them about being respectful about taking photos and to never take one if someone seems uncomfortable. Being local boys they wander in and out of houses (asking first of course) effortlessly…i am always reticent…

I would also like to single out this shot taken by Dalayya, also my student from last year. Sometimes i would let him keep the camera overnight. He lives in the Lake Home with the other older boys and he came back with this photo which blew me away. It is like something out of a Scorcese movie and gives something of the atmosphere of how it must be to live in this house with these boys. He did not really understand why i liked it so much and he consistently took great photos but this one is my absolute favourite…