Tag Archives: sari

bad dancer…

well…after 6 years of assiduously avoiding any sort of group/bolliwood style dancing it seems finally my luck ran out. It’s more difficult than you’d think avoiding this dancing lark round these parts. Everyone loves to dance or to at least watch other people dance. On any given holiday there are always performances and dances (usually by the kids). My photography prowess has always been my best defence…”I’d love to but i can’t join in, i have to photograph and document…sorry!” Well this year on Children’s Day the teachers were having none of it. On this particular occasion, they usually dance for the kids…and yes my friends i also had to do so…with 6 other teachers, in full sari regalia, and i found out about it the night before the event…

So my first time in a sari and my first public dance performance since ballet class when i was 5 years old…Lets just say i gave it a go…but am not giving up the day job…those who know me well can ask me and maybe i will show them the dodgy film evidence of my Indian dancing début…next year I AM DEFINITELY BUSY TAKING PHOTOGRAPHS!!!!

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radhika paints her sari…

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Radhika is a maths and science teacher, she hand painted and stitched the jewels on this beautiful sari herself…

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…meanwhile Ganga, one of my students also hand painted his t-shirt:

P1140837Apparently the letters stand for (i think) Ninth Boys Student Force…love the drawing of the lion!

sunday sari best…

I visit the catholic church in Gannavaram. Have avoided it for the past 3 years…an hour and a half service in Telegu does not inspire…even with my thirst for seeking out new levels of catholic kitsch.

I was not let down. The church though poor is decorated Indian style in a myriad of colours, lights and flowers.

…and the women…decked out in their Sunday sari best (ladies on one side, gents on the other)…were so beautiful. There was even a live band…one and a half hours flew past…Apparently they pull out all the stops for midnight mass on 24 December…am seriously considering it…

communion at Infant Jesus Church, Gannavaram

sari and frock shoppinig with zakeera and chandra…

I go shopping in Vijayawada with 2 friends who work in the orphanage. Zakeera is Muslim but often wears “regular” clothing; jeans and a punjabi top but sometimes she likes to cover up. It is a very strange sensation to spend the day with someone whose whole face (minus the eyes) is covered up and i find myself losing a lot of subtle comprehension with her facial expressions hidden. Chandra was an orphanage kid. She started out in a hostel in Vijayawada and now is working in the office of the orphanage in Buddawaram. She is waiting to go to college and to eventually get a job in tourism.

The Saris are beautiful…60 gram silks and gossamer light, they are expensive by India standards…3500 rupees (more than €50) and way beyond my budget. I allow myself €100 per month. Actually you can buy very nice saris for 400 or 500 rupees or less… guess the girls have been saving up as wages are low. When women buy here its a serious business i have watched them have 100’s of saris displayed before walking away purchasing nothing…not easy to be a salesman here…The frocks are also for very special occasions and are also an eye watering 3500 rupees!!!

young guns…

requested portraits:

They asked me for a photo as i was crossing a bridge near the orphanage…they already looked pretty good but the photo was made for me when the young boy scout cycled into view…

The Hindu welcome drawing was freshly done…it was so beautiful with the red powder…and then the green sari…!!i really want to see these delicate drawings  being executed, but most women here get up around half past four or five in the morning, and do it then, so i keep missing it…

…also not so nice to be scrambling about the countryside in the pitch dark, not that its dangerous or anything, it’s just that here, you really need to be able to see where you are placing your feet!

She was washing clothes in a lake near Tulip Gardens orphanage…I was on my way there with a couple of doctors, then one of the docs had the “great” idea that she wanted to try washing the clothes too…it was a horrible Marie Antoinette moment…But the washer women took it with good grace…