"Let me show you the Kali temple...you have seen nothing yet if you haven't seen the Kali"
We try to escape, muttering politely that we have seen her or we will come again another day, but he staggers along.
"Don't say you don't have time. What is time after all? Time stands still here. Come, come, take a look. You have come so far, and you don't want to walk another few feet?"
I follow reluctantly. He enters a little grotto and shows me a hole in which there is a black something I can hardly see in the dark.
"Very sentient," exclaims he. I take a frame quickly, then exit the room. He points to another bearded man with a turban sitting beside a pair of sleeping dogs. "Take a photo of 'baba'," he accosts me. I find the composition compelling, so I let off a series. The 'baba' asks if he could see the photos. I sheepishly confess that this is an older type camera, where the photos have to come back from a shop, not from the camera's back. But he is not disappointed. I try to leave, but this wild fellow rebukes me for not paying an honorarium to the 'baba'. 'Baba' is embarrassed, and signs me that the fellow is drunk. But I put a bill at 'baba's feet, which he does not even look at. I worry it will fly away in the wind.
I try to return to the car, but the wild fellow follows me, insisting that I must see the other temples too. A few men around there asks him to leave me alone, but he continues. I climb into the car; he comes up and asks for a donation. I refuse. He is outraged. "I showed you so many things, and you can't part with a few little rupees? What is money after all?"
The car coughs and sneezes but doesn't start. The driver tries again, fails. He pumps the gas pedal, then revs up...but the car gets stuck in the soft red clay, its back wheels spinning hopelessly. I jump out and the men around come forward to push. The fellow is elated,"You city folk, you thought you could escape without paying me a donation! Jai Ma Kali, bome bome Kali!"
The men around the car snarl at him to clear out, then we push. The fellow then comes forward and lends his hands. The car lurches on and clears the mud.
I thank him and the others. He puffs up his chest and yells, "Come again, but bring a donation next time...this time I helped you out...without my help Kali wouldn't let you off!" and smiles contentedly.
I thank him and wave. He waves back.
Critiques | Translate
arnabchat (7233) 2007-09-17 22:55
Animesh-da, this is indeed a classic story, and we come across a few such moments at times. Reading the note was quite an experience.
The image of "him" is well captured, with the lone woman OOF in the BG.
sayan (2617) 2007-09-17 23:10
Wonderful story! Really like it a lot. Just came to the office and started my day with some TE photos and suddenly this beauty came in my way of browsing. Instantly I feel very nice and it makes my day! Wonderful focus on the man with a shallow dof working very well.
Mukher proshanti ta osadharon lagche!
Atousa (7123) 2007-09-17 23:25
What an interesting story!
The shot also creates good mood.
Thanks for sharing
flory (4848) 2007-09-17 23:26
looks like he 'touch' my screen,hm,these hands of him..thanks,Animesh for this brilliant image and what a note!!
imtiyaz (1005) 2007-09-18 0:17
You have shown the 'Ray of interest' in your story with your note, with a added beauty of your image,
I like this B&W compose.
And his face is very cool and calm.
adrost (2378) 2007-09-18 1:13
First moment i think this is Sohrab photo.
One of the best !!!
luisafonso (862) 2007-09-18 1:31
Great note... A good picture to go with it. His closed eyes tell the whole story. "you have seen nothing yet if you haven't seen the Kali"... Great light in the background clearly delineating his figure in a very striking way. Like it!
partha (14020) 2007-09-18 2:19
The story is interesting and surely without it it is hard to visualise the shot.
Many thanks to u for using the film camera as well as the B&W film.
Dont you have any problem regarding availability of Kodak Tri-X 400?
Furachan (0) 2007-09-18 6:50
Superb shot, Animesh - extraordinary dynamism and a kind of pathos emerging from this scene. The way you've placed this man, ecstatic with arms outstretched, like a scene in 2Zorba rthe Greek". Great stuff.
Warm greeting from England,
thaprem (2554) 2007-09-18 8:43
An interesting episode...
Little bizzare too!...
Neverthless the shot is fantastic & absolutely lovely.
sidstakes (772) 2007-09-18 21:14
I couldn't help but laugh at the narrative you've provided...it's hilarious...amazing shot to go with it...i wonder how you managed to pull this one off given the kind of pestering you were subjected to.... heehehe...best part is when you write.."But I put a bill at 'baba's feet, which he does not even look at. I worry it will fly away in the wind."
and then "...You city folk, you thought you could escape without paying me a donation! Jai Ma Kali, bome bome Kali!"
I wanted to tell you, I saw your picassa slide show...they look terrific together...
yanseiler (20) 2007-09-20 2:35
Hi Animesh, such a cool one, first I thought that you bought a new lens for the M... The expression is quite cool but the real thing which empowers the frame is the woman, she's looking away and on the good side which keeps our sight in the frame, superb... and what a story...
kensimage (8561) 2007-10-03 0:08
A very stereotypically Indian shot, Animesh, particularly with the saari-clad woman in the background. Almost an Indian archetype, I guess, the slightly crazy "wise man" dispensing his wisdom, even if you didn't ask. Who would have guessed they actually exist? A great story, a nicely done photo, with shallow DOF suited to the shot. Regards, Ken.
dilane (861) 2007-10-28 11:15
Très belle expression de cet homme, très beau dégradé de flou, et surtout ce que j'admire le plus c'est le très beau noir et blanc avec une très belle définition au niveau des mains.
très jolie photo -