This shot was taken on the road when we needed to stop for a pee on our way from Amritsar to Rishikesh. We realized this men making Charas (processed marijuana) on these massive marijuana fields along the road. This fields are really huge. They are kilometers long. By the way, this place was no secret drug field. It was next to a main road which thousands of cars passing all the time. So, shooting this shot was no danger at all.
"In the 1960s and 1970s, many Westerners, so-called hippies, were attracted to India, looking for inexpensive marijuana and hashish. India suddenly emerged as a "hippie Shangri-la." There were no laws or legal restrictions on the sale and purchase of such drugs, and they could be used openly. In fact, some Westerners thought the Indian were generally happy and content because they were always high. Although this view was a distortion, nonetheless it was very common to see Sadhus smoking marijuana, invariably mixed with tobacco, in public. Marijuana plants grew almost everywhere; sometimes they were found growing even along main streets. Locally produced hashish called Charas also was widely consumed, particularly during festivals celebrated by some ethnic groups and tribes. It was, however, very unusual for an Indian to develop a marijuana or hashish habit." taken from somewhere :)
It is also said that Sadhus believe in Shiva and smoking marijuana would bring them to total enlightment. That's why you could see Sadhus smoke all day long. Unfortunately I could not varify this information. So if it is wrong, please correct me and provide me with the true information.
Critiques | Translate
paulw (2016) 2006-02-24 8:16
Wow, interesting image. A large crop of drugs there. No wonder the guy has a smile on his face. I think he's been using his own product. Good colour to the image.
sebinho342 (19317) 2006-02-24 8:27
Good picture, loving content :
Fire it up, come along
And take a hit from the bong
Put the blunt down
Just for a second
Don’t get me wrong
It’s not a new method
elBud (2237) 2006-02-24 8:30
this is a decisive moment, for the photographer, 'cause u don't really know what would hapend if you took a picture of this, is drugs field, and i think they don't want to be taken on photos, but, look at that guy face, he's smiling, he don't mind that u're taking the picture.
arnabchat (7233) 2006-02-24 8:40
thats really great take. love the warmth of the colors. i have an experience that tells me not to attempt shooting anything from Marijuana fields.
thsandoz (117) 2006-02-24 8:43
And more particularley the color tone of the shot, but perhaps i will crop for focusing on the standing man.
but nice quality ;-)
sohrab (7439) 2006-02-24 9:51
"In fact, some Westerners thought the Indian were generally happy and content because they were always high."
dude!! sorry.. but as an indian i've to say that this takes the cake in being naive...
yes marijuana plants grow all over the place.. even today.. you can see it all over.. but smoking charas and ganja have been illegal since the beginning..
nobody checks sadhus and all.. but if you're going in a bus from say.. rishikesh to delhi or say out of manali or dharamshala.. very often buses are stopped and policemen check the bus.. i'm not saying that their checks are effective.. because almost everyone seems to manage getting the stuff through.. but just saying that it's not like it's legal...
well. it's not the charas per se that brings the sadhus to enlightenment... but their road to enlightenment is meditation.. the charas only "helps" them to meditate with more focus..
you should also know that many many sadhus are simply conmen or dacoits in disguise.. haridwar is famous for this.. many of the convicts disguise themselves as sadhus because the police doesn't check them so often.. religion is in a way stronger than politics here..
however i've spent time with lots of sadhus.. be it nagas, agodhis, nath and others.. and it's easy to make out once you're used to meeting sadhus, whether one is just pulling a fast one on you or not...
i'm yet to meet one of the nagas who emerge out their meditation (in the forests and mountains) and come out on for the mahakumbh mela which takes place once in every 12 years... so there are lots of genuine sadhus..
i'm a skeptic.. but i'm still in awe of their dedication
CRITIQUE CONTINUED IN THE DISCUSSION
bnallama (3763) 2006-03-20 16:43
Very nice light I simply love the tones here!! Very nice!! Interesting discussion as well. Bala
PDP (439) 2006-04-09 18:06
After you stopped for a pee and found this lot how long did you stay for? Don't tell me you didn't have any papers :-)
Good shot, I love the very happy expressions on the faces :-)
MAchmed (16) 2006-06-07 14:24
This is a nice picture. I have seen many of these fields everywhere near the himalayan foothills. The weed that comes from here is said to be of good quality.
There are many stories that go around in the hills about sadhus and their so called - hippie discipiles.
It is interesting to see this theme from perspective that this picture captures.
The colours are very much thematically linked though!
andreineamtu (466) 2006-09-03 21:17
your note is interesting. the photo looked nice as thumbnail, but bigger it lacks some things: better contrast, especially with the sky/upper part; composition is.. so-so, it looks more like a snapshot. the light is nice, but the photo could have been much better.
KellEy (1237) 2007-01-12 11:58
A photo very worthy of trek earth.
I especially like the smiling man in the photo. It truly completes the image for me.
Thanks for sharing and the note too.
cepekdong (3676) 2007-04-20 3:07
quite good light and good frame and crop in the pic !
rubisheikh (77) 2007-06-06 10:13
Hi Alp Capa,
Nice shot TFS>
waseemkhan (1099) 2007-06-15 10:21
thats really great take. love the warmth of the colors. i have an experience that tells me not to attempt shooting anything from Marijuana fields..............
stephenbks (0) 2007-07-03 15:30
My name is Stephen Green. I am from Vancouver Canada. I am a producer working on a documentary film about the economic and social issues surrounding marijuana called "The Union". I am wondering if it would be possible to get you permission to use this image within our documentary. I have tried several ways to get ahold of you but have been unsuccessful.
Please let me know if this would be possible. It is a fantastic shot and we would be very grateful if we could use it in our film!
Thank you for your time.
brants (259) 2007-08-20 7:15
Great note, thanks!
arturo (31) 2008-01-12 12:50
very tempting fields briefly speaking...fine document...and some very good reading...thank you for this post...cheers, arturo
juliettecorvett (1182) 2012-04-24 6:39
interesting and beautiful shot. composition and colours are nice!
- Copyright: Alp Capa (ArcapA) (297)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 1999-06-00
- Categories: Daily Life, Decisive Moment
- Camera: Canon Ixus
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Travelogue: India 1999
- Theme(s): drugs, David's Things To Do, 'more photos that I'd like to remember (IV) [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2006-02-24 8:13
- Favorites: 1 [view]