'Chai' is the Hindi word for tea but it usually means the well-known sweetened spiced milk-tea beverage. A 'wallah' is one who performs a specific task; a rickshaw wallah drives the rickshaw, a dhobi wallah washes clothes and chai wallahs, you guess it, they make chai. Chai is the lifeblood and the national drink of India and chai wallahs are almost everywhere in Rajasthan, from busy urban street corners to hidden alleyways, at bus terminals and crowded railway platforms, along lakesides and on footpaths. When you need a fresh cup of chai, the chai wallah is always available ready to serve at all times of the day or night.
Chai wallahs take pride in their chai, after all each and every day, it is their responsibility to sustain and nurture the masses by providing the beverage that keeps Rajasthan running. To stand out from the rest, many chai wallahs develop a stylized preparation and presentation for their chai. Some chai wallahs put a little something special in their chai, a smashed up nub of ginger, a pinch of cardamom or a strand of saffron on top, to make it unique and keep their customers coming back.
Here is a shot from Ajmer, a compact and bustling old town about 150 km south west of Jaipur. I watched this chai wallah as he made his pot of chai and I was surprised to see several people waiting for their chai to be served. It is quite a sight infact watching how he prepared a cup of hot chai. I think many who have traveled in India come away with fond chai drinking experiences, and it's simply difficult to resist a second cup as I have experienced. It’s been five years since my last visit, yet I’ll never forget sitting in open-air chai shop sipping the steaming creamy spiced liquid..
Workshop1: After brewing, the boiling chai is strained into these pre-heated shiny stainless pots
Workshop2: The environmental friendly and disposable clay cups
Critiques | Translate
yquem46 (38746) 2013-06-12 9:03
Excellent daily life street shot in Rajasthan, released at the right instant when masala chai is poured to the cup
Like the gesture and attitude
gojo (1769) 2013-06-12 9:31
A fantastic capture, great pov and framing. Very nice,
claudeD (33634) 2013-06-12 9:35
very good portrait shot with a perfect balance of light and shadows. I lik ethe sharpness and clarity.Very well done.TFS.
With regards from Luxembourg
Indrasish (2873) 2013-06-12 9:52
Wonderful daily life shot.. Good focus on subject.. Like the blur background.. Also superb quality.. Good sharpness and clarity too..
Fis2 (86801) 2013-06-12 9:57
Next interesting scene.
Excellent reportorial photo.
I like colors, light and depth.
mesutilgim (86096) 2013-06-12 10:56
Great capture with perfect pov and perfect timing.
Very nice side ligth and warm impressive colors.
Good TE entry enrcihed with many interesting notes.
TFS and best regards
ourania (32825) 2013-06-12 11:34
this is a brilliant picture, a very elegant composition and a scene most delightful to watch. I love the tight framing and the way you have captured the concentration and graceful movement of the chai wallah, freezing the moment and juxtaposing his action to the random movement of the anonymous crowd and the depth of the busy scenery. The textures and the colours that make up this wonderful candid and artistic portrait stand out superbly against the dark and blurry background. Lighting is exquisite. I love the cropping, colours and textures of the workshop pictures too. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a lovely day,
pajaran (53000) 2013-06-12 11:46
Vrlo interesantan i dobar tekst ...
Lep pogled na prodavca caja ...
Dobra rad sa lepom fotografijom u radionici.
Very interesting and good text ...
Nice view of the tea seller ...
Good work with a lovely photograph of the workshop.
A beautiful moment.
All the best.
Romano46 (18466) 2013-06-12 13:07
il ritratto è una delle tue particolarità perchè riesci sempre a cogliere personaggi, espressioni e situazioni molto belle senza per questo trascurare la perfezione della tecnica fotografica.
Bella la composizione di questa foto ed eccellente il personaggio. Messa a fuoco selettiva e bei colori, oltre a buona nitidezza completano al meglio la foto.
Ciao e buona serata
mcmtanyel (14245) 2013-06-12 15:29
Excellent composition. The chai wallah frames the photo, as well as being the subject. Once again, I like the blurry background. The colors are very well managed. I also like the way he sort of blends into the background on the left; very skillful light management.
nikkitta (14992) 2013-06-12 16:57
Chai, I hate that word, when I took a train to go from Amritsar to New Dehli All night I heard this word (berth with blue curtains, no doors at all), impossible to sleep
Concerning your capture , is plenty of live and well centralized on the Chai dispenser
Greetings and congrats
I posted a photo following your comments, thanks
Urs (14082) 2013-06-12 19:32
Tea, that is the lifeline of Indians around the world. It is a very unique way how they prepare their tea, cooking in milk and with loads of sugar, while we would use piping hot water to pour over the tea leaves ... This Chai Wallah is very concerned to deliver a good Indian tea and he uses the one way earthen cups which nowadays are getting replaced by paper or plastic mugs. Excellent POV framing the Chai Wallah with the background crowd. Well done
adidas5nb (5413) 2013-06-12 22:06
just a lovely street shot.focused and plucked just 1 moment out of thousands.great camera work.love the chai pouring.
jjcordier (76976) 2013-06-12 23:04
Très bonne mise en image de cet instant si important ici. Beau travail sur la profondeur de champ. J'aime aussi la touche de couleur apportée par le turban.
Graal (98295) 2013-06-12 23:46
good caught moment here. Interesting scene and comment in note. Nice photo from your archive. I like the colors and DOF. Also good photos in WS.
Have a nice day.
Silvio1953 (124653) 2013-06-13 13:06
Ciao Abmdsudy, lovely daly life scene, beautiful portrait, excellent clarity, wonderful colors and splendid light, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio
dkmurphys (50218) 2013-06-13 23:51
A perfect quality and a simple but attractive daily life moment. I like the calm frame of this foreground in contrast with the street chaos in the back. Well seen, have a fine weekend.
krzychu30 (15498) 2013-06-14 9:41
you captured and immortalized here perfectly the moment of celebration of brew tea,but also the moment of soltitude in the crowd of people.And this is really excellently shown here by making the background so nicely blurred.I must say also the perspective appeals to me much as it do not interfere with the special mood of the scene.
Wish You a pleasant weekend
annjackman (20133) 2013-06-14 10:10
I have seen Chai served on the streets of Rajasthan and fascinated by the skill when pouring. I admire this image with its side-on view and the lovely light falling on the man. The coloured turban helps to make the man stand out from the BG. The narrow DOF is really excellent as it it shows the bustle of the street without taking anything away from your main subject. Very well done.
Kind Regards, Ann
Cricri (108059) 2013-06-14 11:00
Belle et intéressante scène bien accompagnée par la note et les deux WS, j'aime l'instant capturer, les couleurs de son turban, très belle image
A dans 15 jours
Noel_Byrne (25296) 2013-06-14 11:24
Another fine candid portrait, and again the beautiful hint of such rich colours in this mans headwear. You have perfect control over the depth of field really putting us into the scene with this man, and the capture of the moving liquid is sublime. Fantastic!
All the best
mjw364 (7512) 2013-06-15 1:45
Excellent image that focuses exclusively on the subject due to control of DOF. Fantastically composed and it captures the moment of the chai wallah in action precisely.
Wanda1 (14982) 2013-06-16 7:40
Super! Firstly the colours of his turban are so photogenic and can't be ignored. Secondly love the in action moment as he pours the tea into the clay cup. Th framing is wonderful too, horizontal, off centre and great use of depth of field to blur out the crowds in the background, although they still add some nice patches of colour of their own. I like the light that just seem to illuminate him perfectly, almost like a stage show. Hope you don't mind if I add it to my turbans theme...
delpeoples (53417) 2013-06-17 4:24
I love anything to do with eating and drinking, so this photo is my "cup of tea" for so many reasons. The colours are so rich, the control of the shutter has resulted in freezing the tea being poured into the clay cups. The shallow depth of field is perfectly judged and the man is so well-defined and beautifully saturated. I had a look at your Workshops and to be honest, the one of all the clay cups would be worthy of being posted in its own right, it's exquisite.
Thanks for sharing, have a lovely day
kato (11630) 2013-06-17 5:02
You're capturing well this scene by a good angle and excellent tone/clarity, so it's interesting and impressive to see the spectacle in which chai wallahs is pouring the hot chai to the small cup. We drink Chai(tea) or coffee or green tea as the break of everyday life, although the kinds drunk by a country differ. In this case, it's convienient to drink it at street corner in all times of the day or night when we need a fresh cup of chai as you note.
Angshu (56062) 2013-06-19 4:21
You captured the moment perfectly when the chai is being poured into the small terracotta matka...these cups are alas vanishing fast being replaced by the plastic ones. The shallow DOF isolates the main protagonst perfectly against the backdrop crowd...he's almost like an sialnd with the sea of people in front. Excellent!
adores (38202) 2013-06-22 12:18
I really miss that country! You captured him perfectly, pouring the chai to the little bowls, while life goes on in the blurred background. Seems a very busy street and you captured a very good daily scene. The colourful turban is perfect!
bayno (18342) 2013-07-17 23:58
I had lost this, a classic scene in India, I have always been fascinated by the ability of these men to pour the chai in their speed and precision, I really like the light, perfectly managed in a low key, very good framing and timing, beautiful tones and details...
beast regards...have a good day...
aliabazari (15949) 2014-09-27 21:56
Hi abmdsudi dear
Shot of beautiful people and everyday life. Excellent composition. Exposure clarity and well performed. Thanks for sharing
- Copyright: abmdsudi abmdsudi (abmdsudi) (44308)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2008-01-09
- Categories: Daily Life
- Camera: Nikon D70s, TOKINA AT-X PRO 16-50 F2.8 DX, ISO 200 RAW
- Exposure: f/2.8, 1/80 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Theme(s): Turbans [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2013-06-12 8:46
- Favorites: 2 [view]