Loading Ladders on a Cycle Rickshaw

Ladder Loading

Ladder Loading

My father used to say, “There’s a solution to every problem.” Indians think a lot like my father. Sometimes it requires brain power but more often than not, it requires muscle power and a lot of old fashion ingenuity. The reliable and cheap to hire cycle rickshaw comes to the rescue as witnessed in this little series shot in Delhi.

No one else took much notice of these men working hard to load some very long and ungainly bamboo ladders on a small cycle rickshaw. These bamboo ladders are common place at construction sites all over India. I found their activity very admirable though these men found it odd that I stopped and bothered to photograph them.

Ladder Over Head

Ladder Over Head

Bamboo Ladders

Bamboo Ladders

Upward Motion

Upward Motion

It requires skill, patience and a fair amount of determination to fit these ladders on the rickshaw and leave a working space for the driver.

Tying Up the Ladders

Tying Up the Ladders

With the ladders now placed expertly on the rickshaw, the men tie it in place, ready to move on.

It wasn’t very far from this very location that I nearly met my demise as a passenger seated in one of these contraptions. A car came out of nowhere, cut us off and my driver jammed on his brakes quite suddenly. As there are no seat belts on any of these rickshaws, I went flying. Stunned, I landed in the middle of a very busy street in a twisted and contorted position.  Other than being bruised and black and blue, I was fine. The people on the street were very solicitous toward me. Shaken but intact, I climbed back on the rickshaw and prepared for whatever adventure I might face ahead like bumping into these men loading this rickshaw.

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In the Rice Paddies

Laboring Ladies

Laboring Ladies

As I know very little about the cultivation of rice, I did a bit of research. What I found is that I know even less about it than before! Apparently, there are many methods of cultivation and many conditions required to produce it in. What I witnessed while on a hike in south India is one of the most primitive methods around; there is no machinery.  Bare hands are the tools. Each grain of rice is a separate plant. As you can see, it is back-breaking work.

All around are emerald-green fields in a checker board pattern.

Women and Egrets

Women and Egrets

Plowing

Plowing

The men plow the fields with the help of cattle whose presence attracts the egrets

 Women Working in the Rice Paddy


Women Working in the Rice Paddy

Rice is the staple of south India. The locals consume huge mountains of rice. It definitely got me to stop and wonder. The ways of old persist and so does our hankering for a satisfying bowl of rice.

 

 

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Quiet Interludes in India

Close Shave

Close Shave

With its immense population, finding a quiet moment in India is an enormous challenge. These moments are grabbed wherever possible, often right out on the street. This series explores those moments.

In the Distance

In the Distance

Thinking

Thinking

Prayers at the Ghats

Prayers at the Ghats

Man with Logs

Man with Logs

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Tasting Tour of Little India, Jackson Heights, Queens

Jackson Heights, Queens

Jackson Heights, Queens

Uncover what makes Indian cuisine unique and divine on a walking, tasting and culture tour of the South Asian neighborhood of Jackson Heights, Queens, NYC with me, Nina Grand. I am a licensed NYC guide and long time foodie with an extra special interest in India and her exquisite and diverse cuisine. For those who have been reading my blog about India, you know how deep my love and understanding for this remarkable culture runs. I also lead my own tours to India that highlights India’s cuisine, among other features.

Meet the "Mithai"

Meet the “Mithai”

You will sample a wide range of tastings along the way, savor an authentic chai with luscious mithai and learn about all the ingredients that are the staples and spices of this cuisine, all while visiting a well stocked Indian grocery store. My insight, enthusiasm and experience is infectious. By the time you leave Jackson Heights, you will be an expert.

Punjabi on the Street

Punjabi on the Street

India’s magic will unfold right before your eyes, in this special yet little explored corner of NYC. Space is limited. Advance payment required. For more information contact me: travelwithnina@gmail.com

Date: Sunday, May 15, 2016

Time:  Starting at 11:00 AM – approximately 3 1/2 hours

Price: $60.00 per person

Rain or shine. Come hungry! Wear comfortable shoes and loose waistbands! Hope you can make it. This is going to be fun and truly memorable.

 

 

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Bazaar Activities

At the Shop

At the Shop

I was first drawn to this man by his countenance: cheerful, positive, calm and self-contained. When I looked more closely at his surroundings, a tiny shop in the bazaar of a small Rajasthani village, it is only then that I noticed the shop was empty.

Maybe the shop has been in the family for many generations and the man in the photograph, now retired, comes to the shop out of habit. Whatever the circumstance, this man doesn’t consider that there is only a metal drinking cup and a few dusty old papers in the glass case in front of him.

I continue walking through the bazaar. Two women ahead catch my eye. I move closer to see what they are doing.

Bangle Maker with Customer

Bangle Maker with Customer

 

At first I think that they are gossiping and they could be but another activity is taking place. The woman in the pink sari is making a set of bangles, presumably for the woman in red. They smile at me and don’t object to my intrusion.

Busy At Work

Busy At Work

Indian women adore their bangle bracelets, especially Rajasthani women.. I’ve written about them before. Some larger towns have entire districts dedicated to the making and selling of bangles.

Applying the Beads

Applying the Beads

Here we see the maker applying small metallic beads around the bracelet.

Quality Control

Quality Control

All the while, the women continue chatting and I continue clicking. Life goes on unobstructed. The bangle maker checks her work for imperfections. I thank them for allowing me to capture a lovely moment in time as I continue searching for more bazaar activities.

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On the Porch in India

Porch Bench

With its large population, people surround you no matter what path you follow in India. Many are on their porches doing what looks like very little but most appear quite content. It does make you question all our activity in the West. Here is a little series of porch front shots.

On the Porch

Woman On the Porch

Smiles on the Verandah

Smiles on the Verandah

What's Going On?

What’s Going On?

At the Gate

At the Gate

With everyone enjoying themselves on the porch, you want to join them in one of life’s very simple pleasures; one that we hardly make time for today. Just another of the many reasons why I find India so appealing.

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Women at the Back of the Truck – Indians on the Road part 2

Behind Bars

Behind Bars

Here are more photos that are a continuation of my previous post, Indians on the Road.

While photographing this large family of women with their children, all packed into a 2-story truck, I noticed that there were even more women squeezed into the back of the truck. As I explored the side of the vehicle, another opportunity to capture more of this beguiling sight presented itself.

Hidden Smile

Hidden Smile

They were gracious and generous, smiling at my obvious curiosity. I shared the images with them. That is one of the benefits of digital photography: its immediate rewards.

One of the boys, jammed  into the upper story jumped down and started making mischievous faces into the camera like so many of the monkeys I confronted everywhere in India. I certainly wouldn’t have enjoyed traveling with that child on an extended trip.

Cheeky Kid

Cheeky Kid

In Her EYes

In Her Eyes

Although this large, extended family appeared sad to see their holiday end, I sensed that they knew they were lucky: lucky to have each other and lucky to have the means to take such a trip. They are part of India’s rising middle class, where adventures in a 2- story truck might never have been possible not so very long ago but today our paths cross, on the road. Like all eager travelers, I’m sure that they are  dreaming of their next holiday.

 

 

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