The alluring men of the remote, desert region of Kutch in western India are often neglected because their counterparts, the women, are so colorfully attired and heavily ornamented that in comparison, the men fade into the background the way a gray female bird might. Though less flamboyant, there is definitely something very appealing about the Kutchi men. Before these men had a chance to straighten up and pose, I clicked this. The camaraderie that these men share is apparent in their ease and physical closeness. Their appeal is in their expressions as smiles form and spread across their faces and their eyes too, begin to sparkle.
This man has a proud and regal bearing. He smiles with confidence but without arrogance. He knows that he is handsome but he is not vain. He looks like the stuff of Hollywood legends and that is the source of his enormous appeal.
I find myself drawn to this man for all the opposite reasons that I am drawn to the other men. This man is not handsome though he looks used to commanding and being in charge. He cares enough about his appearance to color his white hair and seems comfortable with the attention that such dramatic coloring can produce, though in India, the use of mehendi, the natural dye that he used, is commonplace but it still demands your attention. He has a kindly smile but he does make me think of a character out of Dickens.
This man’s charm is found in his relaxed, laissez-faire attitude. He is caught off guard, taking it easy. It seems as if he has labored long and hard and believes that this moment of leisure is well deserved. He makes no effort to change his posture for the camera. He seems easy-going, slow to anger and harmonious with his surroundings.
I have spent many, many years living and working in this region. It is without a doubt, one of my most favorite places in all of India. It is like going back in time when India lived up to her reputation for legendary hospitality, unguarded smiles abound, the desert landscape harsh, alcohol forbidden and the alluring Kutchi men compelling enough to warrant my return again and again.