While traveling through rural Rajasthan by car during one of my tours, we stopped to admire this group of camel keepers. They travel around the state and make camp where tourists (mostly domestic in this case) congregate, offering them a chance to ride a camel. Here they are seen at leisure.
They are gregarious and not at all camera-shy.
Masculinity takes various form around the globe. Here, smoking a chillum epitomizes the Rajasthani idea of macho. A chillum is a clay cylinder shaped pipe that is open at both ends. At the narrower end a stone stopper prevents the burning contents from falling out of the bottom of the cylinder. A damp cloth placed over the openingt acts as a filter and helps to prevent any cinders from burning the smoker. The chillum is usually filled with a combination of tobacco and hashish.
Though exceedingly colorful and charming, these men are professional showmen and they smell money. After a few friendly photographs and smiles, we leave them in their intoxicated haze but we are the ones giggling with delight.