Yeah, yeah. Everyone knows all about Varanasi and the cremations and the old people sitting around waiting to die in this holiest of places. But, believe me, anyone who has ever been there knows that in Varanasi life far outperforms death.
This set is dedicated to playing and games. Which, by some account, could be one of life’s most magnificent displays of vitality. Shot on film early 2014.
India, where one bicycle can provide endless entertainment for up to four (fast-moving) youngsters.
Strike a pose. No idea what this is called, but it involves tapping a small peg into the air and then swinging at it baseball-style to the opponents in the “field”.
Kites are ubiquitous, cheap and great fun for the whole family. When something breaks, it’s usually nothing a bit of string or sticky tape can’t fix…
Up and away.
Polishing the hand rails. One of the advantages of shooting with a 50mm f/1.4 lens is that you can shoot handheld at night on 200 iso film…
Hope you enjoyed this set. The subjects portrayed certainly seemed to be having a good ol’ time…
Hello after a very long time! A few more photographs from the ghats at Varanasi, India, as captured by a mechanical, manual-focus 35mm film camera with a standard 50mm fixed-focal length lens.
It’s the crack of dawn on the banks of the Ganges, but the boats are already bobbing into action along the ghats at Varanasi. As they have for thousands of years.
This one boat is taking a little time off near the massive iron railway bridge. Not really sleeping, just sort of rusting a little…
This one, on the other hand, will never snap out of the coma. After many many years of hard work, it is gradually melting back into the nothingness of time.
And this is what the wooden boats look like at their inception. Built up one piece at a time from and with nearly nothing, within weeks the completed boat will be ready to sail. (Note the bad chemical stains from the cheap lab that developed the film…)
Boat building not only provides work for several skilled craftsmen, but also gives casual onlookers a comfortable bench and young fathers an interesting playground for the kids to clamber around.
All in all, the boats at Varanasi are born and then die and decay only to be born again. Mostly, though, they work. As do the people, some of whom sleep in them. And when it’s morning, the day starts as anywhere else: with a shave, a shower and a good tooth brushing. After all, one of the better things about boats is that they all come with running water…
Photos taken early 2014 on color-negative film then scanned and converted to monochrome via software. Some of the pictures – one of which is included in this set – are ruined by bad chemical markings left from the photo lab and impossible to remove except, perhaps, by washing and drying the negatives again. Which seems a bit too much of a hassle for pictures that are not exceptional. Not exceptional, but – i hope – decent enough to display.
Thanks for visiting. I hope you enjoyed.
More monochromes shot on film at Varanasi, definitely one of India’s most Indian cities.
Along the Ganges River: where it’s ok for cows, people and boats to just sort of chill out all together.
On the other hand, some bits are quite busy, as here, where laundry is laid out to sun-dry after being washed in the Ganges’ bacterial broth.
And some other sections are a bit of both. Here a bovine chills while two young girls play a game of badminton using a sleeping dog as a net.
One sharply-dressed gentleman snoozes near some graphic advertisement for yoga classes.
…and a quick stroll around the sharply-dressed gentleman reveals he is not indeed snoozing alone…
After all, the scenery is somewhat relaxing, on the ghats by the Ganges river…
All pictures taken february 2014 on a vintage Nikon EM 35mm film camera on color negative film with a 50mm f/1.4 manual-focus lens.