06 April, 2007

East and West

I have always loved to take candid pictures. The pictures you see in this post have various common factors. The first one you see was taken in Chennai, India. As I was walking out of a studio in Arcot Road, where I had a film roll developed, I was surprised by this old man who was sleeping with pleasure on the road side of one of the busiest roads in Chennai. He is in a deep sleep, in the noisiest road of Chennai. How blessed he should be to have a peaceful sleep? In today’s world, even a millionaire who has all the facilities in his house does not get a good sleep. This gentleman looks like someone who has no place to sleep. All his possession is his bag, which acts as 2 in 1 (A pillow and a bag). He is clean and we could make it out by his white dhoti. He has had a shower, and that is clear by his marks on his forehead. He looks like a religious man. He knows cleanliness and has kept his Hawaii chappal (slippers) a bit away from him. I took this picture during my trip to India in November 2005. There are millions of people like this sleeping on roads without a shelter, and there are hundreds of political parties in India, led by so called great leaders who keep saying that they are toiling hard for those who are backward economically, but are toiling to gather wealth for their future generations, as well as ministerial positions for their kith and kin. Dear leaders, when are you going to look at a common man like this old man.

The second picture was taken in Edinburgh, Scotland few years before. My friend’s wife took me around the town, and this gentleman with a book attracted me as soon as I got down from the bus. It looks like he was waiting for the sun. He is waiting for the bus and because he is tired, wants to lie on the bench and enjoy the sun as well. He did not want to waste his time and has picked up his book. Oh… he enjoys it.

Both the pictures were taken by the same camera Nikon FM2. In both the cases, the film was just loaded. The pictures were taken more or less just noon. The age of the people seem to be similar. Both of them are enjoying whatever they are doing. I took only few seconds to set my manual readings and click them. I was immensely happy on clicking both the pictures though they were taken at different places, and different time.

People are all the same wherever they are! I like people who could enjoy whatever they do!


Anonymous said...

hmmm agree with you..you can find happiness (if u r willing 2)..
good post and pic

praveen said...

i liked both pictures escpecially the first one..the man looks very peaceful

Cyberkitty said...

Nice pic - some elderly people are so cool and relaxed - no worry in the world !

Jeevan said...

They are enjoying their private happiness, above all in which surroundings they are. Nice Photos. I am learning many good things from u:)

sowmya said...


arvindh said...

Good pictures and write up! Ah the good old manual SLR - makes me nostalgic.

Narayanan Venkitu said...

Hmm..Bottom like peach and happiness! Like the Mastercard commercial 'There are certain things in life money can't buy'.

Nice photos!

Jo said...

I am jealous of people who can do enjoy such little pleasures of life (like in the second pic) without worrying about what the others would think. In India, we are very much social conscious. :-)

Protegeoflife said...

Good comparisions and similarities but don u think we had enuf odf west vs east now that v r sittin on nuclear shit we don war to wipe our children

Sundar Narayanan said...

your conclusion was great!


pEDRO said...

excellent blog and photos.

Marutham said...

Wow...Very TRUE!!
Awesome snaps - lovely narration! :)
First snap is my favourite... He has the peaceful look! :)

As you said - i always try to enjoy wat i do & try to get smile across the faces! :)
Now u have put a smile on my face with this post :) Awesome!!

PS: Thanks for ur comments on My version of the song-Kaatrin mozhi. Hope u heard the original track :). It is a great feeling when some1 says they remember you on hearing a song :) Thanku so much for that! :)

ambi said...

2 pictures says a story!
wonderfully captured.
keep going :)

just now read the free hugs too. awsome writing. i thought U really illustrated. :p

Balaji S Rajan said...

Thooya - Thanks for visiting and your comments.

Praveen - Yes. Since I was impressed with his pose and sleep within a second of looking at him, I clicked it.

Cyberkitty - Yes. I agree "Elderly people" is the key word. Their life is live with content.

Balaji S Rajan said...

Jeevan - Thanks. I am happy that you are learning something and happy to be useful.

Sowmya - Thanks.

Arvindh - Thanks. Nothing equivalent to those old SLR.

NV - Correct da. Many things can't be bought.

Balaji S Rajan said...

Jo - You are right. Some of them make us feel jealous. (Impressive isn't it)

Protegoflife - Yes. I agree with you.

Sundar - Thanks.

Pedro - Thanks for visiting and your comments. I shall try to keep up.

Marutham - I am glad that I could make you smile. yes I did listen to the original version and it is wonderful.

Ambi - Thanks for your comments. I want to write in Tamil too. Probably will try shortly.

Kavi said...

Lovely ! People are people everywhere. We have the same drivers and the same needs !

Yes, even millionaires cant get the best of sleep !

Shruti said...

Wow!!! great pics...and thats very true that we go anywhere the people are same, we have only differentiated them on basis of cast and religion..
Anyways...nice post..

Balaji S Rajan said...


Thanks. Every time I find people are the same I am thrilled.


Thanks. Even today I heard something from my German colleague, which is similar to what our people do in our place. I was surprised.

Suji said...

Great pics! And a the way you have connected the two pics with your writeup is really awesome.

Mellowdrama said...

Neat pics, catching people unawares has advantages and not necc only when it comes to photography!

Rama Iyer said...

Fully agree with you.
We were on a holiday in Bangkok last December and my daughter pointed out to a middle aged woman dressed very well complete with make up, upto the neat painting of her nails, happily sleeping on the tresh hold of a shop which was closed. It was noon time. I had a camera but I did not click a picture which I rue now. I should have and it would have made one more on the same lines. She was just oblivious to anything, holding her bag securely to herself and sleeping to beat the noon heat

priya said...

The age of the people seem to be similar. Both of them are enjoying whatever they are doing-

Damn true!!! But I have to disagree when you say they are same. They are not identical, but follow the life routine things /actions they have to every day.

Balaji S Rajan said...

Suji - Thanks.

Mellowdrama - Yes. Catching people unaware is so real and sometimes it is enjoyable.

Rama - I could understand how you would have felt during your experience in Bangkok. So cute of your daughter to identify such natural stuff.

Priya - Thanks for visiting.