• Love that texture against the silkiness of her dirty dupatta/veil - Arpana Sanjay

Arbina shies away

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It is getting to the end of the monsoons here in Alwar, which means the temperature of the air is just right, the sky a bright shimmering pale blue with giant cumulus clouds floating about. There is a slight smell of wood-smoke in the air, a smell that will probably stick with me and remind me of my time here. Alwar distict is not distinctly Rajasthan. Its proximity to Delhi, Haryana,and Uttar Pradhesh has shaped a Mevati identity which seemsto have absorbed several regional identities into one. Probably a little more time here and I could possibly make sense of this identity but for now I'm here in the village of Chandolli taking notes in my note pad.

I am sitting under under a khejri tree (Prosopis Cineraria)- revered for its shade and fodder in this region. Perched on its branches, in the early afternoon one might see a common hoopie, or rather hear it. And beyond the shade of the khejari, over the dusty road, the thatched roofs of the village are visible under a cover of trees, surrounded by fields of bajra and scrub bush; on the horizon, in a blue shimmer of heat lies the Aravallis like improbable overgrown termite mounds.

Behind me I hear the sounds of school girls as they recite their 6 times multiplication table.
"Che gune ek che, che gune doh bara ......" and so on in a sing song
rhyme. The school building on first appearance may appear merely to be a modest one room yellow building but in the last four days I have found it to be the staging post for an amazing transformation where village girls are given the opportunity to do something more than their long list of daily chores.

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View 7 more comments

  1. Jamash 94 months ago | reply

    Wonderful capture !

  2. AbdulJaleel 94 months ago | reply

    Wonderful shot!!!!

  3. Jersey Cameraman 94 months ago | reply

    She has such a peaceful look on her face...this photo is so full of tranquility and beautifully soft colors.
    The World Through My Eyes

  4. Pink Sherbet Photography 94 months ago | reply

    Simply lovely and such a nice expression :)

    The World Through My Eyes

  5. DELPHINES 94 months ago | reply

    What a wonderful picture !!
    from 123 travel

  6. brightasafig 94 months ago | reply

    You bring so much back: "wood-smoke in the air, a smell that will probably stick with me..." Yes! I smell Nepal and (unfortunately) Benares many times. "I am sitting under under a khejri tree ...Perched on its branches...a hoopie" Yes! A very strong memory of mine is sitting under a tree in Khajarahu watching a little bee eater fliting out and plopping onto a branch above my head, and the hoopoes displaying like fighers in the Iliad. George Orwell described a similar exerience in Burmese Days. Your photo is so friendly. She could be from an ancient story. She's timeless. But her hands show hard work.

    John

    Human Emotion Group

  7. Mike-wise 94 months ago | reply

    a beautiful portrait. the sights and smells you describe make it as if we can see all around this close, intimate portrait. i love her shy expresion and the texture on her fingers

    -human emotion

  8. .scribe 94 months ago | reply

    Lovely picture, like you've interrupted her doing something she always does, but doesn't want to say what it is... Like the way the colour of the wall mirrors her headscarf, and the texture mirrors her skin.

    (from the Human Emotion group)

  9. Han Ghazi 94 months ago | reply

    Just awesome expression.. those shyness in her face, I loved it

    (from human emotions)

  10. Nav A. 94 months ago | reply

    very nice dude

  11. s h u b h i 94 months ago | reply

    beautiful ... .. wow!!

  12. ilovedrops 94 months ago | reply

    i love her shyness..beauty within...

  13. Ahron de Leeuw 94 months ago | reply

    Beautiful expression, beautiful portrait
    (1-2-3 travel)

  14. thrones2thrones 94 months ago | reply

    Cool. Nice shot

  15. RoryO'Bryen 94 months ago | reply

    Fantastic portrait.

  16. gambeany 93 months ago | reply

    gr8 pic & description makes u feel like were there
    (from the Human Emotion group)

  17. babylas123 92 months ago | reply

    Tim burns is right, looks like a Carvaggio. Congrats

  18. arjuna_zbycho 87 months ago | reply

    A wonderful portrait.

  19. kittycashmere 73 months ago | reply

    Beautiful photo. You wright so eloquent i love your words.

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