Wednesday, November 25, 2009

If walls could talk!

A visit to Amber Fort in Jaipur, or any of the historic places that form the landscape of India, should certainly have one wondering about what has taken place inside the many walls of such a monument.

Certainly the thought has crossed your mind at least once or twice...

But what about the outside walls? What stories would they be able to tell?

On the day I visited I came across several people on the outside of the great fort.....the same walls that protected the elite and kept them separated from those that were "not part of the "party" are still, in many ways, serving the same purpose today.

Consider this for a moment...in the past, the Maharajah's and their entourage were the wealthy......those on the outside were not...the "HAVES" and the "HAVE NOTS"
.....only today "the haves" come in droves to the fort as part of a tour, or like me, paid the foreigners entrance fee that would be equivalent to the amount of money that many live off of in a month.

But this entry is not about the plight of those who are less fortunate or who are making a living, as best they can, outside of the walls.....it is about how time has stood still in many ways.

I am confident that when the when the Maharajah and his family moved from one of their homes to another, people from the surrounding areas gathered along the processional path to have a glance or perhaps ask for a small handout of some type.....there were those who were working......selling various items.....food, fruit, sweets......today it is much the same.The photograph of the Indian Lady whose job today is to keep the walkways clear and free of debris and trash......I caught her leaning against that wall with that lovely patina......and could not resist preserving the image. If not for the modern bucket at her feet, this photograph could have been taken over 100 years ago.

My favorite of them, is of the man sitting on the ledge.

I have mentioned in the past......how I prefer to take "candid" photographs of people....nothing posed or too contrived.....people in their natural surroundings, and just being themselves......

When I saw the man sitting with his back against the wall, I immediately framed the picture in my mind......I was being quiet, trying not to draw attention to myself......I didn't want to disturb him, nor did I want him to turn and catch me in the act of taking his picture.....

I raised my camera and shot......it isn't the best photograph...it is just a picture.

So why am I sharing it with you if it isn't so "great" in my eyes?.....why did it even make the pages of the blog and garner so many words?

Here is the rest of the story......

As you can see.....his hands are extended.....my camera captured just a part of his profile.....my stealth like behavior had allowed me to capture my image without disturbing him......so as the camera left my eye, and I began walking, I glanced back to only notice that the man who was the subject of my photograph was blind.

This picture is worth sharing as it touched me.......I will long remember those outstretched hands....the way he was sitting there.....waiting for someone to stop and share some wealth with him.....and I wondered if the same spot was once fill centuries ago by another of his brethren.The final picture was much less serious......more lighthearted in nature.....and is probably a great way to end this chapter......the elephant with his trunk against the wall. While I am not sure that this is a repeat of times past.....


Only the walls would be able to tell us.....

1 comment:

Naomi said...

Lovely post ... we visited the "Old Fort" today by the Delhi Zoo and I had the same thoughts ...

If only I could know just a smidgeon of the "walls' knowledge" from centuries past ...