A Photo-Ethnographic Study, Delhi, Making of The Capital, Photographic Stories, Quantum Mode: Walking in Delhi, The Capital, Walking along the Rivers
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Home and the World : Walking around New Delhi and Old in January ’22

Even though every day, slowly months and years seem to pass as fast as they arrive; January is special because first so much celebration already happens even before it arrives that half of it leaves while many still living hungover or in the previous year.

Yet for me it was bringing some change that i could experientially notice, and drastic at that. Father had a near death experience so much that one night sleeping outside Hospital, in the boot of a car made me succumb to the emotions of not having a father anymore. Those five hospital days were special in a strange and new kind of way. Father eventually came back strongly, and is on his way to retain good health.

But still something changed in me. Probably the essence of time. How so much is often so little. Hence January had to be celebrated, in the only few way i can. Working, walking, writing better.

Ever since the seed of working on Delhi’s past and present has yielded, i had been moving around finding or trying to find right people, old people, seeing landscapes in a light to direct them to receive me well. My January was all about this seeing.

Sharing some images from 31 days of newness.

a local taking bath after the evening prayers in Yamuna

Agrasen ki Baoli is among those few step-wells in Delhi that boast of a single-flight staircase, splendid architecture and ancient engineering skills. One of the oldest monuments and the best-preserved step-well in Delhi. There is no clear historical record about when the magnificent Agrasen ki Baoli was built and by whom. However, many historians suggest that it was constructed during the period of the Mahabharata by none other than the legendary king of Agroha, named Maharaja Agrasen.

On one very foggy morning while filming around the forest alongside Yamuna.

Hundreds of people and even more come to this city in search of work and whatnot. The ones who could not find any work or roof, comes to stay with Yamuna. Here, a man washes himself in the river.

In old Delhi during a walk, peeli kothi literally meaning Yellow Mansion.

This meeting was very interesting. I saw Vishnu on the banks loitering around when subtly he took off his sweater and slippers and started finding something in the river.
Every full moon either on no moon people come to pray to the river and leave or throw some coins. Vishnu who had come to Delhi 21 years ago from Nepal, when he himself was 21 is searching for those coins here. While i sat looking over, he did find some money. Upon asking, we sat for many a minutes talking about his life and what this river means to him, and he said, this river is my only mother now. She provides me everything i need.
It was a long conversation, as i even tried to ask, know why hasn’t he gone back home. What is his family is looking for him? He said, i don’t know. I am afraid what will they say!

Afraid for 21 years!!

Most of my time in January went documenting and recording oral history around the river Yamuna and the most ancient Nigambodh bank, where it is believed that Brahma, the lord of creation had bathed and recovered his lost memory of the Vedas, hence the name Nigambodh, literally meaning the realisation of Knowledge.

Still an ongoing process. Meanwhile, February seems to be ascending towards more revelations of this oldest, natural Capital. Why natural? We will know when the time comes.

: ँ :

Thank you.

If today is the first time you have arrived on The Road to Nara, you are heartily welcome ~ Namaste

: ँ :

And I will take this opportunity to introduce you to About me and importantly;

As a Traveller, my lessons from ten years on the Road , even though its been many morebefore you coarse on youown Road to Nara.

 : ँ :


To follow my walks through the rural Indian Subcontinent, find me at 
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by

Hi, I am Narayan Kaudinya. And i welcome you on this journey, the Road to Nara ! I am an Ethnographer and a practicing Indologist. I did my masters in History and further learnt Sanskrit, Yoga and Nerve-therapy. At 24, pushing most academic sounding, office sitting works away, i felt compelled to know and understand the world and my country, Bharat/India. I travelled, and as it happened i took up teaching in Kashmir and further up in the remote villages of Baltistan in the foothills of Karakoram Ranges. For around three years and many states later there came a time when i felt that it was only while teaching i learnt how to laugh, to see, feel, breathe, love and cry -with children, and mostly resource-less parents in the harshest-freezing border conditions. I write, and work as a documentary photographer and Filmmaker, with numerous published, exhibited and some awarded stories. In my travels and life i have let nature lead me, the divine mother, and as a Yogin, my resolve here is to share my experiences and thoughts as honestly, and through them to blossom in everyone the power and possibility in pursuing your breath, that you seek your true nature with courage and curiosity. Here, on this road i will share my spirit, my love for nature, the elements of life that are us. And in doing so, i'll be happy to see you along.

50 Comments

  1. Great post, Narayan! But, right at the end, you spell course as coarse! A coarse error!Regards,Lov Verma

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! Amazing photos!
    It is crazy how I’ve lived most of my life in Delhi and never been to the banks of Yamuna. Thanks for showing that side of Delhi!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lovely to know. As someone told me when i started working on the project “If you want to do anything good in Delhi, make Yamuna your friend.” Its actually overwhelming once we surrender. Do go there, and if need any help, you know whom to write.

      Narayan x

      Like

  3. This second part of the Road To Nara is as interesting as the previous one. The emotional development of the author draws us in, and the news that his father now well brings relief.
    From the atmospheric fog in the forest around the Yamuna, and the description of the ancient
    step-well of Agrasen ki Baoli in Delhi, to the possibility that it was constructed during the Mahabharata period by the king of Agroha, this is the documentary par excellence.
    We can see from this post that his aim of writing more and even better has been achieved.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

    • The best of them all, like one is observing everything and nothing should miss out. Delhi has been an envelope for me, the more i try to open, more pockets i find.

      Thank you for your generous comment Joanna.
      Narayan x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Michael Graeme says

    Another fascinating read, Narayan. I am sorry to hear your father has been unwell. Best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Glad to hear your dad has recovered. I didn’t visit those specific places in Delhi, but they carry the essence of much that we did see. I wish I had visited the stepwell though. Maggie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maggie, so long. I hope this year started warmly for you.

      Aaa.. i do get a feeling you will come back someday to visit all what is left. Yes Stepwell’s beautiful and really really old and well maintained. Even the Yamuna banks to some extent.

      Thanks for writing Maggie. My wishes.

      Like

  6. I am glad your Father has returned to health. I lost my Father when I was 16 and it left a huge hole in my life. So I am glad you are not going through that. I like seeing all your photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anne, how have you been? Heard its been very very cold snowy there.

      Yes he returned to health. I cannot even know what it is to be left all by yourself at that age. When one needs someone to show the way, and who better then father. But may be that is why you are so strong and are surrounded with so many friends.

      Thank you Anne. I always love your presence and knowing, reading about your daily experiences with your friends.

      Like

      • Sorry I’m on my phone and it sent my reply too fast.i am in Florida for the winter training with my coach from Canada. She comes here in the winter to train and compete . So we have missed the severe cold.

        Like

  7. Good to know that your father is back and healthy. I have lost my father just too recently and I can totally relate to your feelings.

    Like

    • O neel. I cannot even fathom really, i only touched that point where you dived in.
      And that explains your quietness/silence or even little evasiveness over last few months. Please accept my deepest loving concern.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I am glad January turned out to be a good month after all. Some incidences change us a lot. Wish you success and peace. Nice photographic journal.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. KK says

    I can understand your feelings, Narayan ji, when your father was hospitalised. But I’m glad to know that now he is doing well.
    I had been in Delhi for more than three and half years, but couldn’t see Agrasen ki baoli. Thank you for bringing it to me and other readers. Vishnu’s story is really touching. I have seen children on the banks of Ganga in Varanasi and of Narmada in Omkareshwar diving to pick coins as soon as thrown by pilgrims. Our country is full of such things and you capture it very well both by your mesmerising photos and words. All the best, Narayan ji.

    Like

    • It is actually very well connected and walking distance away from CP or the statesman house building at Barakhamba.

      Thank you for taking out time Kaushal Ji and writing. Your words always fills me with gratitude. Thank you again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • KK says

        You’re always welcome, Narayan ji. Thanks for information. I’ll definitely see when possible.

        Like

  10. A wonderful set of photos Narayan – honest and beautiful. I did not go to the Yamuna during my time in Delhi, but this nevertheless brought back strong memories of this amazing city.
    I love the sentence about January.
    Alison

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Alison. It is always warming to read from you.

      Yamuna has never been a tourist centric place and no authorities are even concerned about developing it.

      Anyways quiet, the better. Will be sharing a lot on Delhi in the coming time Alison.

      My Wishes to you and Don.
      Narayan x

      Liked by 1 person

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