A Photo-Ethnographic Study, On Photography, Uttar pradesh
Comments 68

A Visual Diary Of a Day In My Village


I do not live in my village. Neither I get to spend time there any more. But there are days when the news comes like the fresh winds after Rains. That grandfather is calling. He turned 101 this month. And well who knows he could be even more or less as there was no way to document it in those days. On paper he was born in 1921.


Rains.


Photography has become like that elusive rain for me. I have stopped photographing like I used to. I do not use any of my three cameras and 8 old-world manual Nikon lenses anymore, that I had carefully and proudly bought. It was through my 20mm and 35mm lenses that I taught myself to photograph day in and day out. To an extent I always felt a sense of belongingness that they knew what I want to see every single moment and day of my outing with them. But times strangely changed or did I?

More after I started using ‘Road to Nara’- my blog as a platform to my expressions. And I don’t remember I have carried my camera ever since. Rather all the images I make is by my phone which is really basic in the ocean of better picture cameras. Is it because I am writing more or have I become lazy rather comfortable with the size and weight I have to carry around me? That surely could be one reason. As I have always loved walking with only a pen and a torn page or at most a diary on walks. It could also be the plethora of images that are shoved in our faces today from everywhere that it was a setback in ways of embarrassing myself of being known as ‘yet another’.

But lately, I have been thinking of taking up image making again and working on Videos more seriously. Why I ask? May be because I can. I have been doing it and there should be no way of running from it just now. Not when it matters. Not just to you, but to each every individual who wants to see something valuable, something insightful and informative. More than that I can even craft it beautifully. The time is rather now than it will be ever in future. And like coming of that elusive rain on a hot day, I love to see what I create still as It quenches my thirst just like writing does.


It can be a great discussion. And I would love to know and learn from my co-travellers here what they think of today’s times? How you think of Photography when it is so accessible that it has become a mass commodity. Does it evoke the same pleasure? To the one who is making it or even that one who is constantly seeing it. It would be great to hear and understand the meaning of Photography in today’s times?


Meanwhile, a glimpse from my village last week, Welcome.















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Thank you.


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

If you have any suggestions, please write in the comment box or feel free to write to me at narayankaudinya@gmail.com


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

As a co-traveller, my Ten Learnings from several years on the roadbefore you coarse on youown Road to Nara.

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Also, You will be happy to know about My Little School Project. If you wish to come over for a visit someday that you must, you will be heartily welcomed here

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To visit other long-term photographic works, please visit here.

Follow my works and walks as I document Rural Indian Subcontinent 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.

68 Comments

  1. Lovely collection!
    Nothing like having a good camera and freezing the moments.
    A time comes when one is sure to cherish those frozen moments of the past and one is able to re- live in the past.
    As for video, I understand that people lack patience if the clip is more than 30 seconds.

    Like

    • Thank you Amit Ji. Absolutely true, a camera which you know and it knows you. You are right, i absolutely quietly cherish my moments. May be no one knows or no only really has to know, it is like loving and cherishing solitude.

      With videos i am seeing that the mass has opened up for watching anything and everything. I would like to explore some stories through it. We will see.

      Thanks again for your kind comments Amit Ji.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you very much, Sir.
        You are thoughtful and encouraging.
        Yes, video is catching up more quickly.
        Nothing beats watching a video clip and experiencing the event as if you were there in person.
        Best wishes for your future endeavours.
        If I’m not mistaken, a minor correction.
        I’m Mr. Philo, not Amit.
        Thank you once more.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, Grandfather is aged 101 years! Hope he is healthy in mind and body. Your village seems beautiful, as do its residents. It is so different than here – the lifestyle, the traditions, the beautiful clothing. It is beautiful here as well in different ways. Every land has much beauty. These photos are beautiful. With whatever we snap our photos (and I understand what you mean about cellphone photos), it is interesting to see how others see, albeit we may not feel the exact emotion or connection the photographer possessed at the time.

    Like

    • Dear Dawn, thank you for writing. Yes 101 or more. Someday soon i would like to post his space and world here.

      It also gave me a view of how people all over the world saw an Indian village and quite naturally it sounds very different from how you made me feel.

      You are right about the emotion and feeling or the lack of it when when observing only through images. And also I feel it is about editing that pro photographers manage to come to making some moments stand out.

      Thanks Dawn for your lovely and insightful comment.

      Like

  3. KK says

    Beautiful pictures, Narayan ji! It reminds me of my old childhood days. May God give your grandfather a better health and longer life. As regards freezing the moments, camera is undoubtedly better, but mobile or iPad gives convenience.

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    • Dear Kaushal Ji, I can only imagine what these images might have reminded you. 90s and before India was something to be remembered.

      You are right. In today’s world convenience is winning over the heaviness or even the quality as for the masses many don’t require large camera images. Thank you again Kaushal Ji for your apt insight on the issue.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful . For someone who has always lived in a city, these are like images from another world

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  5. This photographic diary of Narayan’s visit to his ancestral village on the occasion of his grandfather’s reaching 101 years, is a pleasing event as the author can rely on a long life.
    The change in the method of creating the images is convenient but all old
    cameras should be kept safe as they contained stored memories and deserve to be forever a part of the family.
    Photography is important because it adds value and meaning to the text. Village photography is especially important since they add a visual explanation of how exotic an Indian village is, but it should all have captions, otherwise, they are annoying; who are the girls with the bicycle, who are the couple with the woman in a beautiful purple dress, who is the slender girl in the doorway, who are the various women with or without sandals, and why we don’t see the grandfather?
    The village band is self-explanatory, but not the symbolic signs on the walls unless some of us can remember the explanation given in previous Narayan’s posts a long time ago. All are interesting, including the rich, well-kept fields and an old-fashion water pump, but unless Narayan is writing only for his compatriots, we would like to know more about the village too.
    As a diary, it is an interesting assignment. Thank you.

    Joanna

    Like

    • Thank you for your ever so colorful, humorous and exciting comment dearest Joanna. I understand the need for captions but this time I really wanted to not let words distract or make someone understand more than what these images purely stood for.

      I deeply appreciate your apt and clean analytical comments. Thank you.

      Like

      • Thank you, Dear Narayan, for your generous reply, and I understand your reasons. You know how much I admire your talented writing and photographic skills, and I cannot wait for more of your tales from my favorite country and your beloved Bharat.

        Joanna

        Like

  6. Congratulations to your grandfather! What a lot of history he has lived through. Photography has evolved so much in such a short time. My father was a trained photographer and he was highly critical but by watching him I learned about composition and light and patience. Also, when you had to get a film processed, you needed to limit the number of exposures. Sometimes having a camera could become a distraction that inhibited true enjoyment of the subject. Digital photography has opened up the possibilities. Often an iPhone is quite sufficient. I carry a Nikon Coolpix which has a good telephoto lens but unless I can rest it on a stable surface, it shakes too much, or I should say I shake too much! These days I seem to see images everywhere. Your photographs are wonderful and yes, it is good to post them for other people. It is a way for us to see other parts of the world. For me this is a great gift. Thank you Nara.

    Like

    • Thanks for your lovely comment Caro. He really has lived a long life. I would certainly like to do a small story on him soon.

      I remember well from your writings how your father taught you rather how you took photography over from him. And enlightening that you talked about patience because it was a quality of yesteryear photographers like Josef Koudelka, who still is very much active. And the films of Abbas Kirostami who was a photographer earlier. I see them as my mentors, big names but I would like to take that road.

      I had Nikon coolpix too till I over used it and its lenses jammed. The see its body lying around from time to time. It helped me create many raw and art videos.

      I really appreciate your words Caro. I even look forward to see your nature induced images. May be someday I would like to write and explore photographers on the blog.

      Thank you. it was a beautiful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. such a beautiful story and your pictures are gorgeous and rich with story Nara. Happy Birthday to your grandpa! You have great genes!
    ❣️

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  8. This is so beautiful. You should definitely consider video making because of the incredible travel experiences that you have. I would be really keen to follow you on these journeys via video. Take care 🙂

    Like

  9. Michael Graeme says

    Beautiful photographs, Narayan. The modern digital camera is marvellous creation, large or small. Large, it’ll tend to get left behind if you want to travel light, and inconspicuously. But I once heard it said the best camera is the one you happen have on you at the time, and most of the time that’ll be a phone camera. Your pictures will be striking whatever camera you use because you have a good eye for mood and composition.

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    • I agree Michael. Invention of the camera was a revolutionary invention.

      And I completely agree with your statement as that is what I have been practising it. Walking with something small every time i am out walking and its just does what I intend to. Thanks again dear Michael for your assessment of my image making capabilities.

      Like

  10. What lovely photos! A picture is still worth a thousand words, but a short caption would tell the rest of the story. Thank you for the tour of your village, Narayan! Wishing good health to your grandfather! ❤

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    • Thanks Cheryl. I agree captions will carry them to the point. but this time I wanted them to stand on their own. Thanks again Cheryl. He is pretty strong for his age still. Thank you again 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Rosa, I don’t know if I should feel glad or sad that I remind you 0f your homeland. Thank you again for your lovely comment Rosa.

      Like

  11. 101 is a grand age! What history he has seen in his life. I enjoyed your photos as there were so many of people and their lives. It is great to see their expressions.

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  12. Your photos are great! I never would have known you only use a cell phone. That is also my camera. I was a SLR guy for about 20 years. Now I find that the convenience of snapping and editing photos with a cell phone is hard to beat.

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    • Thank you Neil for your kind and uplifting comments. You know what I have realised in last 2 or 3 years of using a phone camera over an SLR is I kind of never missed it. May be looking from the viewfinder bit but it has kind of stopped making a difference. Lets see how it works out from here onwards.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Great thought provoking questions. No, I do not enjoy a lot of the photography that is out there today. I find that most of it has no purpose or thought behind it. Now photography that tells a story (such as yours), I could look at for hours. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Apologies for writing late.

      And you are right. Myself have been playing hide and seek with photography even after giving it good part of my youth. It brought me gifts that I otherwise wouldn’t have earned.

      Thank you for your generous comment.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Lovely photos! And I think when it comes to photography, it is what brings us joy. I love my photos. I want to get better. I share what I love, and if others like them too, that makes me happy. But I do what makes me happy and I know others who also enjoy what I share, will find me 😊 I truly love taking photos, and I love to see what others love about their photos!

    Like

  15. PS: and I love to glimpse into the lives of others around the world. We are so different, and yet the same. The amazing ability to learn about other cultures is what I love about blogging! That is why I loved this post. Thank you for sharing.

    Like

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