Intl Saturdays 30: Formals Vs Casual, Japanese style

Early weekday mornings, most people in Tokyo streets will be seen in a formal attire with pale grey, blue, black and whites. The one week that i was there, the colour of formal shirts never really went beyond the blues and whites, something totally different from the multi-coloured formal shirts you see people wearing here to office (agree, some shirt choices are downright atrocious!). 
So it came as a pleasant surprise when i spotted this woman walking in front of me in such a colourful getup. Last time i had seen so many colored clothes in Tokyo was when i had visited the Takeshita Dori opposite the Harajuku metro station. You may have seen the Harajuku Girls and Harajuku Boy on the blog before.

Well, apart from the blue-colored boots, the detailing on her iPad cover was particularly attention grabbing. The same glass glitter material adorned her headphones as well, i wonder if she got it as a set.
Take Care,

Intl Saturdays 23: The Shibuya couple

Shibuya is a shopping and entertainment district in Tokyo. It is also referred to as the Times Square of Japan, a title which i absolutely do not like as i feel it is not fair to compare the two. Yeah i get kinda peeved at such trivialization of places.

When in Tokyo, you just have to see the Shibuya Crossing (will put up pictures and video of that in the future). It is quite famous and anyone who has seen Lost in Translation will have seen the controlled chaos that is this insane crossing.

I found the place to be a treasure trove for people spotting, like the squares in European cities that i had read about. Came across this well-dressed couple who were probably handing out pamphlets. I really liked how one-half of the dude’s hair colour matched with the coat that his girl was wearing. Notice how she is standing straight, another Japanese culture i had covered previously on this blog.

Take Care,

Portraits 7: The nameless baba

I was shooting along the banks of the Ganga at Rishikesh, when i heard someone calling me. I turned around to find this dreadlocks-sporting baba. He first made the sign of a chillum, asking if i had any. I smiled and said no. He smiled back.

I then went ahead and started talking to him. He seemed to be sober, for a change. We had a good 15-minute conversation and to date i can’t remember his name, but i still remember the conversation. This was probably my first ever attempt at a street portrait as i had just bought my Canon S5 IS back then.
He told me that he along with a group of other Shiv-bhakt babas stayed around the banks of the Ganga in Rishikesh and their main aim in life was to practise Shaivism, meditate and lead a nomadic life. He said he had lead this kind of lifestyle for close to 15 years.

“How do you manage your meals then?” i asked. He replied that they completely relied on bhiksha. In a tourist-friendly town such as Rishikesh, there is an abundance of bhiksha and food for people like him. They have very few belongings and would sleep, bathe and smoke chillum along the ghats of the Ganga. There are some sort of open quarters around the Ganga at Rishikesh where a lot of these godmen stay and sleep.
I asked him if he only stayed in Rishikesh or does he move around, to which he said, “Jab garmi badh jaati hai, to hum pahadon me jaate hai. Uttarakhand ya Himachal. Ek hi jagah nahi rehte.” (When the heat increases, we take off to the hills. We keep moving around in Uttarakhand or Himachal but do not stay fixed at any one place).

I did not have the heart to ask him anything about his past or his family. So i took my leave and requested if i could click his picture. He agreed.

Whenever i look at those peering eyes, i am instantly transferred back to Rishikesh. What a lovely place that is!

Take Care,