Faces Of Jodhpur

One of my earliest posts on this blog dealt with my fascination for the ‘people of my places‘:

“I find people amusing, fascinating, inspiring. When I travel I enjoy sitting in a cafe, looking out onto a busy street and observing random strangers going about their daily lives. It gives me a feel for their culture. A feel for who they are and the stories behind their faces. Not to mention those impromptu scenes, that wayward glance, that enigmatic smile……just begging to be captured and transformed into enduring memories.

Nothing’s changed! As you can see from this sequel to my ‘Colours Of Jodhpur

A tonga (horse carriage) wallah with presence!
A tonga (horse carriage) wallah with presence!
DSC_0341 copy
A heart-breaker in the bazaar….
DSC_0343 copy
And his nervous mum. She wasn’t sure hubby would approve, but he did!
DSC_0293 copy
Busker in the Mehrangarh fort
Whose demure wife was too shy to pose for me.
Whose demure wife was too shy to pose for me.
DSC_0424 copy
You might remember that arm piece!
DSC_9632 copy
A rather street smart and utterly captivating little rag picker.
Adore that nose-ring! And the red ‘Odhni’.

Until next time…….happy travels, no matter where life takes you.

More from Jodhpur: Marwar Meets Andalucia In Mehrangarh

Posted by

Madhu is an Interior designer turned travel blogger on a long sabbatical to explore the world. When not crafting stories on The Urge To Wander, she's probably Tweeting @theurgetowander or sharing special moments on instagram.com/theurgetowander

129 thoughts on “Faces Of Jodhpur

  1. Madhu, just amazing images …. every face/image has a story to tell. I wish I was that I was so brave with my camera – I still problems with taking portraits, probably because I hate when somebody tries to take mine.
    My favorite is the woman that carries her load on the head, so beautiful .. and of course the young girl. Fantastic gallery.

      1. In Japan I asked before … but I was still on a distance and in Sweden we aren’t allowed by law to take photos of people without asking.

  2. That nose ring must hurt! But the smiles of all the people, especially the musician and the little girl are contagious 🙂

  3. Beautiful candid shots. And I agree, people’s expressions, their daily life costumes and the nature of their tells a lot about the culture of a place. I’m not that good at shooting portraits, but when I do, it’s a satisfying experience.

    1. Thank you Nikhil. I used to be uncomfortable in the beginning as well, but have gradually overcome my inhibitions.

  4. It’s obvious these lovely faces trusted you and your camera, Madhu. I always look at street photography as a personal documentary of a culture and these reflect that. Charming kids.

    1. They were the most gracious and loveliest of people Lynne. And I think it comes through in their smiles. I don’t know what life has in store for the adorable little rag picker, but she seemed like a survivor.

  5. I adore these portraits, Madhu! There is nothing that can replace that sense of human connection when your subjects look directly into the camera. The one of the little girl is especially captivating. I share the same sentiment with Viveka; so far I have shied away from taking portraits, but you and Alison have been nudging me to be braver.

    1. That little girl was adorable James. Her shiny eyes haunt me still. Getting over your inhibitions about photographing people takes patience. I used to be terribly self conscious as well. My inspiration is Patti Kuche and her amazing chronicling of the streets of New York.

    1. Thank you Kat. I could have spent all day in that bazaar just watching people! I didn’t buy a thing other than snack food that was as amazing as the people watching 🙂

    1. Hi Jessica, I enjoyed reading your travelogue. Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. That ‘quote’ is an excerpt from my old post! 🙂

  6. Great expressions, great photos. And so different from cities in the US, where you just wouldn’t find people out on the streets like this.

    1. I usually start a conversation with them first if I know the language, or just smile and point to my camera. Usually works depending on the culture and their attitude towards tourists. Very rarely I have been asked for money, one lady in the bazaar did, and I almost always refuse. I think generally, you need to follow your instincts. Hubby gets very uncomfortable when I ‘stalk’ people though 🙂

    1. Ha, the response is up! 🙂 These were some of the most beautiful and friendly people I have met in my limited travels around India, so it was way easier than in Zanzibar for example where they are a bit more hostile towards trigger happy tourists. Indicating I would like a picture with a smile usually works for me in most places. Appreciate your visit and comment 🙂

      1. Thanks for your insights! I love photographing people, but it can be tricky, as you know. I think my favorites so far were the lovely, lovely (in every way) Tibetan people. Also, thanks for the follow of my blog – I’ve been reading yours for so long that it was fun to see your name pop up on mine!

  7. A wonderful reminder Madhu. Thanks. By chance (as I was doing a little updating on the blog) I was looking at my own post about Jodhpur yesterday, so a double trip down memory lane. India’s amazing eh?!

    1. It sure is, and it is huge and so diverse! Not sure I will be able to scratch the surface of all there is to see and do here in one lifetime. Certainly not in what’s left of mine 🙂

  8. It is true what you say about just looking around and observing gives you a real sense of the place. And that is one of the reasonse for my plan to travel very slowly. You have captured pictures that does just that, they tell a story about a place at a particular time. Must visit one day!

    1. Slow travel is the way to go Shani. I am more and more leaning towards staying longer in places that I would have earlier not devoted more than a day to. Yes you must visit Jodhpur and perhaps work your way slowly through all of Rajasthan. That would be a dream come true even for me 🙂

    1. Thank you Patti. I hope she never loses her smile and that shine in her eyes. I have a feeling she won’t.

  9. Madhu I had a high stress travel job when based in India and found relaxation going to the local bazaar and just sitting in the car watching the interaction of the people there. If you’re a regular they absorb you into the scene too telling all the gossip of the markets, who did what, when and how. I felt like part of the scene and it was a pleasant change from weeks out on the audit and inspection trail.

    1. It always is a stress buster for me and a favourite passtime when I gtravel. Thanks for stopping by Ian. And enjoy your vacation.

  10. Most beautiful portraits, Madhu, always more inspiration for my upcoming trip. I get the impression that people in India are quite comfortable to be photographed. I want to learn more about that, because I do respect their believes and discomfort, yet I like to capture real people’s faces. You have any recommendations on that

    1. Thank you Cornelia. You might face hassle for money in the very touristy areas, but on average most people in India are OK with being photographed. Asking first is always a good thing I think. Anywhere. Photographing women bathing in river ghats is naturally frowned upon, and ought to be respected, but it is obvious many don’t. The cremation ghats of Varanasi are technically off bounds as well.

      1. Thank you dear Madhu, I am very respectful especially with women, so I totally get the point, that’s why I asked you. I often have seen people sticking their cameras right into peoples faces and found that very intimidating to the person.

  11. These are wonderful, Madhu. They each provide such a strong glimpse into who they are, give us a real sense of their essence.

  12. That ‘armpiece’ brought back memories…a dear friend from Himachal gave me a smaller version in silver for the wrist, with some Meena work carving on it. Indian ornaments and clothes are so intricate and colourful…our lives reflect the culture. Thanks!

  13. Beautiful captures, Madhu! Each fascinating in their own way… but something about the little girl’s eyes captured my heart! Hope you’ve been doing well. Back here (in the blogosphere in general) after a long hiatus. Will be back to check out all I’ve missed!

    1. Me too Jo. They all (barring nervous mom) exuded more joy than many hugely privileged people I know! 😉

    1. I did signal all for permission, except the lady with the silver armlet who was at a distance. Thank you Indah, have a wonderful weekend.

    1. True. They are my most enduring memories as well Pauline, and the ones I return to more than the historic monuments. Thanks for stopping by.

  14. What a wonderful array of emotions and so beautifully captured. The rag picker girl and her expression sums it up all. There cannot be any better way to capture the way world looks and experience it’s journey than with the facial expression and different set of emotions that is so natural to human beings…

  15. Madhu these photographs are brilliant and beautiful. When you capture the in their candid moments their inner beauty shines.
    Thanks aplenty you mad my day 🙂

    1. Aww, thank you very much. I think it is just that they were some of the happiest and most gracious people I have met on my travels.

  16. Hubby wouldn’t approve of what? Of you taking a pic of her? :O

    That rag picker girl is so so so very adorable! Man!

    Love looking at such pictures of people from around the world. 🙂 I hardly click pics of people, though, because I get too conscious and shy to ask them for permission to click. The best of such shots are the ones that are clicked naturally, without posing – and that doesn’t happen when you ask for permission or get conscious. But then, it seems unethical to click people without their permission either. How do you manage?

    1. Yes, they were very happy to have the son photographed, but when I asked if I could have her picture, she worriedly looked towards her husband as if to ask him for permission until he nodded assent. I do not click portraits without permission.

  17. Gorgeous photos. I have been slowly warming up to strangers that I meet to ask them if I can take their pictures. I would love to be able make a post like this someday. 😊

    1. You will, with practice. I was just as wary at first. Thank you for stopping by to share your thoughts Josie.

  18. The “rag picker” is a striking natural beauty, and the heart-breaker already stole my heart 😉 I have a little story I wish to share with you Madhu. I was in Lisbon this May, and one night due to crazy wind in a restaurant in Belem we all had to move in the interior of that small restaurant. There I shared a table with a mature French couple and we had a nice chat. They have seen a lot more of the world than me and hubby and I asked them – what was your favourite country and they replied unanimously: l’Inde. I had a zillion questions of course about heat, food, etc. and they answered all of my questions and as the reason why they loved India so much they uttered – only there we saw children with real happiness in their eyes. These portraits prove them right.

    1. Isn’t she gorgeous? I have noticed too Paula that the lesser they have the happier they seem! The privileged classes sadly lose that capacity for joy as their aspirations increase.

  19. It is often pretty amusing to just sit and observe people. And guess what? The result is here on this beautiful and captivating blog post! I never realized the simplicity in someone’s face can tell so many stories about them! Very impressed by this blog! Keep it up.

Let me know what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s