People of Bundi: A Photo Essay

I recently found myself in the lovely little Rajasthani city of Bundi, which sits between Udaipur and Rajasthan’s capital of Jaipur.

Bundi was on my way to Delhi, where I needed to get to in order to fly out of India, as my six-month visa was just about to expire.  Every guesthouse worker who inspected my passport and visa during check-in over my final two weeks, reminded me of this legality.

I spent two days and three nights in Bundi.   While there, I came across a lot of people.   Now, while perusing the photos and being reminded of the interactions that I had, it feels as if I’d spent a lot more time there.

I’d like to share a few of the people shots that I took:

Feel free to click on the pics for a larger view.


This is the rickshaw driver that drove me from the bus station to the fort and palace area where most of the super-affordable guesthouses lie.  Roughly eight guys vied for my fare.  I chose this man because he was the most relaxed and least pushy of them all.   I thought: Nice mustache.  In the US it would be a serious blast from the past.  But in India, it’s apparently still fashionable.

After the rickshaw driver dropped me off I came across these three kids.  Like  many kids across India, they asked me if I had any pens.  Unfortunately, I was unprepared.  I walked across the street to find a little convenience shop that sold candy.  I bought a handful and brought it over.  They happily enjoyed it when I thought: Darn.  Pens would have been more constructive.  I’ve gotta pick myself up a box as soon as I come across some.

I needed to get my laundry done.  This little enterprise was conveniently located close to my guesthouse. I thought: If only I had some shoes for the kids.

These are the owners of Raja Laundry.  They charged me 60 Rupees or $1.15 for about 1 kilo or 2.2 pounds of clothes.  I dropped the clothes off in the morning and they were ready that evening.  I thought: Considering the kids don’t have shoes, they could use a tip.  They should be charging tourists more.  I gave them 80 Rupees.  They were grateful.

If you’ve been to India you know that it doesn’t take long to come across this elixir made of black tea, milk, ginger and usually too much sugar.   It’s a delicious start to the day.  Sipping on a chai often makes it easy to meet and talk to locals.  A glass of this concoction costs 4 Rupees or $.08. 

I stopped and had two of these freshly fried samosas on two straight mornings.   This samosa man was conveniently located close to the chai man above.  While washing down a bite of samosa with a gulp of sweet and milky chai, I thought:  What a delicious combo.  These street samosas cost 5 Rupees each.

While walking past these schoolgirls and politely asking and if I could snap a quick shot, they kindly stopped and stood. 

I’m at a loss for words on this one.

After asking this man if I could take his photo while in action, he was more than willing.

This young, hip man’s name is Deepak.  He makes his living mixing about 40 to 50 lassis per day.  In this photo he’s concocting a bhang lassi, made with almond and pistachio.  Bhang means that there is marijuana infused inside. Bhang is legal in Bundi.

Through Deepak’s translation, this religious man, like so many Indian people, conveyed to me that he was surprised by the fact that I don’t have a wife and kids.  He went on to explain that he deems alcohol to be evil, while he enjoys his daily bhang lassi in Deepak’s shop.  After our conversation,  he suggested that I take his picture.


6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Lynda Kelley on November 30, 2011 at 08:44

    Great pictures . . . again!

    I wish I could send you some pens!


  2. Posted by Al on November 28, 2011 at 12:08

    Nice pictures!


  3. Posted by Mamma on November 26, 2011 at 22:46

    What a feast for the eyes!


  4. Wonderful essay from the almost north Indian state of Rajasthan. We often fail to see these things as they are common here. India is a very diverse country. There are affluent multimillionaires here, and also children for whom shoes are a luxury.

    Nice to know, those children asked for pens, and not lollipops. A Pen is the exact thing that they need!

    Nice job! I would like to see more!

    P.S. Did you find any of them using the Internet? You could give them your blog address to view their photos online!


    • GANESH: Bahut Dhanyväd. Yes, certainly a foreigner’s perspective must be very different from that of a native’s. I find it fascinating to read what foreigners say about the US where I grew up.

      Unfortunately the rich/poor gap is widening everywhere. I think that it’s more noticeable in India because of the huge population which is only getting bigger.

      As you know, the digital divide is enormous in India. Let’s hope that the 1,000 Rupee or $20 tablet computer that’s forecast to hit the market next year actually does. I find that most people I come across in the street don’t have computers never mind Internet connections, save for the educated people I mostly meet on trains, or the occasional engineering student I come across here and there. I do sometimes write down my URL yes. I also occasionally take email addresses and email people the pics I take. I hope to have earthdrifter business cards to hand out eventually too.


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