India: on the train II

April 24, 2014 § 8 Comments

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§ 8 Responses to India: on the train II

  • Beautiful work, thanks for sharing. I missed a train ride in India (sacrificed for a flight, out of necessity) and have regretted it since!

  • themodernidiot says:

    Your photos prompt so many questions: who are all the wonderful smiling men in plaid?, is the boy walking the aisle gathering something or just walking?, are the two men lying together with the yellow flowers a couple or just saving space?, is that other young man a hijras (would you even be able to ask that as a photographer?), how long and how many people travel on this train?
    I promise I don’t expect you to answer, but want to share with you my delight in the curiosity your work provokes 🙂
    The last photo is a stunner with the eye-catching purple contrasted with the yellow of the sun. And I love the spatial balance.

    • berta til says:

      thanks for your interest and questions! unfortunately, because of the language barier I wasn’t able to talk with all the people I photographed – usually we communicate in signs, smiles, head shakes or nods, and just a few words.
      I saw the group of men in one of the stops, they were hanging out there, waiting for a train. Tehy got very excited when they saw me with a camera and asked to take a photo, laughing and making fun of each other.
      The boy in the aisle, is actually hanging there, not walking, as he is playing while going down from the second floor. IT’s very exciting for the kids, to go all over there, climb to the second or third bed, then go down, chase each other, etc.
      Two man, being very close to each other, walking holding hands or huging is a very common picture in India – it doesn’t mean they are couple, as homosexuality is still a tabu here, but i guess they enjoy physical contact, closeness and intimacy. Also, a lot of people on the trains travel without confirmed seats, so they sit with their friends, which might be a case here as well.
      Yes, I think she/he is a hijra. I couldn’t talk with her (I think it’s better to call her ‘her’, as she dresses as a woman and wants to be one), but we smiled at each other and I asked with my gestures if I can take a picture and she smilingly agreed. In all the trains i’ve been to, time to time a couple of hijras are walking clapping loud and asking for money, especially from men. It’s normal for beggars to get on the train and walk from car to car asking for money. Usually they do it quietly. But you can here hijras from afar, they clap very loud, touch men and ask for money, sometimes even in a rude manner.
      We were traveling for 24 hours, but the train started a trip alsmost 24hours before we got on it, and continued after we got off. Some of the people were traveling the whole distance, others where hoping on and off along the way. It’s a nice experience to be on a train, even though sometimes it get really tiring :]]

      • themodernidiot says:

        Thank you so much for answering my questions. I never thought about the vertical aspect of the train!
        I figured the men were not a couple, but I was hoping they were. Funny that sexuality is still an issue in India of all places.
        Yes, Hijra can get wicked loud, and the heads of their groups can get downright nasty. One woman said,”Well what else are we to do? We have been forced into this situation; it is their job to pay for us.” I couldn’t really argue with that.
        Thank you again for posting your work, it helps me focus.

  • Wonderful images with a much warmth!

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