Friday, November 24, 2006

Back to Delhi

I am not exactly sure why updating my blog always slips through the cracks. I love writing on here, and sharing my random experiences. But somehow sitting down and typing it out becomes...secondary. Anyway, here's my much belated Delhi post.

I was at the India Socialist Forum in Delhi last week. Before I go into all the vibrant chaos of the forum, I would like to sidestep into a rant.

A rant about foreigners in India.

Or more specifically of white people taking scenic pictures of local Indians without asking consent. A language barrier used as an excuse to forego basic manners and thought. It is not that hard to point to your camera and wobble your head inquiringly.

I was walking down that toxically dusty path at the forum which joins the north end to the south end, punishing those who hope to see seminars outside of their physical vicinity. It's where I see a large white man with his 30 lb fish-lens camera stop in his tracks, turn around and kneel in front of this little boy taking his bath outside a small strip of slums. Without a single word or even a smile, he got in close. Adjusted his lens. Zoomed in. And clicked. Wtf. When did it become okay for a stranger to take someone's picture while he was taking his bath?

I saw this happen twice. But the second time, there was atleast a smile involved which made it slightly less creepy

The thing that is particularly frustrating about these photographers, is that it is never the middle-class, English-speaking woman reading the newspaper at the bus-stand who gets her photo taken. It's always the slum kid bathing next to his spigot or the gap-toothed old lady from a village grinning uncertainly into the camera. Oh look, she doesn't know that her picture is being taken. Awww..

Okay...I am done ranting. I still haven't discussed brown kurtas and Sufi music...or the forum. Next week, next week...maybe *shrug*


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear you on the hard to get down to bloggin thing regardless of the intention.

I may not have a big ass camera and zoom lens but I've been guilty of un-permissioned photograhing, but in my defence I only take pics of groups :-) is that more tolerable.

You know that up to know AIF posted mostly to rural area because they wanted fellows to have a real Indian exerience. Becuase apparently urban uper class indians are not true indians :-P

12:40 AM  
Blogger JOeMon said...


5:50 AM  
Blogger Sony Pony said...

Andy: The Real Indian Experience, eh? I have had some ridiculous discussions on this concept too:) As for your picture taking, I absolve you of your sins! :) hheeehe j/k..But seriously, I am sure you have never intruded on anyone's personal like this dude was doing.

Joemon: Ende da? what hmm?

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's not everyday you see a kid taking a bath in street, those are kodak moments

love your blog, found it while surfing for Avial's Nada Nada video

9:19 AM  
Blogger Sony Pony said...

umm..actually it is everyday that I see a kid taking a bath in the street, and no those are not kodak moments. Those are somebody's private moments. Respect is not restricted to those with homes.


9:33 PM  
Blogger jordan said...

hold it right there, Sony Pony. not to be difficult or anything --

it is ALWAYS the middle-class, English-speaking, WHITE woman who gets her photo taken by the Indian journalist reporting on an event. regardless of whether she's connected to it or not. If white skin's in attendance, you'll likely see it in the paper.

for reasons different and same, this shite goes both ways.


ps. i just adore photos of those picturesque, poverty-stricken little whippersnappers.

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

umm..yeah..thatt'ss the samee thing...

12:43 PM  

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