man-indian-street-photography-jaipur-tips

The Lull|Street Photography

I was out in the narrow streets curating a customized walking tour in Jaipur for an upcoming educational trip of the US university students when I captured this picture.

man-indian-street-photography-jaipur-tips

Over the course of the last two years, having met many people from various sections of the society I feel the sentiments are low and people often grumble about the lull in work. More often it is demonetization of Indian currency in 2016 & implementation of GST that is blamed for lack of business in the market. When the demonetization was announced many economists appreciated this move citing a variety of reasons but a few disagreed too. Two years later, very few economists seem to side with the decision of demonetization. The consensus is that it is a small-scale and unorganized sector which took a major burnt of both these moves and there was a big layoff due to lack of business.

On a different note, while many of us faced temporary inconveniences it is poor people who were hit hardest. They had a tough time with cash in a short supply. Most of these daily wage earners didn’t have a bank account or smartphones to use mobile wallets as an alternative to cash. Despite all this, there was no protest from this section of society about the difficult situation. Probably, they were too busy making their ends meet to protest or may be trusted the PM for “better India”.

It is unfortunate that poor people have to endure a harsh decision like demonetization. Some say it is collateral damage or a side effect of a good intention. The opinion and mood seem to be changing; it’ll be interesting to note the results of an upcoming election this year. While some people still side with the ruling party quite a few have changed their loyalty. Whether Demonetization was good or bad is still debated; I leave the decision for the readers to make.

In the above street photo, the livelihood of the subject depends on repairing of bags. He is waiting for work and customers. His eye and face convey a lot. What do you read?

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41 thoughts on “The Lull|Street Photography

  1. The economically underprivileged are always the major sufferers in any political decision. So leaving aside the debatable topic of demonetization and coming to your Wordless Wednesday photo, Arv, you have chosen a good topic. In today’s fast running world the need for these repairmen has come down to a bare minimum. People have no time to wait and get their things (in this case bags) repaired, they rather go for a new option as per their economic strata. With cheap Chinese items flooding the market there are ample options. The ultimate sufferer are these small businessmen who could not cope up in the race and time to adapt.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sarmistha, well summarized. I think we are all moving in use and throw economy where either the products are designed in way that they can’t be repaired or the cost of repair is not worth the efforts. Our economy was a traditional economy but we have become consumerists. Who cares for the environment and all that it entails? we want benefits but no pains!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the photo, Arv. But just to get all political for a moment, the poor bear the brunt of all policy decisions, as the rulers know they are powerless to do anything about it. They are either too busy trying to make ends meet, or they lack the means to make their voices heard.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, you are right. They are busy in making their ends meet -they earn their living everyday. Only in countries where there is a mass disruption, these people come out in streets to protest. We have seen this in recent years in ME and Africa. Unfortunately, it is this very segment who is promised sky in election manifesto because they are largest voters. Is it same in UK?

      Liked by 3 people

  3. These repair shops always fascinate me. Back in Shillong we still have them roaming the neighbourhoods looking out for potential customers and calling out their services in the loudest possible voice. In Bangalore, we have these shops but nobody coming to your doorstep.
    And, yes its the poor who always bear the brunt of every situation, political or otherwise.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Neel, I think it is a progression of society. We do have these repair shops in either old city area or in suburbs. I have a feeling that they won’t survive for long even though they serve their purpose. Considering the fact that we are moving into use and throw economy, product usage has changed considerably and what relevance these shops will serve in future is a grey area.

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  4. Without going into the merit of demonetisation, the scarcity of notes is over. The repair shops are nowadays victim of supply of cheap Chinese items and change in our consumption behaviour. The plight of such shops is really pathetic. Also, there is an immediate need for massive re-skilling of Indian workforce and MSME businesses to match the changing market and preferences of the consumers. The photo is excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree we are undergoing a change which is two-fold. One, cheap mass produced disposable products flooding the market. Two, technology companies have caused a massive disruption everywhere. Reskilling? you are right but in the Indian context, that’s a difficult proposition. Authorities or leaders have never taken this seriously. This is what is also causing unemployment because people are not skilled despite the market needing such skilled personnel. MSMSE is squeezed because of a variety of situation. Effects of demonetization and subsequent introduction of GST will have some disruption too. Most economies in the world are struggling too and not just the Indian economy. I’m glad you liked this picture.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It is a common tale, but true. Decisions made by government agencies serve mostly the rich. Your picture shows the compassion for the ones that suffer the most, the poor people of India. Good choice to present the image in monochrome, Arv!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I saw dignity in the eyes of that man. The poor always bear the brunt of government decisions. In my country (the United States) a handful of politicians are holding millions of people hostage right now. I am trying not to be political but I spoke today to a veteran who is in remission from cancer and fears he may lose his medical coverage as a result of our government shutdown.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so tragic. What can we expect from profit seeking people? Unfortunately, all models from capitalism, fascism, colonial & imperial system to communism have failed at some point or another. I hope this stadoff in your country gets resolved soon.

      Like

  7. Arv, your image says it all, and as Peter already said, good choice for presenting it in monochrome. I have tons of pictures like this taken in India, as I am always more drawn to capture the daily life of people who try hard to meet ends. It had started to happen here in the US a while ago. Like for example, I used to take my worn shoes to a shoe repair shop, an older gentleman immigrated from Bulgaria, I loved the stories he would share and the smell in his shop of leather and glue. Recently I stopped by and with sadness I noticed the sign ” Shop closed down” . This is just one of the many examples. When I see what my neighbors throw into the trash bin, my heart quenches, all items which could be fixed and repaired. Thank you for your great post, Arv.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It reminds me of a programme I saw on a German TV channel hardly a few years ago on how the current manufacturing processes are aimed at disposing rather than repairing. It did some research and concluded that factories design things in a way to consume more and thereby using material and processes that don’t support repairing. How much trash we are generating!

      I agree, clicking pictures from daily life is far more interesting and when you look at these pictures they have so much to say!

      Cornelia, we are in midst of a major change. Haven’t we heard that we are part of disruption economy? The traditional businesses are going out of business because of newer “tecnology” based business model. Let’s wait and watch where it all leads us to!

      I always love your captures because they are natural.

      Like

      1. Thank you Arv for taking your time for this great reply. Indeed we are in the midst of a major change, may it politics or environment and technology. We just can hope that it will turn into a positive way, so we can preserve what we have, instead of ignoring it and therefore destroying it. Thank you for complimenting my captures. Have a great day.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I love this image, Arv. And believe me, it does not happens in India only, but also in other developing countries. People are unemployed, and even they are, after long working days, the salaries are really low. There are no savings at the end, and people are struggling enough to make ends meet. In this case, politicians could not be blamed alone. We need to consider the systems adopted by the country for years. Some politicians are good enough, trying to change the system for the better one. Nonetheless, unfortunately, many are too comfortable enjoying the old ones and getting benefits for themselves only. This photo shows his strength in facing life difficulties. That’s the message I got.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nurul, I agree with the fact that this is universal with some changes. I agree that politicians cannot be blamed in all situations; only a few politicians are able to change the system not because of their abilities, there are other factors too. On a general level we will find that countries having a large number of poor people have had histrory of political issues. Well, I guess it is long topic and probably, we can talk about it some other day.
      India, has a record of fairly stable governments and democracy. Lately, people have been questioning the recent moves of major reforms.

      I feel the emotions on the face of this man runs deep.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I could not agree more, Arv. In my humble opinion, it’s all caused by the weak government system, allowing the greedy ones to hold limitless power, followed by nepotism and corruption. History also takes some important role the system, particularly when we see most of countries with poor people are post-colonial countries, and it still affected the way of think, even after they got the independence. You right, it could be along topic to discuss. Having discussion face to face could be better. Maybe, someday..

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree, colonial rule plundered these societies. For example, the British forced farmers to grow what they needed to feed their factories and sell at cheap rates. Farmers would generally sow grains to feed their families and sell excess in the market. I guess it must have been the same in other places in Asia and Africa.

        Hopefully, someday!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing your views. Let me add that I too was apprehensive of clicking people till a few months ago but after jumping in I realized that people on street (at here in my city) are mostly happy to be clicked and love to see their pictures. It might be different in US where people are more concerned about privacy issues.

      Like

  9. Demonetisation was like a chemotherapy. It killed bad as well as damaged good tissue. While it is undoubted that India had large stash of black money. Rich devised ways to paint it white. A lot of money is sitting in Jan Dhan account and under enquiry, as per government. Now poor people were hit hard. But did most poor dealt in currencies that were banned? Similarly were MGNREGA workers getting salary in 500 and 1000 rupee notes?
    I read somewhere that situation was getting so bad very soon government had to introduce notes of denomination bigger than 2000 rupee. Cash to GDP ratio which in many countries was around 4,in India it was 13.
    All said and done, I agree that poor were hurt by demonetisation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for putting forth your views. We have heard of many sad incidents. I saw many foreign travelers standing in a long lines for hours just to get the notes changed. I’m sure they were harassed because half their day was wasted. Many others didn’t have enough new currency for food and transport. While someone can claim that this is a collateral damage, I feel they should have been excused from all this.
      Poor people are always at a receiving end!

      Like

  10. One thing that is significant about your photography is that it shatters the barriers of normal and portrays a hidden meaning,and the gloomy and jaded look that his eye carries is the reality of the country,the toll that demonetization took on the poor,less fortunate people is truly an irony of ‘aache din’,We can’t built a modern India with only fortunate people.Development means a whole one,not only a part of society.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Neha, I agree that development needs to percolate to every level of the society. I guess in every developing country we can see something similar. Well, as for the message that was floated – “Achhe Din”, no one actually told us “Kiske”?

      As for the hidden meaning, well it is just an assumption based on what I have been hearing from the people. Do you notice & observe people on street in your city?

      Liked by 1 person

  11. This is such an interesting topic, one that I hadn’t ever thought about before. Very important that we make decisions that benefit all, not just the wealthy. Which is so much harder to achieve than it is to say but good to get everyone thinking about. Great photo too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad that you liked this picture and these thoughts resonated well with you. Unfortunately, most decisions are not well suited for all sections of the society. But that’s life! Isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

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