Friday Feature: Faces of India

Who: A scarf vendor and a shoe guard
Where: At the tomb of Salim Chisti, Fatehpur Sikri
What: One sells scarves and colorful thread while the other watches over visitors' shoes; both trying to make a living at Salim Chisti's tomb at Fatehpur Sikri Fort, a World Heritage site.

The Scarf Vendor
using his charm on us

The Watcher of Shoes
just Rs. 10 (about 25¢ per pair of shoes)

10 comments:

Desisoccermom said...

Love the shoe keepers henna dyed red beard. Reminds me of one of my uncle's thick hair dyed all red. I like this Fri feature. How many of these do you have?

Nandini Vishwanath said...

Love the door behind the man in the first photo :)

And ya, the red hair. I wouldn't have noticed if not for Jaya's comment.

Anjali said...

RS.10 per pair! He cheated you, at the most it is 2 Rs per pair.

Manisha said...

Desisoccermom, I am so glad you like it! It isn't as popular as the recipe posts or my tales of misfortune but I like them, too! I will eventually run out but I have maybe another few weeks worth of pics.

Nandini, it isn't a door but a wall with jaali-work. His red beard was the first thing I noticed about him but I smelled his beedi first. Did you see it? It's in his left hand.

Anjali, I checked with my husband and he said it was a flat Rs. 20 for all our shoes and not Rs, 10 per pair as I posted initially.

And yes, we knew he was charging us more but very honestly, we are all picky about our shoes and each one of them is expensive. It would have been even more expensive and very uncomfortable if we had lost our shoes. Also D's shoes were brand new. I know enough people who have lost their shoes outside temples and even the Taj because it didn't even occur to them that they would be stolen.

I'm pretty sure we were charged the "foreigner" rate. But here's a thought: if we were fine with it, did he still cheat us?


It's usually a fight to get my husband to pose for a picture. In this case though, he insisted that I take a picture. Any guesses why?

Desisoccermom said...

Manisha, the Fri pics are beautiful like all your photos. But I like them even more for the simple reason that non-Indians usually click these. It is not a norm for desi bloggers/photographers to notice or think the common people can also make good subjects.
As to losing shoes, I remember once my dad lost his shoes at Iscon in Delhi and had to go back barefoot to our hotel. So Rs20 is probably worth avoiding the pain of losing shoes. Why did D pose for this picture?

LVI said...

Did D pose to compare the red of his shirt to the shoe keeper's red beard? ;) Lovely pictures. Keep them coming...

Manisha said...

Desisoccermom, these people are the true face of the common man. I wish I had put myself out there more to get better pictures. Next time!

LVI, I don't think D even noticed the man's beard but good try!

Like I said earlier, we are picky about our shoes. I wanted to tie all the shoelaces together and hang them from my backpack but they wouldn't let us take the shoes in. So we had no choice but to leave them there. But what if the man collected all the shoes and left with them before we came out? A picture of the man would help a great deal in that situation! I hadn't thought that far but obviously D had!

Anshu said...

Again...to my wonder how can anyone, or in your words, any common Indian man, consider or charge an Indian looking man as a "foreigner"??
I think its a tourist charge!!! the same manner anyone will pay $10 for a a normal veggie burger inside the Grand Canyon National Park or $16 for a plate of lomein in a tourist city SpringDale, Utah.

Hey Manisha...please do not consider my comments in wrong way...I am just expressing my wonder!!!!

Manisha said...

Anshu, when was the last time you traveled to these places? It doesn't matter what you look like.

It starts at the very top. The Indian government charges you an entry fee based on your passport. If it's Indian, you pay Rs. 20. If it's not Indian, you pay Rs. 500+. We were asked to produce our passports *many* times because they did not believe that my daughter could have an Indian passport since she speaks with an American accent.

The guides also have explicit "foreigner" rates. If you did not notice the quotes around that word, please note them now.

Sunshinemom said...

My cousin sports the same kind of hennaed hair:). I love your features. Just going through the series and I like the idea of featuring 'faces of India'!