Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hare Krishna Hare Rama

Members of the Hare Krishna believe they are the most beautiful also.
But to get a devotee in front of the camera is another story.
Because there is a hierarchy within the Hare Krishna and members respect higher authority.

It took therefore several meetings before a Hare Krishna actually could be photographed.
Expert members of the “Most beautiful people in the world”-team Karine and Alex had meetings with the President and the Vice-President of the Hare Krishna organisation in Mumbai.
They managed to convince these high placed authorities of the sincerity of the “Most beautiful people in the world”-project and its good intentions.
That it was simply a platform of good and positive news without any condemnation, post-judgement or irony.
As an example the Hare Krishna authorities were shown a copy of the French magazine Le Monde2 that has published a long feature on “Most beautiful people in the world”.

Yesterday in the late afternoon the moment had come that a Hare Krishna person could be photographed.
It was the Vice-President himself.
Dr. Mukunda Madhava Das.
A most sympathetic person with a great laugh and a charming personality.
A most beautiful person indeed.

Looking for a perfect location a gated corridor was discovered with filtered light because of a nearby tree.
Dr. Mukunda Madhava Das was seated on a chair and the blue background cloth put at the end of the corridor.
Visually a spectacular situation of which everything was right.
This always makes the excitement inside a photographer go up sky high.
Through the camera a great image is seen but also it is strongly felt that a memorable photograph is being made.

Of course variations were made.
Dr. Mukunda Madhava Das holding his hands in front of him like praying.
Dr. Mukunda Madhava Das having his prayer chain in his hands.
And then he suggested himself to spread his arms like opening up and giving and receiving all the beauty in the world.
That was the perfect gesture and pose fitting harmoniously in the composition like one of yesterday’s Chinese poems.
Everything right: the light, the location, the person, the background, and the pose.

Afterwards the team was going through very opposite emotions.
On the one hand there was exaltation because of the very successful session with Dr. Mukunda Madhava Das.
On the other hand deep sadness because team member Alex had to go to Bangkok, Thailand because of the expiration of his India visa.

Two bottles of red wine were bought and a special celebration of the “Most beautiful in the world”-team and some of their friends was organised in an open-air restaurant on the Mumbai beach.

There was no sentimentality.
Only gratitude for being friends and for the amazing experiences we had in Mumbai performing “The most beautiful in the world”.

Hare Krishna.


Mumbai photographs by © Marjolein van Veen.


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