Friday, March 28, 2008

A shave in the slum

The total result of the project “The most beautiful people in the world” in India is going to be impressive.
Over 20 most beautiful people.

Especially impressive because of the circumstances the team is working in.
Besides that it is hot and very humid, people in India often are complex and impossible to follow in their logic because there is one unrecognisable for a foreigner.

Yesterday we were supposed to go with two reliable young fellows to the slums.
These guys are employees of the Hare Krishna Guest House.
They were living in the slums themselves and explained they had made contacts there and had found persons who believed they were beautiful and willing to be documented.
The team organised a Hindi-English translator and in two rickshaws the party went to the area where the hotel employees were living.
Once there, soon the team of the project “The most beautiful people in the world” found themselves alone.
The two guys and all their promises had vanished.

Now, fervent and loyal blog readers, a definite characteristic of the Indian team of the project “The most beautiful people in the world” is that they take every new development in a positive way.
There is never complaining, whining, crying or balking.
The things that happen are experienced as the things best to happen.
Every new situation is seen as a challenge and most of all as a fantastic opportunity.

The team without their two guides decided to do an instant integration in the visually spectacular neighbourhood they found themselves in.
Hence, the photographer had a shave.

This attracted the attention of many Indians, as foreigners never appear in their area to begin with.

It must also be remarked that the treatment of the barber is not without risks and dangers.
Travel guides and sensible people warn not to have shaves in slums.
This has to do with hygiene, bacteria’s and diseases.
The shaving knife might be infected.
The towels used have dried other customers before.
In India people do not use toilet paper and the question is how well the barber has washed his hands.
Therefore, to have a shave in the slum was an act of ultimate bravery.
Or recklessness.

Integrated in the neighbourhood, the team found a hard working tailor who was remarkable because of the peace and harmony he was radiating.
He agreed to participate in the project “The most beautiful people in the world” and was documented.

“There are good people and there are bad people. I am one of the good people. And I try to change the bad people into good people”.

Loyal and fervent blog readers will be totally excited to learn that the team, in particular senior team member Marjolein, has managed to book the famous Indian film star Nandita Das.

This morning the team is invited to her Mumbai house to ask her if she feels the most beautiful woman in the world and to photograph her.
For this occasion the nervous photographer, always feeling a beginner, has washed his hair this morning twice.


Colour pictures on this posting by © Marjolein van Veen 2008


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A Shave in the Slum, Thats great, I loved the images, Robert