Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Another reason to visit UP

Because no one has yet built a functioning time machine..

In UP, there happily co-exist several different eras. Cities like Bareilly and Kanpur are everyday urban areas with motorcycles, malls, multiplexes and mayhem. Travel a little beyond them though, and the visitor can pick and choose what decade s/he wants to experience.
Let's begin with movies. The latest Bollywood release being shown in Badaun was Damini, and doing pretty well, I expect. Only ..it was released in 1993. The last decade-and-a-half apparently never happened in UP.

And then, an astonishing amount of travel is carried out with muscle power-either human or animal.  You have met Basant earlier, and the only taxi-service available in Badaun were the cycle-rickshaws. I loved the way they were decorated.
I of course, photographed one that appealed to the romantic in me, but the predominant theme was macho-gun-wielding-hero. Here is an example.

This road that I traveled on from Soron to Lahare..

I took it to be one of those many ephemeral paths that get created one year to disappear the other. Till I saw these buildings, and realised that I was travelling on an old, old, important highway.
 The structure  in the photo is a rather handsomely built well that's part of a caravanserai. This particular caravanserai was only one of many such along the road, showing how important this route was. This is achingly Ozymandian, considering that I had never before heard of either village

On a happier note, I came across a horse-fair!

 The picture above is the only one I had that gives some idea of the bustle and fair-like atmosphere. But I initially hated it because of that motorbike smack front and centre. What was I thinking? Now however, I think it fits in well with the theme of this post, don't you?

I spoke with the owner of these horses. He had come from the West, he told me..from across punjab and Haryana. Well, in a scene from Kim, it is only fitting that I speak to Mahbub Ali!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the Mother-child on the Soron to Lahare road-
are they setting out for some place?
or are they waving farewell to someone who has disappeared around the bend?

beautiful photograph.

saying so much.

if only our Bollywood images were like that.

speaking of which,
i too grew up in one such
what Bollywood distributors call a 'B-centre'.

as a result, i tell my Bombay friends, i have been exposed to better cinema than them!


at every age, stage in my life.
for Bollywood gets worse every year
and if one is watching something made a decade ago, one is seeing better cinema at that particular point in time as compared to an A centre person who's watching the latesht!