Istanbul, Turkey

1. Women’s innerwear being sold next to the Suleymaniye Mosque. Nothing out of the ordinary, here. Move along.


2. Just  a shoe shine man.


3. Lower your gaze, you’re inside a mosque.


3. Again, inside a mosque compound.


4. Boisterous little fella’.


5. Catching some zzz’s on a slow Sunday afternoon.


6. On the banks of the Bosphorus.


7. This young man is going for a little snip-snip of his weenie. He doesn’t know it yet. They didn’t dress ya’ up for nothing,  sonny.


8. Don’t miss the goatee.


All photos © Siddharth Singh, 2012.

When The Future Is Bright

By Siddharth (c) 2009

The girl above (and the two old women) are members of the so-called “untouchable”  community of India. ‘Dalits’ is now the politically correct term. Generations of dalits have been raped, killed, burnt and discriminated against because of the ugly caste system. Of course, caste discrimination is illegal by the law books of India, and over the years, progress has been made. We have had a dalit President (although I might add that in India, the post is only ceremonial), a dalit Chief Justice, a dalit Speaker of the House, and several dalit public figures, including Ambedkar, the Father of the Indian Constitution.

This doesn’t mean that dalits are no longer discriminated against; not by a long shot. But in this case, that of the girl above, the future is bright. She goes to school and is in the 9th grade and manages to score a very good 75% in her exams. She will get to work, being the only child to her liberal parents. She is well informed of the happenings of India and the world even, given she reads newspapers everyday (on the other hand, her parents are illiterate). She also claims that untouchability is something she has never had to face in her life.

Amrit – II

By Siddharth SIngh (c) 2009

Water, which is scarce in this part of India (in Rajasthan) is stored in large clay containers (called ghadas) to keep the water fresh and cool.

I saw this in a market in a village. This one is public. It is sustained by a few shop-keepers for all to have.

Notice the swastikas on the supports of the slab? It is a vedic symbol and has nothing to do with the Nazis.


When I took this photo, I didn’t realize there is something wrong with the cow.  I have been used to watching cows all the time in rural Rajasthan, in Western India. Rajasthan is a very dry state and is the location of the Thar desert, which is India’s largest. When I put it up on Facebook, an American friend of mine commented, “sad!”. It was only then that it struck me that this cow is impoverished! It is lifeless due to the lack of water and green grass. I was so very used to looking at such cows since I was very young, that somewhere subconsciously such a sight got registered as being  normal.

The Power Of The Wind

By Siddharth Singh (c) 2009



These were taken in Rajasthan, India. Do excuse the frame and alignment of the photographs: they were taken from a moving car. These rocks have been shaped by the winds over the past millions of years (while I cannot say for certain that it was the wind, no other explanation fits. Water movement creates very different patters, and besides, this region was not underwater even when Deccan India was separate form the rest of Asia.)


By Siddharth Singh (c) 2009

This is the photo of a statue of an old tribes-man from Rajasthan, in Western India. It’s made of clay by Mr. Prajapati.

Interesting Fact: Mr. Prajapati made an exactly similar clay bust in front of Bill Clinton (yes, the former POTUS) in ten minutes flat and gifted it to him. It happened on his official trip to India when he was still president.

The Flying Spur

Flying Auto

(c) Siddharth Singh, 2009.

Graffiti on Delhi’s facade are now becoming more common as underground artists take to the streets. This one is on a wall on the back alleys of Khan Market in New Delhi, India.  Khan Market is named after Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, also known as Frontier Gandhi, and the market is the costliest in India (in terms of land rent). It was originally inhabited by refugees who left Pakistan to come to India at the time of The Partition.

Golden Black

Humayan Ka Makbara, New Delhi, India. By Siddharth Singh (c) 2009

New Delhi Nizamuddin

Humayun Ka Makbara in Nizamuddin, New Delhi, is the most beautiful undiscovered-to-Indians Mughal monument in India.  And I would go to the extent to say it is beautiful because it is not frequented by us Indians. Littered sidewalks, names etched on the walls of monuments, etc are unheard of here.  The surroundings are clean and uncrowded. But mentions in international travel books makes it a hotspot for foreign tourists.

Another very well maintained and relatively undiscovered monument is the Akbar Ka Makbara in Agra. It has beautiful gardens with deer, peacocks and other animals.  A delight to those looking for a peaceful evening around a majestic historical monument.

Fatehpur Sikri, which everyone headed for the Taj Mahal in Agra almost certainly visits, on the other hand, is ill maintained. Foul odors, garbage, filth and grime are the order rather than the exception there.  Very very avoidable.

If only we respected our history by respecting the relics of the past. Keeping the environs clean surely isn’t  that hard an ask.

Eerie Brown

Kolkata (Calcutta), India. Siddharth Singh 2009.

calcutta kolkata india 2009 copyrighted image

Calcutta, now Kolkata, is a city lost in time. British era buildings dot the ‘skyline’, rickety buses and trams battle for space on the narrow roads, general strikes are called at the drop of the metaphorical hats; chaos reigns everywhere. But there is a pattern in this chaos. A pattern that many Indophile romanticists find enchanting. I suppose this chaos acts as a muse to the rich culture that Bengalis, in spite of hundreds of years of British rule, managed to preserve and enrich.

However, I reckon the proletariat of this Marxist stronghold does aspire for better urban infrastructure and amenities, particularly of mass transport. Without getting into the politics and economics of it, I assure you this is possible without diversion of funds from rural projects. This is not a demand of the Indian crony capitalist system, but of those sections who cannot afford to enjoy the luxuries of air-conditioned travel in cars that absorb the bumps of potholed roads.