Monday, March 26, 2012

Supper, Sister of Teacher, Humana People to People India, Banganga, Rajasthan, India, November 22, 2009

During my time in Rajasthan it is customary for me to end my visit in the village of Banganga. In this corner of the world I have experienced the full spectrum of emotion, from thinking one year that my film was ruined to having access to the most exquisite spirits in the world.

In one house lives the teacher and in the house next door lives the teacher's sister, both with their families. With the exception of one boy until the year of this image, all the children are girls. In these houses the girls are revered, loved beyond equal. They attend classes through Humana People to People and also attend the government school system once their time with Humana is finished.

Everyone attends to their chores while I am in their presence, without making me feel awkward. The two men are always at work, without exception. They tend to their land, keep up with the irrigation, make sure the animals are fed, check the crops and so on. They allow me access to their wives like few have ever done, and this certainly applies to their children. Their generosity humbles me and their trust adds worth to my work.

On one occasion one of the young girls, while walking next to me, decided to take my hand. Her father watched her doing so and allowed it to be, chuckling at the same time. She was so surprised that she scared herself, and let go after a few paces. Nonetheless we both learned a little more about her father's love for her, disregarding custom and allowing her to be herself.

His aunt sits in the image above and prepares our meal. Between these two houses two meals are always prepared for me, along with two cups of tea. They love watching me attempt to finish the dishes, and gulp as much water as possible in the process. It always surprises me how much they are amazed at a person from outside the village drinking their water, eating their food. In reality nothing tastes fresher, nothing is served to me with as much love outside of my own family.

She and her sister are two reasons behind the present drive to raise funding for the schools. Their daughters have been photographed by me since 2006, and will continue to be a part of my work. They were students in the Humana People to People schools and would join should they be given the chance. This work is dedicated to them and I do hope later this year we can witness the opening of these very schools.

Anyone interested may contact me through the following:

Halim Ina Photography