Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dolma Ling Nunnery

While in Rakkar i spent most of time at Dolma Ling. Even when i got there i had no idea what pictures i was going there to take. So i figured i'd just spend all the time i could at the nunnery and hopefully find some stories to tell. I don't think this is what happened in the end though, because i didn't have enough direction to get close enough to the nuns in time. Instead i focused on doing portraits of them, some of which i've put up. By the time i had to leave to come back to Bangalore some of the nuns had really warmed up to me and it was very hard to leave just when i saw i was starting to make headway. But i guess it was an important lesson for me. To dive right into people and not waste any time being an outsider. Maybe soon if i'm lucky, i can go back and pick up where i left off.
The nunnery was about a fifteen minute walk across the river, through fields with the Dhauladar range towering over. I did this walk sometimes at 4.30 am, sometimes in the rain and sometimes after 10 at night without a torch.
Both the nuns and i were initially a little wary of each other, they had no idea who i was and i didn't want to disturb them. This soon turned to a curiosity about the other. By the end of my first week they had all pretty much gotten used to my hanging around with my camera and i stared making friends :)
They taught me how to make butter lamps and i helped them practice their English. I spent an afternoon making 10 kilos of soya with some of them. Watched 200 of them debate, which was ELECTRIC. A few of us snuck into a classroom one day and ate lunch while we were supposed to be cleaning the prayer hall. Climbed over fences and went for a picnic. Watched the news. Discussed the bane of wearing bras. Shared histories and cups of tea. Tried to understand each others worlds. And in the end exchanged mobile numbers, addresses and secret grins at all the things we'd gotten up to.
























8 comments:

blue flowers said...

These photographs are just stunning! thank you!

niyati. said...

:) all that youv talked about come out so well in each of the frames. lovely shots ganj, hope you do go back and have more stories to share. :)

This is that said...

Some of the stuff is just brilliant G..great framing and alot of feeling. Mostly I feel every project teaches you, so much more than just pixels and frames :))I felt that reflected in your work.. kudos...

Rijul Bhatia said...

6 and 13 are smashing. They both seem to hint towards the mystic magic that you hear emanates from such places. On a similar train of thought, the one in the background in 17 looks quite a lot like you - mercuric lens?

Billo Rani said...

Thanks all :)
What's a mercuric lens Rijul? And it's funny you think that but i'm flattered. She's amazing.

Hari Adivarekar said...

These are nice but I think you need to be more ruthless. I thought 3 or 4 of them were brilliant but they are getting lost among the others, which are nice but not documentary worthy. Raise the standards for photo editing and you'll find that it will serve you well while shooting. It'll make you pause and think, "Is this going to be a kick ass frame or just a nice one that random people will praise" That doesn't mean to say that you should be afraid of clicking, just more thoughtful about it. :)

Ambika said...

Candid moments. I loved the perspective in your photography!

Ambika said...

Candid moments. I loved the perspective in your photography!