Postcard Vendor, Golconda

Photograph by Ramesh Gandhi

We recently came back from spending a week in Hyderabad. We hardly got out, but did manage to see Golconda Fort and the Qutb Shahi tombs. I had seen the fort many years ago, and had a vague image in my mind of a vast expanse of strewn boulders and cut stones -- but it wasn't like that; it's a ruined but still beautiful hill fort, one of many in India. Golconda was fabulously wealthy, in large part because it is said to have been the ancient world's only known source of diamonds (including the Kohinoor and the Hope diamonds). Here's the wikipedia entry on Golconda, which includes a list of other Indian forts.

As we walked out of the gateway this man approached me with his envelopes of postcards in the crook of his arm. I was holding my camera; I gestured with it and said, "See, I have my camera. I've taken so many pictures, I don't need any postcards." He replied very mildly, "But you may not have these angles; just take a look." By this time R and our friend had emerged. I asked R if he would take the man's photograph. R said, "She would like to take your picture, is that all right?" He said politely, "If Sahib will stand beside me." But he stood against a wall of the fort, and R composed it so beautifully, with the angles of the envelopes and the (modern) stairs. And we bought two sets of photographs, and parted cordially.

Here are some photographs which I took of Golconda, at Flickr.


Anonymous said...

you will put the postcard guy out of business. i have been taking people to "do" golconda for over a decade now and not one of them has produced anything like this. congratulations. i wish you had taken loads more.
next trip insha'allah:)

Rama Mohan said...

cool post. Nativity.