Musings of a Children's Writer, a Mother and an Expatriate living across cultures.
I've seen these same images in Chennai. I've always wondered if it's a phone ear piece or an mp3 player. An mp3 player would require a computer, etc. Do you think banana guy would have a computer?
Hey, Danie. That man definitely wasn't talking on the phone to someone. We were there for a little while and he seemed totally absorbed by whatever it is that he was listening to. Maybe his son or daughter or more likely grandchildren, actually, have a computer...
It is an amazing picture -- cuts across cultures, eras, everything. Sue (who wants an ipod of her own)
What a terrific image! Thank you Katia.
I've noticed a lot of westerners get surprised about rickshaw pullers with cell phones or headphones. But most Indians know that it is not about "tradition" versus "modernity", it's about disposable income or the lack of it. Some banana cart pullers have a lot more disposable income than some middle class schoolteacher types because they don't have to maintain the same markers of class - a house in a middle class neighborhood, etc. So they can live in lower middle class or working class areas and use the cash they have left over to buy what they consider important - like cellphones to keep in touch with family and friends, and radios with headphones to listen to cricket match broadcasts. Of course, there are many streetcart vendors who are really struggling, but cell phones and headphones are just a means to an end for most people, not a marker of their identity.---Sharmishtha
Hello Sharmishtha, and thank you for visiting my blog. I think that the feeling we express is more related to the visual contrast between a very ancient occupation, performed in an old, unmodern way, and the sight of that headphone, which is a very modern gadget. For me, anyway, that's the beauty of that picture, and also what is so fascinating - and at times puzzling - about everyday life in India. Old times and modern times live side by side, sometimes colliding and clashing, and other times mingling seamlessly.
Could be a hearing aid, for all you know!
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