Archive for the ‘West Bengal’ Category

Men in Checkered Gamchhas

November 29, 2011

street fashion india

Picking up from where I’d left last…above: A cart pusher in Asansol.

street style india fashion

street style india fashion

The term “gamchha” derives from the Bengali ga mochha, which means wiping (the) body-local term for a sweat towel. Gamchhas are most commonly found in check and striped patterns of red, orange, green, blue…They’re are also worn as lungis, belts, turbans – styles derived from practicality & nature of tasks the wearer is involved in.

street style india fashion

street style india fashion

street style india fashion

street style india fashion

street fashion india

street style india fashion

street style india fashion

street style india

street style india fashion

street style india fashion

street style india fashion

street fashion india

street fashion india

I found myself a spot in the middle of a Y junction in front of a closed shop. There was a small tea shop 10 yards ahead. Idlers there would occasionally look in my direction, talk amongst themselves, and at times smile at me. A little disconcerting. Two people came to me and asked “newspaper?” I said yes. (A lie, obviously.) After a while one of the workers came and sat next to me but didn’t say a word. Often he would smile and try to look into the camera.

We talked for a bit. Soon he got called out for some work and left. I sat there for two hours till I started to see the same men. I was finding it awkward to get up as I was all comfortable in the awkwardness of being in the middle of those occasional stares for long. Eventually I got up, went straight to the tea shop…had a cup of tea, a smoke, & said thank you to whoever listened..

Below:Rickshaw-walas in the main market.
street fashion india

All photos from my July trip.

A gamccha costs 30Indian Rupees(less than a dollar).

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