Wikipedia: “A beedi (/ˈbiːdiː/; from Hindi: बीड़ी; also spelled bidi or biri) is a thin, Indian cigarette filled with tobacco flake and wrapped in a tendu or possibly even Piliostigma racemosum leaf tied with a string at one end. The name is derived from the Marwari word beeda – a leaf wrapped in betel nuts, herbs, and condiments. A traditional method of tobacco use throughout South Asia and parts of the Middle East, today beedies are popular and inexpensive in India. There, beedi consumption outpaces that of conventional cigarettes. Beedi smoking tends to be associated with a lower social standing, and these tobacco-filled leaves are inexpensive, when compared to regular cigarettes. Those with a high social standing who do smoke beedies often do so out of the public eye.”
I met the chap below near the Chinese fishing nets at Fort Cochin in Kerala. He was smoking a beedi and gladly allowed me to snap a few photos much to the delight of him and his friends. I’m not a smoker but couldn’t resist getting “low down and dirty” with many of the locals during the recent trip – communication jumped a few levels when I lit up my own beedi, sat on the ground, smoked and shared a few stories. Faces lit up, including my own, and we gossiped in half-English as best as we could. If you are ever in this area go stay at Heavenly Homestay,Fortcochin. Enquries: Patrick Bernad – highly recommended!
Canon 6D, 24-105mm, F4, 1/160 sec, ISO 320 – PP LR PS