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
It was one of our days in Mumbai that I pulled a fast one and ask the ladies if they wanted to go shopping the entire day and not be disturbed; they replied in the positive and were very excited. However, there were two rules: use your own money and I’m not joining you.
I set off on foot to explore the length and breadth of Colaba armed with my Canon 6D. We walked passed chaps selling books on the pavement and I made a mental note to return the next day (incidentally I did and purchased three Jack Reacher books secondhand for about ZAR 20 each).
My mission was to go to Camera Gulley, a small area littered with many camera shops. I found it but kept my money for Orms (orms.co.za) back home: nothing really grabbed me. However, some of the shops had really ancient cameras hanging in the window on display.
After that it was Bel Puri from a very busy vendor on the side of the road. My attention was drawn to this vendor as I witnessed students trying to climb over each other to get a dish. I stood up against a wall and ate my lunch trying hard to not drop curry gravy onto my camera.
I then trundled off for coffee at the nearby Starbucks where I ate up the free WiFi and drank a cup of coffee. On the way home I met up with the gentleman in the inserted photo. Like most persons begging on the road he was friendly after a small donation and fully supported our impromptu photo shoot.
This is the first post from my Lenovo tablet, a present that I bought for myself. It has proved super useful in getting me reading books again (free online reader).