Galee Teen, Govind Puri, Project Why.

271 - Ice Age 3

Galee Teen, alley three in Hindi, the third of over thirty alley ways.
Where can found one Project Why school, the creche and special section.
Govind Puri, a sprawling, ramshackle, warren of alleyways,
Buildings rise three, four, five stories high, each level leaning closer,
Across the lane to its neighbour.
313 - Sights and Smells
So many people, so many sights, so many sounds, so many smells.
A photographers dream, opportunity in every way.
Project Why gives opportunity in every way,
Giving dreams, helping fulfil for children ans women,
Little chance else.

268 - Monday Morning Indian Blues215 - Jamun
212 - Indane
Brass band heralds another day,
Jamun, an astringent little fruit,
Gas delivered.
All in Govind Puri, Galee Teen.
Home of Project Why.


#ProjectWhy  #AtoZChallenge


Day 30 – Friendship.


New friends, friendships formed, from stranger to fun friend, from tentative to laughter. A class of kids, living in slums, given cameras, a little training and taken on walks around a vibrant but poor area. A piece of real urban New Delhi, no tourists, just everyday life. Friendships born from fun and breaking the ice, the barriers, the divide between East and West. Shy and nervous beginnings, language differences, yet as a group, photography joins together, brings together and a means to become friends. At first taking practice shots of their tutor, ending up taking shots of him to laugh at, to laugh with, back in the classroom, as he takes photos of them to make them laugh too. A few short lessons, a teacher who says, let’s go have some fun not sit quiet and learn, no longer tutor and pupils but one group of friends, taking photos, together.
Another teacher, also living in a slum area, helping out, fast becomes a friend, tomorrow welcomes his new friend to his house for chai and snacks, glad to accept someone from 4000 miles away into his humble home, as a friend.
In India, as in lots of countries, the first Sunday in August is Friendship Day. Delhites celebrate in their own way, buy or make their friends colourful wristbands, made from cotton threads with little gold charms on. To give one is to show someone is a friend, to receive is to know a friend, to exchange is to bond. From adults to children this new custom is being accepted, to spend time with friends, to enjoy the friendship, to show friendship. Happy Friendship Day on Sunday.

Day 27 – High Street.

High Street

Its the main street, it has a market, it has many markets, fish market, chicken market, goat market, ladder market, clothes market, street food market, and the fruit and vegetable market, Govind Puri High Street.
Lively, choiceful, fresh, to the extent live chickens will be butchered for you as you wait, fresh to the extent some fish is still live and there is no smell, fresh to the extent the veg is ripe and full and gloriously colourful and so tasteful. No supermarket blandness here. Fast food freshly prepared, healthy and safe to eat. Everything needed for living in one High Street.
Before long, the laws changing, big Western supermarkets soon to come, Tesco and Walmart biting at the heals of politicians, tradition replaced. High Street may disappear, livelihoods gone, vibrancy gone, diversity gone, taste, flavour, quality, choice, what else? Gone.
Watch out Delhi, lessons learned by big business, not learnt by small business or everyday shopper, the empty shops and blandness of British High Streets may come, hope may appear, the same campaigns, the same great spirit, the same imagination to bring people back, to recreate tradition, to create new ones and make vibrant once again. Repeated in another corner of the world. It is a hope, Govind Puri High Street will not disappear, will not go the same way as many, will not become victim to mass, uniform profit. Bedford, England, this weekend, shows how if the unthinkable happens there is hope for Goving Puri, India. Not just hope but success.

Day 24 – Walk.


Walk at your own peril at Wednesday’s evening market in Govind Puri, Delhi. Stretching nearly a mile along a road normally full of cars, buses and motorbikes, when it’s market day, the stalls sprawl into the road on either side, making the busy road even thinner. Add in to the mix a four hour rush-hour and it becomes hazardous to walk, finish off with an afternoon of monsoon rain storm leaving great, deep puddles everywhere and the going gets hazardous. A walk along the market is a constant hustle and sidestepping assault course around filthy water, meandering by haphazard, jagged edged stalls, dodging madly driven mini-buses and kamikaze motorbikes riding the wrong way up the street. Any moment a car of bus can veer out the way of mid-road obstacles, brushing arms and bags, tapping the legs of the unwary. Manoeuvring along is a quasi-Zen art of having one eye to the left, one eye to the right, one eye in front and one eye behind with the last eye on the ground scanning for puddles, rubbish or metal bases of stalls jutting out. Even then bag-laden shoppers or the impatient, homeward bound, may barge through scattering others left and right, often into the path of close-as-it-can-get traffic.
Just to top it off the occasional cow will slowly chew its way along, unused to any hindrance, being allowed free reign as a religious symbol, ignoring all the hubbub around, or so it would seem. Never stand in their way or, worse, between them and food, for suddenly they become animated, they know how to use their long horns and a swift dig in the stomach, easily lifting feet from the ground, is dispensed. The careless walker left bruised and embarrassed in case some huge faux pas has been made, but it’s alright, the cow is just administering a blessing, say laughing locals before hustling on their way. A blessing the walker could have done without.

Day 17 – Smile.

Smile 2

An enigmatic smile. Frozen on a thousand faces, staring bizarrely, on every street. What do they know? Do they have a secret plan, in waiting? Will they rise up? Animate against their enslavers, forcing them to where terrible fashions, day after day.
In front of most, downmarket, clothes shops on Delhi’s streets can be found the same dummies, usually of one or other of two types. The older style, in brittle cream plastic, chipped, eerie and unchanged for years, looking like stills from a fifties sci-fi movie, an atomic family frozen by deathly rays. The other is the modern, metallic plasticised version, again like a figure from a sci-fi movie, this time from the nineties, made of liquid metal, Terminator style. There seem to be only these two types everywhere, as though there is only one manufacture who has updated their style only once in fifty years, or maybe its the shopkeepers, all buying the same, all following each other believing what is right for one is right for all, they know what they like and like what they know. That is their place in their world, to change would be to appear to others to think they are better than their station and this would be frowned upon by their peers, their perceived superiors and their self-perceived inferiors. A mirror on the society the shopkeepers live in, one where everyone has a perceived place in a forever stationary hierarchy, the rung on the ladder where someone is born is the rung they and their family stay, and their children, and their children’s children. a rung may break and they may slip down but the rung above is always just out of reach. Still they smile, the shopkeepers and their symbols of status quo, the dummies.