Children of the fort

Brother and sister

Young ones wandering at Agra Fort. Maybe looking for tourists to harangue. Or to be harangued by tourists (read: me).

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Cool marble, bare feet


What do you do when it’s hot outside and you have to remove your shoes before visiting a mosque?

Run like a little kid on the shaded marble floor!

These from an out of the way mosque at the beautiful Agra Fort.

Continue reading this entry » » »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Delhi street gang: Anti-social elements or utter cuteness?

Kids on the prowl

Last December, I explored some old, trash-strewn monuments and stumbled upon a rag-tag bunch of street hoodlums — anti-social elements, as the Indian parlance goes. Thye were running around historical sites hundreds of years old.

And they were up to no good.

Not really. They’re actually adorable kids who just wanted to play. So I decided to have a bit of portrait fun. See below.

Continue reading this entry » » »

Tags: , , , , ,

Tea time with Subadra

Kaise ho?

The youngest of the students at school and (though I’m not supposed to admit it) probably the cutest. Meet Subadra, a giggly but quiet four-year-old.

She didn’t speak to me until four weeks in, when I helped her say the words egg, nest and nose during an afternoon of English homework. She loved to play peek-a-boo and and hide-and-seek, but she almost always would never speak.

I also tried to teach her the appropriate response to “Kaise ho?” or “How are you?” But she usually just ran away giggling. Unless I pinned her down and forced a “Mai tik hun” (“I am OK.”) out of her, one word at a time.

Absolutely darling.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Someone needs a hug

Sittal (center) and Sushila

Sittal (center) getting some love from Sushila

I’m routinely impressed with the resilience of my students. Few cry. I’d be generalizing, but I can’t say I see their general outgoing spirit in American children of the same ages.

Sometimes, however, they do get a little grumpy. Sittal, a five-year-old who loves it when I pick him up over my head, just needed a pick-me-up.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Learning to lace them up

Shoes are difficult when you're that little

This is Anurag, one of the younger students at the school where I volunteer “teach.” He’s four and some change.

He knows how to tie his school shoes, but hasn’t quite figured out how to put them on without collapsing the heels. I help him from time to time, but he doesn’t have much patience and often just runs off with shoes half on.

I also order him to clean his nose regularly, because he’s usually snotty. “Tumhara nak saph karo!” Damn cute, I’ll say.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

≤20 seconds: Dancing lemurs

I’ve decided to begin posting video shorts — ≤20 seconds — of particularly compelling, stunning or funny scenes. Think slice-of-life moments that cry out for more than just a photo. I’ll be adding these from time to time to the blog in a separate category, as well as to a new YouTube channel.

The first (more lemur-induced laughs) comes from southern Madagascar at the Reserve de Nahampoana.

I can already hear exactly how at least one of you will giggle.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,