Happy Mother’s day!

My Pondicherry mother

Mom on a boat. Love you, Mom.

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Hunting for fish

The all important fish finder

Working on a diving story and feeling nostalgic. Here’s a shot from my exploration diving trip through Pondicherry. In the middle is the Garmin sounder that helps us choose where to dive. Out of five dives, three came up mostly empty.

But it was still a hell of a trip, diving waters no one has ever dived before.

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Pondicherry kids look into the camera

Down by the jetty. And I didn’t have to pay them.

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Misunderstanding soda

I prefer my Pepsi triangular

Pondicherry signboard.

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Fruit wallah

Hot day, heaven on wheels

Either I’ve built up some immunity or I’ve just been lucky. But I now eat roadside stall fruit with impunity. This guy was pretty clean about it all, as you can see below.

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Old men and the sea

Early morning

Plank boat

I have a fondness for fisherpeople. Being on the southeastern coast of India, Pondicherry is full of them.

They’re poor, diligent and seafaring. They’re lives are precariously tethered to the global marine ecosystem, something we in the West (and particularly in the Midwest, away from coasts) tend to ignore. Yet it’s our pollution that causes stuff like this, for example.

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Street life

Street ledge home

A family keeps its household wares sprawled out on a step along the sidewalk where they sleep. The New Horizon Sugar Mill is now defunct.

Pondicherry hip shot.

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Bright, upright Pondicherry

I don’t like vertical images. They are particularly unflattering on a blog.

But here are two from colorful Pondicherry. Sue me.

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Getcha hot, salty nuts here!

Masala peanut

Peanuts are my favorite snack in India, by far. Maybe my favorite snack anywhere (especially since I learned baby carrots are simply shaved big carrots).

The photos come from an afternoon visit to a peanutwallah in Pondicherry. Mom bought peanuts, I took pictures, he demanded an extra 10 rupees.

I’m used to the fact that people want money when I take their picture. I treat cases individually. For journalistic photos, I try to explain in bad Hindi about photoJ ethics and how I don’t pay for photos. In personal settings (i.e., photos of a peanut wallah), I’ll usually just cough up the extra few rupees. C’est la vie.

I do balk at extortionate demands. Like the one from the guy who wanted five hundred rupees for a picture of his monkey (true story) in Delhi. He got 50 out of me and that was a stretch, made possible only because the monkey backflipped. PETA was crying.

I should also note that the peanut wallah also had a disabled right eye. Disabilities can often relegate someone to the bottom of the economic ladder in India. Indeed, as a street snack vendor, he’s one of the country’s huddled masses living on a couple dollars a day.

But he does roast a damn fine peanut.

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Chalk outlines

Street art makes me happy

Pondicherry graffiti.

I’m traveling at the moment in Rajasthan with Joel and Kate. I won’t be near the Internet much for several days. Enjoy preset blog posts.

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