Indian Tourister: The Blues in Daman

The most bizarre group of Indian tourists I have seen are the men from the dry state of Gujarat next door who come to Daman to drink on weekends in groups.

I am talking of the visitors who drink in the hotels along the beach on weekends listening to a live band. Every hotel in Daman has a live band playing on weekends. They begin the show with a couple of bhajan as the men pour their drinks, usually a Sai Baba Bhajan. Strong beer, adulterated IMFL and men gulping drinks to the slow Bhajan. The tables quickly fill up with groups of men in their 30s and 40s from Surat and other parts of South Gujarat. There are a few groups of families from Vapi, next door but they leave early.

After the initial song dedicated to religion, the songs the men come for, start. I expected the latest Bollywood item songs to start anytime but was in for a surprise. The only songs that fly here are sad love songs from the 80s and 70s. Sad love songs or the blues. The men try to outdo each other by requesting songs that are even more depressing than the other. This goes on for the whole evening until everyone is piss drunk and has remembered and relived every single moment of their failed love in the younger days. The families from Vapi then collect their children and leave.

Devadas nights in Daman.


Football in Ahmedabad


Early 21st century temple wall art 


There's a little known beach and a rock face with this spouting water place at Bamangal. 20 kms from Guhagar. Near Hedavi Temple. 


A temple town. Perfect place to catch people who are worried about things in the future and want to hear good things.

Anjanwel, Ratnagiri Dist

शाळा School 

When you first look at thewalls a typical school in India you are stunned by how bright it is. The badly drawn maps, faces of leader, local heroes, lectures on cleanliness, national birds, animals and flags of the country and sometime state. The girl and the boy riding on the rocket like pencil with the world Sarva Siksha Abhyaan written in different languages, the expression of the children in various hues of joy. Then you see the list of toppers and other such marks of time. Look closer and then you see the names, scratches and incomplete stories of the children who went away to the far corners of the country or even planet and will come back someday to see how small the school that grew larger and larger in their memories actually looked.


Imagine the history of India told from the point of view of the millions of horses that stormed in from the steppes up north, the horses that died in the ashwamed yagnas of hopeful invaders, the ones who galloped through the bone dry expanse of Persia, shipped by the millions into the ports on the west coast, Panipat, Talikota, Haldighati, the ones who kicked dust in the brigade grounds and the passes of the Khyber. Through the eyes of racehorses and the white horse named Don who thrills us tourists. 


Resting after pulling pilgrim tourists.

Suranga Date, a friend who saw this photograph on Facebook, had these words to add:

They represent
the feet of some
wishing to pray to
the Powerful Benevolent One,
waiting to receive 

some benefits
in their own lifetime.

But unlike 
some representatives,
they are abandoned once
the work is done;
they have 
no subsidized canteens,
so pensions, 
not even free hooves
for self and family,
free water
or even clean lounges.

There's is just
to remain tied
amidst the dirt
while all the yojanas
go full blast
like the AC 
on the other side...

Svargate, Pune

In Pune, this is the favourite signage image for chicken shops


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