The new Flickr stats device shows that my all-time Most Viewed photo was not my portrait of the Dalai Lama of which I'm so proud, nor even the portrait of my Tamil Muslim friend Mumtaz in the slums of Chennai (though she has quite a following).
It's not even the news photo I snapped of a Tibetan monk being attacked in Kathmandu, which made MSNBC.
It's this photo of a young Telugu lady in Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh, sporting the traditional south Indian half-sari. So far, she's gotten 7,871 individual views (not including my own). I think the half-sari is also called "skirt and thavani" (thavani being the top part).
In these days of internet porn, there is something very comforting about this. As the jewelry salesman said in Breakfast at Tiffany's, "Do they still put the ring in the box of Crackerjacks? It gives one a feeling of...solidarity."
My friends Vijay and Teja still live in Amaravati, the town where the 2006 Kalachakra was performed by the Dalai Lama. Maybe they know the name of this young lady.
The occasion for her special dress was Pongal, the south Indian holiday that falls in mid-January. (It just happened to fall that year during the Kalachakra.) Otherwise, it's increasingly rare to see this elegant dress for young "unmarried" ladies.
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