Monday, March 29, 2010

Between the babas

Backstage at Babastock
Kathmandu, Nepal

Ever wonder what those sadhus from Durbar Square - the ones who want money for photographs - do when they're not out begging for alms? They chillax backstage at Kathmandu's Pashupatinath Temple, in the babas' ashram.  These shots were taken just after Shivratri, 2009.
Backstage with Baba

Sadhus (male and female - females are called Sadhvis) come from India as well to be at Pashupati for Shivratri.
Tiffin Time for Baba
By tradition, the Nepal government was obliged to provide ganja, or at least subsidize its purchase, for the Hindu holiday Shivratri (which occurs annually in February). The new, non-Royal, non-Hindu government of Nepal may put a stop to that. Last year the newspaper featured reports of complaining Babas - they didn't receive the customary amount of rupees to subsidize the holiday smokfest.

I found the Pashupati Babas - while quite laid-back - to be also rather career-minded. Most of them make a few rupees as photographer's models. They all had the equivalent of press kits - a stash of carefully-preserved photos and even magazine clippings they had appeared in. The fellow below is showing off some of his portfolio.

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