Ten Rupees, A collection of portraits taken in India.Sep 11 2012 ·
Kevin Goss-Ross is a freelance photographer new to the city of Dublin, Ireland. He recently moved here from the sleepy, sweaty town of Durban in South Africa. Design Stories presents Ten Rupees, a journey in India described by him.
The cold bites at my skin. I didn’t pack for this. I was told that India would be a place of unbearable, choking heat, but here we are sitting around a smoky little fire. The man sitting next to me hands me a pipe. There is an entire crowd gathered around us but – militaristic and insufferable as they are in this country – the police aren’t going to try anything. I take a respectable lungful and pass it to the god to my left. He shifts his trunk-like growth to accommodate the pipe and reveals a slobbery, mucus encrusted hole of a mouth. Thank god I smoked before him.
Feeling rather too toasty I thank the people gathered around the fire, get up and walk towards where I left my shoes. No one is allowed wearing shoes around this man. He is the supposed reincarnation of Ganesha, after all. When I get to the edge of the crowd who have all gathered to pay their god for a blessing I spot my shoes under a cow adorned with orange flowers’ hoof. This might be tricky… the cows know their place around here. An amused local laughs at my worried face and gently slaps the cow’s flanks to make it move off of my now thoroughly compacted footwear. “Joke’s on you, cow” I laugh to myself, “the shoes are leather”. I walk along the Ganges in the hope of finding anything which resembles food and come across a beggar dressed in orange. He mentions for me to sit next to him and with breath reeking of cheap wine and stoned slits for eyes he starts telling me that he is a baba: a holy man who depends on people to give him money to survive since he isn’t allowed working.