Photo Essays, Spot News and Stock Photography

DELHI PHOTOS – Mayhem and Madness in India

The following blog has been contributed by Kristian Bertel. The photo essay can be viewed on DPI’s website.

 

In dust, noise and chaos, the photographer Kristian Bertel takes you here to Delhi, home to 16.7 million people, where ruins of Mogulriget and Medieval basements are scattered around office buildings, shopping centers and intermittent highways.

 

India’s capital.

Delhi is to a degree a city surrounded by dust, noise and chaos, but it is also a city that holds so much more. As an eastern Rome, India’s capital is full of relics from ancient empires. A fierce flood of armies has been through the ages over the Indus Ganges and put their mark on the defeated city before their empire has dissolved, which conquerors before them also did. Modern Delhi which has fine restaurants and exquisite shopping centers , is a chaotic plot of medieval fortresses, dusty bazaars and colonial townscapes. And all is a short trip from Agra, another former capital of the Mogul kingdom and home to India’s most famous landmark. the Taj Mahal.

 

Mayhem and chaos in Delhi

To get lost in the mud of basements of Old Delhi is more than just a wild shopping trip, it’s a staggering bombardment for the senses. Aromatic incense and fragrant spices mix with car, body odor and worse, namely the sound impressions, consisting of a constant cacophony of cry, bark, music and car horns. Here you just do not get a shopping experience, you also get life completely under the skin, intense and unforgettable. As a traveler, the best time to come here in the morning is where there is actually room to get in the streets, but the Chandni Chowk district should also be tried to be experienced when it’s rush hour as this is a truly unique experience in Delhi.

The bazaars in Delhi have entire neighborhoods with certain kinds of goods. In Chandni Chowk you will find clothes, electronics and stuff that breaks, as soon as you buy them. In other basar areas you can find stuffed booths featuring silver jewelry, sari, shawl, chiffon and lehanga, long skirts, while other booths feature slippers with a sewn pattern and beautiful sneakers. You can also visit the spice market, packed with bunks of red chili, gingerbread, tumeric reddish, perberkorn, coriander seeds, cardamom, dried fruits and nuts. Here is really something for everyone.

 

Dilli ki chaat

Delhi is a great place if you are fond of food and the local little ones all day, either by the many stalls in the old town with dilli ki chaat, which are light meals and salads or in the fine restaurants where you can have party meals. India’s capital New Delhi is centrally located in Delhi, and is a new district built early in the 20th century. Like the rest of the Ganges Delhi is flat like a pancake. The only geographical features of significance are the Yamuna River, flowing down the eastern side of the city, and the Aravalli Mountains, which for a wide but low arc across the western side of the city. In the western part of Delhi, the city is crowded oin the almost congested Old and Central Delhi, and to the southwest are wide avenues in New Delhi, built by the British rule under their empire. The rest is an endless urban spread of suburbs and slums, while the southwest of Delhi, which is close to New Delhi, is generally richer.

 

Historic city during the Mogul kingdom

India’s capital has been reborn several times over the past couple of thousand years, partly explaining why so much happens here. In addition to dust, noise and chaos, Delhi also boasts stunning architecture, culture and residents coming from all over the country,good food and even better shopping. The heritage of the stormy clouds is one of the biggest attractions. Old Delhi embraces the desolate splendor of majestic Jama Mashid, the red fort and other monuments from the historic capital of the Mogul kingdom, adorn the old city that was the royal jewels. Modern Delhi has its foundation on a city that has existed for centuries. Different monuments lie scatter across the region, revealing the many empires that have invaded Delhi and made it to their homes.

 

Delhi’s growing population

Delhi is the best place in India where you can experience all that brings people to India. The city where history, culture, food, spirituality, madness and mystery blend together in a big pear wrap. Here in Delhi you can see the extreme scenarios, who at one time go as a photographer, but also get some travel-seekers to disgust at India. Here the travel experience is spicy with poverty, pollution and overpopulation.

The city has grown exponentially over the years and continues to do so to accommodate the growing population, currently estimated at more than 16 million in just under 1500 square kilometers. It is part of the larger National Capital Region, also referred t as the NCR, which includes the neighboring Pradesh and Gurgaon in Haryana. The latter is known especially for its call centers and shining shopping malls to India’s growing middle class.

 

Coexistence in the million city

In Delhi, the different layers of modern India are all in existence, and the metropolis’s opposites quickly become clear to the visitor. Newborn Indians talk on mobile phones and are transported in luxury cars with their own driver and comfortable air conditioning while dozens of beggars try to get through the day in the streets just outside the tinted and shielded car windows.

 

 

 

WETR 760-AM Knoxville, Tennessee

Yesterday, January 20th, DPI was featured on WETR’s talk radio call-in program (www.talkradio923.com). Alan Diskin is the moderator for his Radio Rewound program. I had a little less than 30 minutes to explain what DPI is all about and to answer questions from other call-in listeners. Our thanks go out to Alan and WETR for the opportunity to present DPI to a wider audience. We invite our viewers to submit questions of a photographic nature to us at: info@dispatchpressimages.com. Our advice may be of help in your decision making process.

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Peter "Pete" Bonacchi

ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

If you have been following DPI for some time you will recognize the photo “Vietnam Vets“, Brooklyn, N. Y. (1985). It is the last of the four rotating photos on our homepage. The soldier on the right with the Purple Heart and Silver Star was my very good friend Peter “Pete” Bonacchi. Pete is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, section 60. This section is in the front part of the cemetery overlooking the Potomac about halfway between the front entrance and the Pentagon.

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The Olive Oil Business

THE OLIVE OIL BUSINESS

Rules are made to be broken. A studio photograph is not something that we would normally post. This photograph is that exception. We encourage and welcome any comments from our viewers. We call this photo “The Olive Oil Business“; U. S. c.1899. Perhaps you had to see the film, but if you did not you must have been living in a cave and off the grid. Our interpretation is purely subjective and we intend no disrespect. Having seen the film you have to ask the question does art imitate life?

Taken during the Korean War c.1952

“Korea: Behind The Barbed Wire”

We present an iconic photograph taken during the Korean War, “Korea: Behind The Barbed Wire” c.1952. As Korea remains a divided nation we can only hope that one day freedom will prevail from the Yalu to Pusan. Having served in the military in Korea from January 1969 to September 1970, my feelings for the Korean people remain strong to this day. This photograph is symbolic of the nature of the conflict from a war that has never ended.

Firemen: Hold The Line

FIREMEN: HOLD THE LINE

We believe that an iconic image deserves its own blog. The U. S. location and exact date of “Firemen: Hold The Line” is unknown.  The assessment of the date is 1919. The term “hold the line” is a military term that we think is appropriate as the fire rages.  A sign partially reads “Electric City” at the extreme left which may give a clue to the location. Possibilities seem to range almost anywhere from Jacksonville, Florida to the state of Washington based on research.

Tuco, Texas (1930)

HOMAGE TO MARGARET KEANE

My family had purchased two copies of paintings by Margaret Keane known for her “Keane Eyes” a/k/a “Big Eyed Waifs”. As a youngster I remembered the haunting eyes of these children in Keane’s paintings. They were very popular at the time. So it is that the lead photograph, “Tuco, Texas (1930)” brought back those memories to me of long ago. We cannot see the eyes of these two young girls. Strong sunlight made them squint, and what we have are their eyes represented by large dark circles because they are in shadows. I see the same sadness in the closed eyes of these two girls growing up in the Dust Bowl as those represented in Keane’s paintings. Perhaps it is also the dust forcing them to keep their eyes closed.

Keane

Open range land in eastern Nevada outside of Currie.

OPEN RANGE

To be honest, the motivation for this image is the film “Open Range” starring Robert Duvall and Kevin Costner. It airs frequently on cable television. I had thought that the concept of free grazing or open range was long dead. Not so, to my surprise. The concept of open range is alive and well in certain areas of the U. S. particularly in some western states.

The photo in this blog was taken just outside of Currie, Nevada. Currie is essentially in the middle of nowhere in eastern Nevada about 25 miles west of the Utah border. It is a ghost town today with a population of about 20. For that reason we have included it in our “Ghost Towns of the American Southwest” collection.

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Crowded streets of downtown Chicago. The Fair Store is seen at the right. c.1924

DOWNTOWN CHICAGO

A recently acquired image of a crowded city scene is “Downtown Chicago“; c.1924. An amateur photo of exceptional quality developed in a home darkroom. DPI has a number of images taken in Chicago, but this one is special. The Fair Store is visible on the right as well as the 20th Century Cafe at the left. The hustle and bustle of the Roaring 20s in the Windy City.

Two priests give a blessing for the safety of the workers.

MOUNT RUSHMORE

DPI has a collection of photos of Mt. Rushmore under construction or as it stands completed. This latest image, “Mount Rushmore“, is early on in the construction phase as two priests appear at the site probably to give a blessing for the safety of the workers. Jefferson’s nose appears in the photo. This is an indication that the date of this image is most likely in the spring of 1928. Holes drilled into the rock face for placing dynamite are also visible.