Naga Sadhús rezando al despertar

Harry Fisch. " Naga Sadhus, Katmandu"

Back in my city, a photographer, looking at this picture asked me:

- "Do they express interest in the result ?"
- Yes, I answered,  Like any human being. Be it an actor or a criminal :-) . Much more if they feel or discover that they have beeen respectfully and seriously photographed. In this precise case, I went to their "home" the place were they sleep and wake up. Apart from tourist and religious visitors.

Those are Sadhus. Holly men that survive from alms. Many of them are supposed to have made wows of poverty. They pray, give blessings to the visitors at Pasupatinath, the oldest Hindu temple in Kathmandu on the banks of the holy BagmatiRiver,. Devotees of Shiva and sadhus flock to Pashupatinath and many Nepalis choose to be cremated on the banks of the holy river. This picture was made very early in the morning, just when they were waking up, before the visits of the devotees and the start of the cremations. As a matter of fact, I entered the place were they meet and sleep. This was clearly a behind the scenes capture...

When will go back to Kathmandu, the first thing I will do is bring them their pictures, big and, possibly, framed. In my experience this is a present that is accepted with pleasure and gets us (them and me) to another level of reciprocal understanding.

This "mechanism" (Photo-going back-discussing the photo) is what we (subject pictured and the photographer) enjoy the most.

It opens for both sides new horizons: the "American" tourist is less a tourist and the Nepali "naked" Sadhu is less naked. This new situations changes our perception of "the others" and allows, even with an eye contact without words, a new relation on each future photography, which, again, becomes only an excuse for another relation...

A last curiosity: they are smoking "Ganja", a variety of Cannabis. Funny enough, they smoke it without problem whilst a foreigner smoking it will be in very serious problems in Nepal...

Me  acerqué durante dos días consecutivos a Pashupatinath, Katmandú,  a la parte trasera, al lugar en el que duermen.  Las seis de la mañana, trás bambalinas, el momento en el que se despertaban, antes de las visitas  y del comienzo de las cremaciones.

Al ver esta foto ya en Madrid, me pregunta un amigo:

- ¿Y les interesa el resultado de la foto?
-   Desde luego -le contesté- como a cualquier persona, sea actor o criminal.

Les interesa especialmente  si  entienden que la fotografía es  realizada con interés y respeto. De una manera seria.