All I know is that this sadhu is from the Punjab area of India.
The women sadhus at the Maha Kumbh Mela are a small but significant collection of spiritual souls . I have seen them participate in all forms of gatherings that I am allowed to attend and they seem to have all the male sadhus listening with deep respect. Perhaps i could tell you more if I spoke Hindi but alas I am only a friend of this festival.
When I was here twelve years ago there number was still small but they were given choice places in the tent city and revered as they made their way around the festival grounds. Here are a few women that I manage to photograph while making my rounds.
Wandering around Rishikesh this sadhu caught my eye as I passed and I returned to ask if I could take her photograph. She seemed rather pleased that I returned and made this portrait.
This sadhu gave me the beads from around her neck for making her portrait over three separate times. She was very camera shy but liked my manner of getting her to smile. Actually I was acting like Kramer on Seinfeld which has always served me well in India.
This sadhu might have been one of the leaders of her sect because she was here first making sure the tent and campfire were properly aligned to her wishes.
This sadhu wanted to see my palm first before letting me photograph her...I guess I had the right lines there because she was very pleased and put on a good expression after carefully observing my palm.
This sadhu remembered me from twelve years ago and gave me a good blessing for continuing my journey and endeavors in making these portraits.
This is a grab shot that I managed to take during the raising of the Kumbh Mela flag. I never saw her again to try to make a better portrait.
One always wonders what the sadhu is thinking when they barely look at the camera when being photographed.
I found this sadhu up in Laxman Jhula and she was quite taken that I wanted to make a photograph of her.
We had become old friends this sadhu and I because I kept running into her every couple of days. It took a long time to get this image to her and she practically gave up on my promises that the image was coming, truly. In the end I gave her two photographs one day after the other and that made her oh so pleased.
I had photographed this sadhu regularly and she always had a chuckle over my antics in getting a good image. Most of the previous ones had a cluttered background and were unsatisfactory to me. Finally I was at the right place and right time to cepture this clean image of her. I also met her three years previously at the Allahabad Kumbha Mela.
This is one of the very few grab shots I made. This woman sadhu caught my eye in her colorful dress, walking down the main street.
This sadhu never expected to get a photograph of herself because little communication was made at the time of making it. Three days later when I found her she almost cried when I gave her her image. She clutched it with great relish and held it to her heart. This is where giving the photograph back is more rewarding than taking it sometimes.
This was a western lady studying yoga in Ran Jhula who stopped and fed the cow while I was trying to photograph the cow with the view. When she was finished she got up and said "God bless the everloving COW !"
This was a formidable Mahant. The leader of her group and was always entertaining a lot of guests. She got mad at me once because I slightly cut the top of her turban off a little and refused the image. I left it in the tree branches in which she lived under. It was gone an hour later when I returned .
This sadhu was with a group of arrivals and she allowed me to take her image because I gave them my bag of roasted peanuts as an welcome to the Mela present. Sadhus always like a quick snack of any kind thats vegetarian.
I was at a temple after climbing the mountain to Mansa Devi. This little girl would not stop crying out until I came over to take her photograph. Perhaps one day she'll become a Goddess like the one at the temple below.
To see other images of the Sadhus at the Mela see the first post here: