The Cowherds

June 10th, 2011

Hyderabad is a fantastic and interesting place.

We were lucky enough to have a great driver who doubled as a tour guide on my trip there. As we were driving on a highway, I spotted the ruin of a mosque rising up from the small buildings to the right of us.

I asked the driver to stop, and we entered the narrow streets and headed towards it. And there it was, around the bend. Absolutely beautiful. Overgrown with green. Small plants and flowers growing out of cracks. Hundreds of years old, by the looks of it. Neglected. Crumbling. Seeming forgotten despite the bustle of life around it.

The mosque turned out to be inaccessible. Walled off from all sides. The driver, a man in his sixties, told us that he used to come often to that neighbourhood as a child. But as sectarian troubles began to increase between Hindus and Muslims, gradually the Muslims left the neighbourhood.

Round the back of the mosque, we came across a herd of cows and goats, tied up and docile.

Turned out the Hindu family nearby were raising them. Also turned out that the family elder was our driver’s wrestling instructor when he was a child. They hadn’t seen each other in some fifty years. It was an extraordinary moment.

We got to spend a little time with the family, and eventually I was allowed to take pictures.

The elder:

The son:

Father & son:

I feel privileged to have gotten a glimpse at a different side of life in India. One not many people get to see.

More coming soon!


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Posted in Animals, People, Portraits, Travel/Urban | Comments (1)

One Response to “The Cowherds”

  1. Barbara Says:

    OH MY GOD !!!!
    Ziad, that s the same way i saw India, Hermann Hesse a famous writer in the last century said something like(my translation of it might be not so good) when u ve been in India with ur soul and not as a tourist on a luxury cruise-ship,….„Wer einmal nicht nur mit den Augen, etwa als Luxusreisender auf einem Touristendampfer, sondern mit der Seele in Indien gewesen ist, dem bleibt es ein Heimwehland, an welches jedes leiseste Zeichen ihn mahnend erinnert.)
    All this misery and luck of a decent life like we have here in parts of “our world”, when you are in India, siting among the poor people during an event, or when you are somewhere in a train travelling the way they do you will always be heartly welcome, as you would be part of the family….
    Ziad, i just love your photos!!! please they are much better what i saw when they present the photo of the year, please be part of the next upcoming event…
    So kindly excuse typographical errors, grammatical solecisms and ludicrous auto-correction.

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