Friday, October 14, 2011

The "Gamsha"...Yet Another Scarf Fetish

Well, I'll be at the Delhi Photo Festival for most of the day, reviewing photographers' portfolios, and then presenting a seminar Introduction To Multimedia in the afternoon. I shall post something on the event as the day progresses.

However, I discovered yet another type of scarf that fits extraordinarily well in the panoply of photojournalists' scarf collections. It's the gamsha...a cotton scarf worn by many Bengalis, and especially useful for the rickshaw pullers of Kolkata who use it for virtually everything. They range from 35 to 60 rupees depending on quality, and haggling skills of the vendor.

The rickshaw pullers use it as a sarong when they shower, as umbrella when it rains, as face wipes when it's humid and they sweat, a fly swatter....almost exactly like photojournalists use their own scarves.

The one above at 35 rupees is the cheapest version, and is super absorbent.

Seriously, this is a must have for photographers who suffer of scarf-fetish.

Correction: Kaushik Saha, a Bengali photographer living in Delhi pointed out that the correct spelling for the scarf/towel is 'gamchcha. I don't know if the pronunciation differs from what I used, but the rickshaw puller I asked for directions as to where to buy them understood me perfectly.

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