Ganesha from Pushkar

日本語
My second solo photo exhibition “Tales of Fuji | Voice of Nature” had ended on June 21, and I came back to the Fujisan area. I do exhibitions in summer every year. It feels like the summer solstice is the New Year’s day for me. I’m in the midst of the New Year holidays now. I briefly stop shooting Fujisan and am going to travel Hokkaido from tomorrow.

DSC03307Sony Alpha 7 + Canon New FD 50mm f/1.4 via a mount adapter

When I came back home from Tokyo, I received an order-made frame that I ordered before I went to Tokyo. I bought this frame to put in the handcraft painting of Ganesha, which I bought in Pushkar, India back in 1996. Since I was a backpacker and travelling for a long period of time, I usually didn’t buy anything that was absolutely necessary. But I ordered a team of Indian craftsmen in the town to create this for 4000 rupees.

All tourists are badly cheated in India. The Japanese are doubly so. For people coming from developed nations, everything looks so cheap in India that everyone can’t tell whether or not the prices are reasonable. After travelling in India for a certain period of time, everyone realises that they were badly ripped off and stop trusting Indian vendors. I practiced ancient meditation techniques called Vipasana at an ashram before coming to this town. This experience purified my mind and made me unable to distrust anyone.  As a result, I bought a lot of things that weren’t necessary and this painting of Ganesha is one of such.

When they asked me to buy their painting, I willingly agreed to pay the price and they started to create it. A western guy stayed at the same hotel told me that the price was exorbitant, and I became suspicious if I was ripped off. I gradually got grumpy. They try to jolly me up saying “Just let us know what you don’t like. We will fix it,” and I had them repaint the eye of the mouse in the picture a couple of times. In retrospect, I should’ve paid the price more willingly without becoming grumpy. It took a week for craftsmen to create the painting, and 4000 rupees was probably a reasonable price. I was too young and didn’t know how to behave properly. The painting is actually very good.

_9E59856Nikon D800E + AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED

I pasted this fabric painting on the fusuma (paper-covered sliding door) in my parents’ house. No one lives in the house anymore. The house will be demolished soon. So I salvaged the Ganesha from the house in Saitama and brought it back to my house. Yestrday, I received the frame and so I put the painting in it. It looks really awesome! I should’ve done it twenty years ago but I didn’t have a clue on how to get an order-made frame back then. Anyway, it is really nice to decorate your house with your favourite pictures as they enrich your life. After all, it was a very good investment because I feel better each time I look at the painting.


Recently, Ganesha became very popular but he was rather unknown in Japan back then. I knew Ganesha before visiting India because my favourite role playing game Megami Tensei featured many Indian deities. I was very pleased when I saw posters of such gods in the streets of India when I visited there for the first time.

復活のガネーシャ

私の二回目の個展『富士物語|自然の聲』が盛況のうちに幕を閉じ、二週間に渡る私の東京での生活も終わった。私にとっては年に一回の個展が一つの区切りのようになっているので、夏至が元日のようなものだ。

DSC03307Sony Alpha 7 + Canon New FD 50mm f/1.4 via a mount adapter

家に帰ると、個展が始まる前に注文していたオーダーメイドの額がちょうど届いた。額に収めるのは布に描かれたガネーシャの絵なのだが、これは約20年前にインドのプシュカルという町で買ったものだ。長期放浪旅行中だったのでなるべく余計なものは買わないようにしていたのだけど、4000ルピーで職人が手描きで作ってくれるというので頼んでみた。

インドに行くと観光客はみんな騙される。特に日本人はカモにされる。ある程度長期滞在しているとふっかけられるのに慣れてきて、インド人を信用しなくなるのだが、私はこの町に来る前にヴィパーサナという瞑想をやっていたので、すっかり心が浄化されていた。この時期は人を疑うことができず、ホイホイと言い値でいろいろな物を買ってしまったのだが、そのうちの一つがこのガネーシャだ。
最初はにこにこと笑って制作を依頼したのだが、同じ宿に泊まっていた西洋人が「あんたそれ高いよ。ふっかけられてるんじゃないの?」と言ってきたため、私の心に疑念が生じた。だんだんと不機嫌になっていく私の機嫌を取ろうと「気に入らないところがあれば直しますから!」とインド人の絵師が言ってきたので、ネズミの目を三回ほど描き直させた記憶がある。今となってみれば、職人が一週間ほど掛けて制作するのだから4000ルピーはそう高い買い物ではなかったと思う。実際に出来は良い。もう少し気持ちよく払ってあげれば良かった、と今になってみれば後悔するが、当時の私は20代半ばの若造で馬鹿だった。

_9E59856Nikon D800E + AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED

実家の押入れの襖が破れていたのでそこに貼り付けていたのだけど、実家が取り壊されることになったので回収して、家で保管していた。東京から帰ってきた次の日に額が届いたので、さっそく額装してみたのだが、これが凄く良い。めちゃくちゃ気に入った。やっぱり自分が好きな絵や写真を額装して家に飾るのって凄く大事なことだと思う。見るたびに気分が良くなるんだったら、安いもんです。

『夢をかなえるゾウ』で日本でもかなり有名になったガネーシャさまですが、当時の日本ではまだあまり知られていませんでした。私は女神転生シリーズが好きだったのでインドの神様の大半はすでに知っていて、インドでいたるところに神様のポスター等が貼ってあるのを見てとても嬉しかった。

 

2 thoughts on “Ganesha from Pushkar

  1. Naresh

    Dear Kurita san,
    I feel very sad to read 20 years ago you were cheated in Pushkar. In fact I feel ashamed of my fellow country men who are so unscrupulous. If there is any way I can undo the wrong done to you, please feel free to tell.
    Regards,

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *