Ganesha from Pushkar

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.

Sony 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.


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