Friendly Neighbourhood.

Nepal is a neighbouring country of India in case you don’t know. I live in India. I guess you know. We got similar traditions, common language, people are nice there and we like them.

Any Indian or for that matter Nepalese, can work, own a property and legally stay for unlimited time in either country. This pact was signed in 1950, also referred as The 1950 Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship.

We don’t get along well with most of our neighbours. Our politicians say, they are mean and we believe. So obviously, you need resources, weapons, infrastructure to keep vigil. Moreover, a recession every eight years, local issues, constipation, too much to deal with so we outsource most of our defence equipment.ย  Thing is, we have to keep a few businesses illegal or outsource them as politicians are always in need of money for elections, foreign trips and Swiss bank account is a common Indian dream.

Talking about outsourcing, the Indian Army has seven Gorkha regiments of Gorkha troops recruited mostly from Nepal. Great warriors, their contribution to India is phenomenon. Former Chief of Staff of the Indian Army, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, once famously said about Gurkhas: “If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gurkha.”

To add here, during the cremation of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, his son Uddhav asked Champasingh Thapa, his father’s assistant for years, to participate in the last rites. In Sena circles, he was referred to as Thackeray’s shadow.

So now that we’ve covered the ground let’s look at the pictures I’ve got for you. I tend to write something, anything, a ritual before I make myself a drink. That keeps me off guilt.

Guilt is a bad trip. Trip to Nepal is on my mind. I strictly advice my friends to keep away from guilt. Bad stuff happens. We make mistakes. Write a poem about it and let it go. Drink and moan over past blunders is a no no. Women? Maybe we’ll talk about it in my next post.

My grandfather was my best teacher. He’d often say, “Son, alcohol is more expensive than ghee(clarified butter)” and ghee was divine to him but so was whiskey. He would take a pause and add, “So, drink wisely and have a good time.”

Anyway. So a little note about the pictures below.
Indian cop nabs two Nepalese at Kanpur railway platform before they can board the train. Why? Just. Corruption. To extract a few bucks from harmless souls is an everyday story in my country rather we are quite adjusted to this as routine.


In the final image cop is counting money.
End of show.

58 thoughts on “Friendly Neighbourhood.

  1. Very interesting information in the first six paragraphs. I, for one, wouldn’t mind reading more about the state of politics, commerce, labour and such from your viewpoint there on the ground.

    Interesting philosophy in paragraphs 7 & 8. There are a few other drugs around that are a lot less risky and harmful than alcohol. Unfortunately they’re all illegal while booze, dangerous stuff, is completely OK. Go figure.

    Interesting “uniform” the cop is wearing. Is there nothing about their attire that identifies them as law enforcement or do they all work “undercover”?

    • Exactly. My grandfather also said never consume substance which has no govt. approval. I’m neither keen at less or more harmful stuff nor is my post by any means suggesting I’m seeking adventure.
      He’s in uniform but Indian cops are allowed to wear personal jackets unlike the armed forces. Short of funds.
      A large section of cops moves around in civil clothes except for the Khaki socks which they love to adorn or short of personal funds, perhaps.
      I have pictures of more cops in personal jacket but here’s the link below of a news article in guardian to authenticate.

        • Looks like three guys having a chat? Very funny, Richard.
          Why don’t you see the mirror and click a picture of yourself. After series of weird comments followed by mails seeking apology not once but 3 times, I’m curious to see how your face look like.

  2. My grandfather used to say โ€œAlcohol is more expensive than butter (In his days)โ€ and butter was his weakness but a drink was divine for him. So when he used to say โ€œAlcohol is more expensive than butterโ€ heโ€™d take a pause and add, โ€œSo drink wisely and have a good time, music pleaseโ€.

    Loved this memory. Grandfather’s are so wise.

    • Let’s nail this thought. Worth it.
      He better not. To mess up with anybody returning from Punjab and that too after a wedding is not a wise thing to do ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Met a Nepalese guy in a pub in south London years ago, spent the whole night talking to him, he originally came from Tibet, but left… Tese photos remind me of that conversation, but all I took was insight, no cash ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Amazing – and the Nepalese were smiling even as they were robbed! It is so sad —

    We have some corruption in Singapore – it is rare, true and makes big news – and we hang them in the sun – starting with politicians, the cops and all the way down to buyers in companies.

  5. Corruption breeds corruption. And I am so sorry for all people who are victims of such behavior and ways of life as depicted in the pictures. It is alive and well all over the world somewhere. And it angers me. I like what your Grandfather’s mantra was. One day this world will not exist as it does now. And the mighty will fall because of themselves.

      • Is it a reproach?
        ย  ๐Ÿ™‚
        How can I talk to so far away from my reality?
        Even if the weapons are an international game that also affect Italy
        and power games are huge, I saw in those pictures all the simplicity and love in the eyes of ordinary people, than normal.

        Grandparents are always wise.
        They know, they lived and they see very well.
        but especially know the value of life.


    • Elena, I’m flattered and touched.
      If the King is insensitive and helpless, what can be expected of his subjects?
      The only hope is the youth of my country, waiting to explode. Either sensibility will prevail or through chaos we’ll find our way back.

  6. Great series of photos. That is a good concept, a photo story. Also it is interesting to hear about how Indians view the Nepalese and the relations between the two countries.

    • Yup, an experiment of sorts. You should try it. Think comic book and shoot it.
      In here, I pushed my luck, took a chance, zoomed in from wide(Master shot) to two shot(Over The Shoulder) and finish with wide again.
      Single frame, it might have looked boring and had I not zoomed out, back to master for the last 3 shots, there would be no story.
      An exceptional relationship. Minus the photo story, what we refer as global village, this has existed now for 63 years.

    • I was so hoping to hear from someone who has experienced it and same same here too
      It’s a well-known fact in Chennai, a large city in South India, you carry bribe money in your shirt pocket while driving. So, when a traffic cop stops you for registration, license anything, no words exchanged, slip money in his hand and move on. Time is precious and business is brisk.
      The effect of this is, films are crafted with a scene or two with the hero bashing up a cop and you have to see the audience reaction. Ha Ha!

  7. I agree – guilt is a heavy load.

    This was such an interesting post, Arjun – even if you wrote it out of boredom. ๐Ÿ™‚ More please!

  8. like this photo-story, they seem so calm and smiling, but I guess is a normal thing something that happens every day, did they tell you anything since you were taking the pictures?

    • I was on the train then, 3 feet behind the door. Not a perfect hide-out but darker in there and that’s the reason the frame is tight.
      Daytime, lights are off and on a station it gets darker inside the train cause the building/structure blocks the sunlight.
      On second thoughts, had it really been a normal event, they sure would have look around casually during the conversation, notice me too. Do trust, I’m safe.

  9. It’s the same shenanigan in the Philippines, too, or so I heard. Cops extort money from motorists. But drivers are breaking laws right and left, anyway. Okay, I don’t make sense.

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