Monday, August 06, 2007

Faces of Brickfields

I like street photos and especially the people, not the posed shots, not model shoots but good down to earth every day people that you see everyday, sitting by your side while eating chapati or tosai, or waiting by the side of the road for the bus, the news vendor with his huge stack of dailies riding his bike breakneck along the heavy morning traffic or that idiot of a driver that just won't stop tailgating you an inch away, but thats what makes life so interesting. Sorry for sidetracking, yes people, I find that the most mundane pictures of people sometimes gives me the best impact. The good honest expression, the easy going smiles and even the occasional scowl that says 'I'll kill you if you take my picture' look. During the Flickr walk around Brickfields, I found people to be so varied, so expressive and interesting that it just blew me away. Here's a gallery of the recent walk.


Our next football star team, at least they won't be trashed 5-1 by China in the AFL. We saw a bunch of kids playing in the school field and Visithra and Magnus (love them for it) gave them encouragement to pose for us which took them some time to warm up to us but when they finally did, they were such darling. Who knows one they one of these youngsters will finally life Malaysia's name in the international circuit. Hopefully...


This must be the gem of the day's photographs and it was just by pure luck. I don't think I'd have to courage if Liyin didn't do her magic by stalking this poor girl and her mum. You should have seen her, sneaking along the back lanes as she inches near them and when she was caught she acted so innocently until these two ladies couldn't say no. Well the kid ran and Liyin even pursued her into the house, enough said. But before that I caught the picture I wanted, the kid's expression and the setting was in a word priceless. Taken along the back lane of the government quarters, Brickfields.


A much needed rest was this cook's reward after a hard day serving lunch to the hundreds of patrons. I can't remember the name of the restaurant but it was the one below Peking Hotel at the intersection between the road to Bangsar and KL Sentral.


Again another photo opportunity thanks to Hans, Praveen and Visithra. They accoutered this Indian lady and her friend when they were leaving the Fatima Church after Sunday service. I would've imagined they'd be pissed to be held up for people to photograph, at a back lane to boot but they were good natured and even laughed with us. Liyin was still trying to take her pic when a car was honking her to vacate the middle of the road.




I'd never imagined that I'd see this sight. I've always read in Brickfields: A history of how the author used to stand by the road side and wait for the Indian cendol man to slowly shave the ice over a wooden block with a blade attached to it before putting the sweetly cendol, santan and gula melaka for the finest dessert one can find. But walking down Jalan Berhala, right smack in front of the Mahavihara temple, lo and behold here he was in the flesh. I missed the days when I had cendol below the tree at the intersection of the road along Jalan Teluk Sisek with a plate of steaming rojak. This was so nostalgic and a bit sad as I can imagine in a few years he will be another memory, and the only cendol to be had will be from mobile shack or the foodcourts with their electric shavers, sigh.


Early morning and the stalls were busy setting up their display for the day. Garland sellers are a common sight along Jalan Tun Sambatan due to the high number of Indians and temples here. The garlands, used as offerings of prayers are strung fresh. I learnt an interesting fact, there were grasses among the flowers and when inquired, the fellow said this was because offering to Ganesha (the elephant God) had to have them. Interesting fact, which comes to another point, my grandma was always mad at the old Indian lady that comes by her place to pluck her hard grown flowers to make garlands hehe.


The ice cream man is another familiar face, found at most places with a large crowd we met him at the entrance to the Mahavihara. Ais krim potong, ais krim import, asi krim cone, apa-apa pun ada. Nothing like a good cool scoop of milky flavoured delight on a hot day, if Han may like to add.


I absolutely adored her cute little feature. I think others like Ekar did her more justice but I don't have a dedicated 50 mm lens for portraits but I still like my shot. She's such a darling sitting along the steps of the Fatima church and was a bit shy about it but she was a good sport and smiled for us.


A family in prayer outside the main entrance of the Fatima Church. They were a little pensive about their picture taken and I had to wait squatting down for quite a while until they were more comfortable and didn't look so strained at my presence.


Another sporting fellow, posed for Praveen at his stall when I bumped in and also took a shot. We should have more jolly people like this.


A Malaysian classic, breakfast at Mamak, can't live without them. If there's one thing Malaysians can agree on is that we all love to eat and with so many different cuisines, we are so lucky.


The kid was enjoying his morning tea at a road side stall next to the Vivikenada ashram. I liked the lighting and the setting and it was quite the classic typical Malaysian on the street shot.




I never would have known such a shop existed if I never actually went for the walk along Brickfields. A mutton shop along the busiest street in the area. The proprietor was happily sitting outside, belly and all taking in the morning scene. Inside his three associates were busy preparing the cuts of mutton for the customers. Small shop, chopping block and blade, dank smell of freshly cut meat, I loved it and they were ever so good to pose for us.


Shop owner among his multitude of wares along some back lane which I'm sure most people besides the various flat residents even know exists. A typical sundry shop where one can get everything from junk food, groceries or smokes, its not Tesco but its ok.


One of the hazards of photographing people on the street is that you have to remember not everyone likes their picture taken. I've gotten my fair share of evil eye looks and even invectives flying my direction so be careful, you never know if some stranger there will get violent just because you pointed a lens at their face.


I started with the photo of a footballer I'll end with one, well Malaysia Boleh and if you ever have time, take a stroll down the roads less traveled I bet you'll find the most interesting things that you never imagined about right at your doorsteps.

1 comment:

KA® said...

very very interesting blog i must say ... love your composition work on your photos ...

definitely my top 5 in the AllMalaysian Bloggers Project ...
you have my vote!