MONSOON: Drenched in Delhi

SEPTEMBER 17, 2014

Last Thursday was my favorite trip to Shajahanabad, aka, Old Delhi.

I was wandering around the Jama Masjid when the sky quickly turned reddish-brown and the wind kicked up dust from the street. I was near Karim's, a famous Mughal restaurant, when it started to rain. Hard. I ran under a tarp awning and gestured something like "EH, how 'bout that rain" at my new friends who shared the dry space with me. They smiled. We watched people shielding their hair with newspapers as they ran by trying to avoid the overflowing pot holes in the road. I dabbled with the thought of eating at Karim's while the storm passed, but I decided to break out the umbrella and find some photos instead.

With a push of a button, the umbrella popped up and I took a few steps out into the pouring rain. I stood in the middle of the street so I could get a photo of the Jama Masjid and anyone who happened to be out in the street like me. There was not much traffic... just a few bicycle rickshaws, a couple of people walking/running and the occasional auto rickshaw. Standing in the middle of that street, I felt at least 100 eyes on me. What is this guy doing?, I imagine them thinking or saying to a friend. I didn't get to feel self-conscious for too long as I saw an interesting looking man walking down the street. He had a large wooden stick he was using to walk down the street. I crouched and photographed him as he passed. Scenes played out in front of me and I tried my best to capture them. I spent 20 minutes there and walked to a couple of different locations around the corner.

I photographed with a Fuji X-Pro 1 camera and the 10-24mm lens, neither of which are "weather resistant", but they certainly stood up to a good amount of rain that was blowing horizontally in the wind. I wouldn't say the camera was drenched, but it definitely was covered with water droplets. I used the upper part of my shirt to dry off the lens filter every 30 seconds or so. Over the next 40 minutes, I used up all the dry bits of my clothing until there was nothing left. Luckily, the rain turned into a light drizzle at that point.

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