2.5.10

instant karma



The day I did my first experimental American Apparel shoot with Emily ('together we have a voice') - of which you've only seen a few examples of the many gorgeous shots we got that day - I thanked her & the people @ the AA shop on Carnaby Street, then turned the corner and instantly saw this guy, leaning against the wall, with the name of a brand I really like (Massimo Dutti).



He seemed to not mind me shooting him, so I gave him my card, introduced myself, and took a shot or two. Meanwhile, can you make out some orange in the corner? There was this sudden burst of singing and the most incredible crowd appeared out of nowhere, filling the narrow road.



It was the hari krishnas!



In college, we called them the 'orange people' and they were kind of scary. There used to be tons of them on the streets of NY: I'm not talking about the actual monks, who Mr. Dot and I have the highest respect for, but the civilians who take this on. But that day.. it was different. The song they were singing was just SO JOYFUL.

It wasn't that usual 'hari krishna' one, but something quite indescribable. And their clothes.. well let's face it, it's not haute couture, but their colours are quite on trend, and the whole soft knotty draping thing isn't that far off from Burberry Prosrum, don't you think?



The streets weren't that crowded at that moment, but people on the streets were beaming. I swear it was the song: we were all just so indescribably happy. In fact, the image I didn't shoot was the best: a young girl, with her family, probably tourists, because at this point we had turned onto Regent's Street, ran up to them, and something was exchanged, a smile or a gift, and she went running back to her parents, levitating off the ground with happiness. Just dancing in the air.



A wonderful photographer friendnamed David Carol recently asked what three things people wished for. One answer that really touched me was a wish for 'instant karma'.

I don't know what we've collectively done recently to bring on Haiti, then the Ash Cloud, now the Oil Spill, but these three seemingly random events have each brought out something incredibly wonderful in people. So maybe it's not punishment for our sins, but perhaps, an opportunity to pool together and show what we - humanity - are capable of.



My heart goes out to everyone trying to get this oil spill under control, and fears for the wildlife, the birds already in peril, the fishermen.. and thank God that America has the President we do, now more than ever. My dad was in the field of science education, and I'm so proud that he's brought science teachers together to help find a solution. What an inspiring leader.



What inspired me to post this today was a post I randomly caught from a new blogger, Carrottline, about how she's suddenly embracing orange. Every once in a while I feel I need to embrace the colour I wear the least, just to round myself out as a human being. I'll do it in small doses: accent colours, like my nails.



Or the little bit of orange I saw reflected in this window, just at the moment that the Hari Krishnas disappeared from sight, their joyful music trailing behind, in my mind, for the rest of the day.

15 comments:

Visual by Eveline L. said...

Oh I've seen this hare krishna group several times on oxford street and their eneregy is so impressive!
Well anyway, what I wanted to say is that I love Massimo Dutti. I never get tired of the things I buy there. It's not that 'trendy' kind of stuff that survives one season. And even though some of their things aren't exactly cheap (ehh their leather jackets) the quality is pretty good. And I always find it quite funny when I'm trying something on and then I see for example a 60 year old lady trying on exactly the same item. that doesnt happen too often anywhere else, does it?
haha ok enough said now ;)

polka dot said...

That's a good point. I know what you mean: they're an amazing brand. A Danish friend dragged me there & she & I have very different style, and we each found things we fell in love with. I have a very 'ladylike' cardigan that I could easily see an 86 year old lady wearing successfully - or a 16 year old.

That's funny that you saw them, too! It was my first time ; )

thatsorad said...

Wow, those are awesome photos!!! I had never seen a woman Hari Krishna before untill your photo.

the style crusader said...

love this post. i used to love orange and then totally went off of it. now i've got one orang t-shirt that i love. my sister's husband has these horrible bright orange trousers that he's had sine he was like 17 that he'll wear with this really old orange t-shirt and it makes her so annoyed - but he just loves it! it is so stinking hilarious. anyway - back to orange and your post. i like it. xx

Some Style... said...

wow, what a coincidence, indeed! isn't life great with moments like this! you never know what may come around the corner, hehe! ;) really hoping and praying for the oil spill to get in control!

Carrott said...

Thank you so much for the link! And thank you for this amazing blog! Not only you capture great people and great style, but you also let me reflect on different ideas. xx

The Photodiarist said...

Love the photos of the Hari Krishnas . . .

Emily said...

I love the Hari Krishnas so much! Have you ever gotten the free lunch from them before? There is one group of them who hand out delicious Indian food in Torrington Place, right outside of the SOAS buildings for anyone who wants it. It is completely free. They have a small bin for donations, but will give you food no matter what. It is really tasty, and always vegan friendly. I highly recommend this!

travelandtoile.blogspot.com

Altered Spaces said...

Great shots of the Krisnas....I haven't seen any in a very long time either, especially since leaving NYC. Their music and chanting always make me smile. Funny though I don't recall seeing them wearing other colors...especially now that shades of orange are so in- I rather like the teal and orange matchings. Thanks for the :)
Thanks so much for commenting on my young blog
www.alteredspaces1.blogspot.com

THESTREETFASHION5XPRO said...

amazing....gorgeous post

Pearl Westwood said...

I love anyone who is just spreading the love, and I couldnt agree more on the need for instant karma!! x

daisychain said...

what incredible pictures

Platform Princess said...

<3 the Hari's! Every time I see them in the West End I have to stop and boogy a little.

Great post.

xx

C Villamil said...

jill, I can still hear hari krishna because those are some of the sounds, colors that represent my days in London, last photo is great!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Jill, I'm your reader from India...n normally i don't comment..but today had to...cos i was back from a vacation n just visited your blog to read the backlog of your posts that i'd missed reading...n i was surprised to see your wonderful post on the Hare Krishna devotees especially cos i visited the Hare Krishna temple( or Iscon temple,as popularly known here) on my little trip to Bangalore..so it was wonderful to come back to this post :) The temple is THE spiritual place for Krishna devotees from all walks of life...you can feel their energy, devotion and enthusiam and it was a wonderful n serene experience to be there...Thank you for the post and Keep up the good work Jill!