I heard it before I saw it. A cacophony of percussion, organ, accordion, and loud chants. As I cut through the dense crowd, the Hare Krishnas leapt and shouted past me with joyful abandon.
But I caught a glimpse of a contrasting figure that I wanted to photograph when he circled back in my direction. He was an older solemn fellow and — judging by his richly colorful garments and tchotchke-adorned hat — it seemed he was leading the procession.
Things happen very fast and it’s not until I get to the studio that I have an opportunity to examine my photographs. Between my having seen the unusual baubles perched on his head and my ignorance of the religion, I actually thought the dignitary was holding a fake hand for some symbolic reason.
Upon closer inspection I realized that his hand is not holding anything. Rather, it is playing an accordion obscured by his blue ceremonial scarf. The “fake” hand is actually from a female companion who had hooked her arm into his. Even after having realized this, the even pink color of the hand, the long slender fingers — especially the thumb — and the arc of the fingertips still looks artificial and disembodied to me.
The activity preserved in this image remains under my study. Is there anything that looks unusual to you?
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