In this ninety-fouth archive story by Kristian Bertel, we portray an Indian man in the Nai Basti neighborhood of Delhi, India.
Read the background story of this archive photo by the photographer.
Delhi is said to be one of the oldest existing cities in the world, along with Jerusalem and Varanasi. Legend estimates it to be over 5,000 years old. Over the millennia, Delhi is said to have been built and destroyed eleven times and the oldest alleged incarnation of the city shows up in the Indian mythological epic Mahabharata as Indraprastha.
Delhi is said to be one of the oldest existing cities in the world, along with Jerusalem and Varanasi. Legend estimates it to be over 5,000 years old. Over the millennia, Delhi is said to have been built and destroyed eleven times and the oldest alleged incarnation of the city shows up in the Indian mythological epic Mahabharata as Indraprastha.

Nai Basti portraiture

A neighborhood such as the Nai Basti in Delhi in India, is a geographically localised community within a larger city, town, suburb or rural area. Neighborhoods are often social communities with considerable face-to-face interaction among members. Researchers have not agreed on an exact definition, but the following may serve as a starting point.

Neigborhood and communities in India
Neighborhoods are typically generated by social interaction among people living near one another. In this sense they are local social units larger than households not directly under the control of city or state officials. In some preindustrial urban traditions, basic municipal functions such as protection, social regulation of births and marriages, cleaning and upkeep are handled informally by neighburhoods and not by urban governments and this pattern is well documented for historical Islamic cities. In addition to social neighborhoods, most ancient and historical cities also had administrative districts used by officials for taxation, record-keeping and social control and administrative districts are typically larger than neighborhoods and their boundaries may cut across neighborhood divisions.

"Neighborhood is generally defined spatially as a specific geographic area and functionally as a set of social networks. Neighborhoods, then, are the spatial units in which face-to-face social interactions occur and the personal settings and situations where residents seek to realise common values, socialise youth and maintain effective social control"

Neighborhoods in preindustrial cities often had some degree of social specialisation or differentiation. Ethnic neighborhoods were important in many past cities and remain common in cities today for instance in India. Economic specialists, including craft producers, merchants and others, could be concentrated in neighborhoods and in societies with religious pluralism neighborhoods were often specialised by religion. One factor contributing to neighborhood distinctiveness and social cohesion in past cities was the role of rural to urban migration also in India. This was a continual process in preindustrial cities and migrants tended to move in with relatives and acquaintances from their rural past.

Photographing in Delhi
The photographer chose Delhi for his first India experience and the city has over 16 million inhabitants and is bursting at the seams and it os loud, messy and not really clean. Although he has been to Asia before, everything is different in India so as the colors, the smells, the food and the people. It is a country of extremes, with a huge gap between rich and poor. So he spent some incredible days in this incredible city – for the first time in India. He looked at palaces and the magnificent Nai basti neighborhood with the dirty streets and he went photographing in the market and haggled with the dealers. "- Sir! Just one picture with me, Sir!". His personal highlight was the one foot walk through the congested streets of Delhi seeing many homeless people sleeping in the streets or in the middle of a roundabout. "- Delhi is a hot, dusty city and the combination of the two may reduce visibility in the summer. Much of Delhi is quite pedestrian-hostile. Distances are long, road signage is poor and in the more tourist oriented areas, you will be constantly accosted by beggars and touts and crossing roads often involves wading across multiple lanes of heavy traffic", the Photographer says.

Read also:  Delhi beggar girl

More archive stories

India is a land full of stories. On every street, on every corner and in the many places in India, life is rushing by you as a photographer with millions of stories to be told. In the archive story above, you hopefully had a readable insight in the story that was behind the photo of an Indian man in the Nai Basti neighborhood in Delhi. On this website of Kristian Bertel | Photography you can find numerous travel pictures from the photographer. Stories and moments that tell the travel stories of how the photographer captured the specific scene that you see in the picture. The photographer's images have a story behind them, images that all are taken from around India throughout his photo journeys. The archive stories delve into Kristian's personal archive to reveal never-before-seen, including portraits and landscapes beautifully produced snapshots from various travel assignments. The archive is so-far organized into photo stories, this one included, each brought to life by narrative text and full-color photos. Together, these fascinating stories tell a story about the life in India. India, the motherland to many people around the world, a land of unforgetable travel moments. The archive takes viewers on a spectacular visual journey through some of the most stunning photographs to be found in the photographer's archive collection. The photographer culled the images to reflect the many variations on the universal theme of beauty and everyday life in India. By adding these back stories the photographer's work might immensely enhanced the understanding of the photographs.