Sankar Sridhar (@sankar.sridhar), an ace travel and adventure photographer, has been one of OT’s dearest contributors. We
Sankar Sridhar (@sankar.sridhar), an ace travel and adventure photographer, has been one of OT’s dearest contributors. Wesalivate over his landscapes, but also cannot get over his startlingly well-shot portraits of ethnic Indian communities. Sometimes, he combines the two—as in this photograph of sheep shearers in Jammu & Kashmir, who must also keep the animal relaxed throughout the process.
Specialised shearers who set up shop on the bakarwals’ migratory route make short work of the full winter coat of the sheep. Like hairdressers, these shearers are gain clients not just because they work well and swiftly; they are also expected to be sheep whisperers, keeping the animal relaxed through the entire process. A master shearer even manages to get the entire coat out in one piece.
The shawl of a bakarwal pastoralist becomes the pennant for the Armada of storm clouds riding wild winds. Exposed above the treeline, however, is not cause for panic for these brothers. It offers them a reason to smile, wondering what I had planned to wait out the storm. Thankfully the rock under which they took spurious shelter was wide enough to hold three people.