Corpse Photographers & More: 3 Highly Unusual Jobs Across India

Corpse Photographers & More: 3 Highly Unusual Jobs Across India
(L) BBC ; Calcutta Capsule (R)

Many things about India may seem bizarre to the rest of the world –– from our extravagant weddings to umpteen festivals, and ‘Horn OK Please’ at the rear of trucks to the sheer abundance of street food. There are still, however, several things that even Indians may be shocked to find out, and today, we’re about to discuss just a few of them.

Indians find ways to make money just as quick as the next person, but there exist certain professions that are not only unheard of but are also really out there.

I. Lightmen of Kolkata

Calcutta Capsule, a walking tours organisation of the city, rightfully termed these men as Lightmen –– those who travel through the alleyways of Kolkata to either switch on or off the street lights, manually. One would think that it formed as a habit over time, but they are in fact hired by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation to do so. They travel on their bicycles with a long stick in their hands and use it to push the switches on panels across the city.

II. Corpse Photographers of Varanasi

In Varanasi, where last rites of a person are performed as part of a larger religious and spiritual belief, there exists a profession of corpse photographers. As the name suggests, they are essentially event photographers, but the event at hand is that of last rites. Like the several pandits, boatmen, and stall vendors, the corpse photographers are also an equal part of the ecosystem at Varanasi.

Image Courtesy: Caravan Magazine

III. Human Scarecrows

We all know the purpose of a scarecrow - to keep crows (and other birds) away from places of harvest in order to maintain quality growth. A human scarecrow follows the same principle, but may not necessarily be present only on farmlands. They are hired in hotels, personal properties, or public spaces to keep pigeons at bay. They may use a tool such as a flag to perform the task.

Such occupations are part of what makes India, India. Our peculiar intricacies make for amusing stories for some but are a cultural confluence within the country.

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