I was never a hundred percent certain whether the Holy Men or Sadhu were genuine. Although they are supposed to give up worldly goods, they didn’t mind sticking their hand out for money if you wanted to take a photo and they openly admitted the content of their hookah was opium.
I only ever saw one praying as opposed to leaning against a wall with a begging bowl and hoping to catch the eye of a tourist, so I sat at the feet of this guru and joined in. He turned out to be a famous author (we spotted his books on sale at a wayside café) I wondered why his hands were full of gold rings and he was wearing a watch!
In Pushkar they start them young – he may not be the real thing but he has a winning smile!