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The Streets Of India, Through Another Lens
My point of interest as a traveller are always cultures different than the one I grew up in to. My point of interest as a photographer are always people, their face expressions and bodies in motion. It is wrong to think that travelling the world will give you a deeper insight into a foreign culture. There are so many fine layers of culture that can never be penetrated. What it does give you is the awareness that there are people whose everyday lives and social experiences are completely different than yours, and more often than not, the first and last point of contact with a different culture is the street. Here is a collection of my time capturing precious moments of the beautiful people of India, shots were taken from within Varsani, New Delhi, Haridwar, Dharamsala, Manali and Pushkar.
Portrait of a woman in Haridwar
Boy in Varanasi
A boy walking along the bank of Ganges
These men are able to spend entire days sitting on the banks of Ganges, watching the river flow without having a feeling their lives are passing by. We on the other hand are running through our lives always thinking there is something we’re missing, there’s always a deficit of time, experiences or meaning. I don’t know who’s way is better but someone got it all wrong.
A man praying in front of fire on the Holika night to celebrate victory of good over evil.
It wasn’t a part of the plan but I found myself in India on the day of the Holi festival. Can’t say I know much of it’s background but Wikipedia says it’s about the triumph of good over evil and coming of spring which makes it similar to European festivals under masks except instead of masks they are using bunch of colour powder and water. Of course heavy alcohol consumption is a must. They do seem a little bit less used to alcohol than their European counterparts which makes it a bit more interesting, especially if you find yourself in the right place at the right time.
Boatmen on the Ganges, Varanasi
Varanasi burning Ghat, a place where sacred and profane meet. This is where the cremation ceremonies take place but it is also a place of trade, the most profane human activity. Unique experience indeed.
Traveling in a train is always the best way to travel. But travelling in a train in India with it’s incomprehensible ticket system is a unique experience.
Driving in a train without a ticket in India is not such a problem as it is in some other countries. One only needs to find an empty space. The image depicts a couple driving in a train without a ticket.
The kid approached me to ask for some money. I gave it to him but it wasn’t for free. When he least expected I took a quick head shot picture. Nothing is free in this world. Not even money.
Two generations… each on the opposite end of the life cycle. Manali, Himachal Pradesh
Man waiting for the bus departure in Haridwar
In the evening dozens of people gather around Pushkar lake, created by lord Brahma according to the legend, to watch the sunset.
Getting a clear shot in the middle of the Chandni Chowk market in Old Delhi means you either have to be lucky or you need to be really patient. Since patience is not one of my virtues I guess getting this one one was luck. Three seconds later it would have been a completely different picture
Young Buddhist monk in Dharamshala
Hindu apprentices in Varanasi
Girl covered in dirt with flies all around her- not an unusual sight in India
Pretty basic economy even in the bigger urban areas like Varanasi
Alcohol consumption is not a tradition in India, unlike Europe. Still, on the night of the Holi, drinking alcohol is a must.
Portrait of a woman in a train
Man with a traditional moustache in Manali, Himachal Pradesh
Girl in Manali
Portrait of a man in Haridwar
In Haridwar, one the sacred towns along Ganges, the river banks are filled with people even at sunrise.
In Pushkar, state of Rajastan, group of people call themselves the Gypsies. It is hard to tell the difference between them and the other local people either by colour of their skin, way of life or some other visible marker but some kind of ethical identification obviously takes place here.
Traditional instrument player in Pushkar
A morning ritual in Ganges
Late for prayer, New Delhi.