Leaving for home at Indira Gandhi international airport. Love the colourful trolleys, telling us to explore. Till next time, India, I hope!
Posts Tagged ‘India
A young mother, carrying her baby, and begging in the street. India is a country of stark contrasts – immensely rich people, but also masses of totally vulnerable, poor people.
For us westerners, such poverty is extremely difficult to come to terms with. Nobody can help everybody in need, but it is not easy to turn a blind eye, and ignore the thin fingers tapping on your arm. Give to one, and there will soon be dozens more swarming around you, and they just won’t leave you alone.
A glimpse of the quieter side of India, by the Jal Mahal Water Palace, in Jaipur. A hindu is taking off his shoes for an early morning ritual by the water. What a contrast to the noisy chaos elsewhere, but also the kind of meditative existence I expected to find in India.
I feel every human being craves for some peace and quiet at times. In my world, it is easy to find – to the extent that I sometimes find Finland a little too quiet and predictable. In the most populous countries of the world, such as India or China, I can imagine that people must struggle to find ways of calming down. Taking this picture, I almost felt like an intruder in somebody’s very personal, private moment. I had a very similar feeling in Beijing, photographing people doing tai chi or other meditative exercise in a park early one morning.
Started a 3-day tour of the Golden Triangle (Delhi, Jaipur, Agra) with our reliable driver and our own taxi. Even though he warned us about the highways ahead, I couldn’t quite imagine what we’d see and experience! A journey of some 200 km took us about 5 hours. Traffic is horrendous, beyond words! You can expect to encounter anything – and often coming towards you, on the wrong side of the road.
I really felt sorry for these mothers without any protection on the motorbikes. This mother is even holding a baby in her arms! And then there are the cows, of course. Just lying around the highway lane, or walking any which way, right in the middle of the road. It really takes iron nerves, and amazingly fast reflexes to drive in India!
India is fascinating, slightly scary, certainly challenging for me, coming from a quiet, scarcely-populated northern European country. It attacks all your senses at once – the heat, the smells, the never-ending chaos around you, the hot and spicy food, the constantly hooting cars, and screeching noises of traffic, on top of ubiquitous pounding music, and then the colours and glitter that most Scandinavians would probably find too gaudy.
I enjoyed all of the sentiments of culture shock in India, and I am more than willing to go back there for another visit any time. Yet, although I could imagine living in many strange places in the world, I don’t think I would ever want to settle in India for a longer period of time. The Thousand and one Nights fairy tale land on one hand, and utter and unimaginable poverty on the other, is just too much contrast for me.
Rangoli is Indian folk art for special festivals and celebrations, or a welcome to visitors. It consists of coloured rice or flour, and flower petals, intricately arranged in beautiful shapes, often together with candles.
Lots of different rangoli decorated the floors of the foyer when we visited our partner school, St Mark’s Senior Secondary Public School, Meera Bagh, in New Delhi. What a magnificent welcome!
Delhi nights are yellow, and frequently totally darkened by power cuts. Suddenly finding yourself in pitch dark is nightmarish if you start feeling something/someone touching your legs. Crippled beggars on skateboards often attack your ankles in the dark! Luckily the power cuts usually only last a few minutes.