India, 3 weeks and too many cities later, you ask, what are my favorites?
The sights, monuments, forts and palaces are great but memories of the dead and what they left behind are not that left its mark on me during this trip.
My favorite moments in India are these fragile, delicate connections. The rare moments that captivates and embraces you. To surrender and be witness to the most fragile of things.
:: Janu + Islam Kahan
I loved the two afternoons that I spend with Janu and Islam Kahan in Jaipur.
On the second afternoon, after I’ve finished shooting the markets, Islam asked me what else did I want to see as the day was young.
“How people live.” I said.
“Then lets go to my house. There are lots of kids but you can experience an Indian family.”
We spend the afternoon in Islam’s home, surrounded by all of his nieces and nephews, sisters and sister in-laws.
The girls painted my hand with henna tattoos. The kids played with my digital camera and took a ton of pictures of each other.
I loved every moment of it.
At the end of the night, Islam asked me to not tell my Bramhim friend that they took me to their house. They don’t normally take traveler’s home and it can get misinterpreted.
They invited me to their home because they saw me as a friend. Even though I may never see them again, those two afternoons and their trust in me was beautiful, something I will always carry with me.
:: Saloo + 5 Rupee ride through Agra
My last evening in Agra and I am just having wondering about. An aimless walk is exactly what I wanted. This kid, Saloo, pedaling a rickshaw started to follow me and wanted to drive me somewhere.
At first I was not really paying attention to him as there was no where in particular I wanted to go.
He did not give up.
He kept on following me and telling me something which I was not really listening to.
Until I heard something that I am not sure I heard right.
“5 rupees. I will ride you around town.”
“Did you say that you will ride me around town for 5 rupees?”
(note on conversation, 45 INR = 1 USD, which means 5 rupees is about 11 cents. India is cheap but not that cheap.)
“Yes. I will take you anywhere for 5 rupees.”
Ok. This is so ridiculously cheap that I am willing to go for a ride just for the sake of it.
Saloo, 17 years old with a T-Shirt that says “Being Sexy is A Crime” took me for an hour long ride through Agra.
Half way through this mad dash ride through the traffic of Agra, he looked at me and said, “You look like you need ice cream.” He pulls over at the next ice cream vendor he sees and buys us each an ice cream.
Yes. Saloo lost money on this 5 rupee ride with me.
Sometimes, things are not about money. I hope Saloo had as much fun on this ride as I did.
:: Pedro, the skinny man from Portugal touched my heart and taught me something about photography and life that I hope I never forget.
Read more about it here.
:: Meat Market Honeymoon
Maulish and Anju are life long vegetarians. They graciously hosted me for a few days at their home and ventured into a bloody meat market with me. I loved their sense of adventure and their willingness to venture out a little further, even if it is into something that they do not practice themselves.
Read more about how I got two vegetarians into the meat market.
:: Varnasi, The City of Life.
Check out some of my fractured memories from my favorite city in India.
Tell me about the fragile things that captivates you.
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