Colors of India
Color! It is the only word that comes close to encompassing the dizzying spectrum of life in India. Be it the centuries-old forts and tombs; the stories behind the intricate architecture of the temples; centuries of eclectic leaders; a tradition of exquisite crafts; the aromas of incense; bustling bazaars; the assortment of fruits, vegetables, flowers, and spices in the old city markets; noise and chaos of the streets; the varied languages, religions, traditions and ways-of-life; the diverse landscape and extraordinary wildlife; the vibrantly-colored draped saris; styles, colors and shapes of the bindis and taliks; the bold and intricate Henna body art; rainbows of colored flags that adorn fishermen’s boats at the wharfs during Holi, followed by smearing of vivid colored powder paints and wildly celebrating the “Festival of Colors.” Oh, and the assortment of color would not be complete without mentioning the “red tape” of the wild and whacky Indian bureaucracy. All-powerful, unique, a rare delight with mystical charm that will saturate your soul if you are open to embrace India.
My first visit to India in 2004 was quite possibly what most people experience as a first-time visitor, overwhelming for a westerner. Fast forwarding to 2012, all I can say is beautiful and unforgettable.
A month in this remarkable country and 22,000 images; my adventures were many … amazing people, culture, rituals, celebrations, palaces, temples, and street markets. One place which profoundly touched me was Varanasi, India’s holiest Hindu city, the City of Lights, the City of Shiva. I was consumed by emotion during the Hindu ceremony conducted by the seven Brahmin on the edge of the Ganges River at sunset, and in awe floating the river at sunrise from the southern Assi Ghat to the northern Adi Keshava Ghat, witnessing the quiet pre-dawn steps of the ghats come to life with religious practice and sacred rituals … memories of a lifetime.
The Hindu way of life is one of happiness and balance without craving for more … simply the desire to live a good life rewarded with a better life through reincarnation. It’s rather beautiful when you begin to understand it.
Each and every experience was deeply enriching. I could never do justice in words to this land, but I hope my images of “The Colors of India” resonate with what this incredible country offers.