India challenges and rewards all senses – riots of colour and sound sensual, poetic, assaulting, rhythmic, soothing, entrancing. Bright lights and sunlight, earth dappled with the suns rays tumbling through leaves, reflections on water, single light-bulbs that barely cast a shadow and blue lights in butchers’ spaces. And fire. Air so still and dense and water pregnant that as you move you feel that you are being caressed by invisible hands. Tastes of ripe, moist mango, fresh ginger, cold lassi, fresh young coconut liquor, coconut oil and vegetables, and fresh, fresh mint, hot dosas, sharp, pungent chutney, coriander and more, so much more, coconut, tamarind sauce and mustard seeds and the smells of markets, and of fish, of flesh and fruits, and vegetables, of people. Smells full of so much life and so much death. A place where life and health and death, growth and expansion, illness and old age and decay are still very much part of the same tableau. The contrasts, the light and darkness and all that shading in between a better reflection of reality, albeit merciless, that shows us more of our existence than our sanitized Western portrayals of life.
And as I work and seek excel files and documents I find these pictures, and remember this trip and this couple and their child, driving down the road away from my camera lens towards their happy ending.
Happy Monday all!