Welcome! This is where I desire to show you all the things I love about this world through the my eyes and the technology that allows me to savor each sweet, meaningful moment, and bring it back to share it with you.
"Moments From India"
I hope from this sampling you can feel the incredible serene sunshine as well as the captivating celebration of life at times throughout this collection all rolled up into one. My trip to India started in Goa, which was a soft landing according to those that had been to India ahead of me. In Goa, it's a blending of cultures, color, music, and evenings on the warm sandy beaches. This is where we met "Manuel" and the Dog on the beach laying in vigilance until the next fishing mission. My first days were spent traversing by motorcycle, drinking Chai tea, and embodying the true zen offered to me around each turn. I visited many sites, local markets, and people who became wonderful friends to me. Some that I still keep in touch with!
I traveled to Kerala next -- Which in some ways feels like a 2nd home to me, if you have never been I encourage you to go! Take afternoon tea along the back waters or get up early before the sun's heat shines down to embark on a kayaking journey in the morning as the handcrafted houseboats travel out of their canals onto the backwaters where they will rest for a few hours or even days with travelers, newlyweds, or locals looking for a break from the mainland. Here I also witnessed traffic jams by elephants, celebrations at temples with other elephants being served Jasmine rice as offerings and the true happiness of the people so happy to welcome you into their world even when I stood out as the only female as men marched down the street guiding the large majestic creatures from one temple to the other!
My most treasured part of this trip, and where most of this collection was capture happened when I landed in Varanasi. This was a loud, bustling city, and one that you would easily be lost in if you were not careful! This is one of the oldest and holiest cities in the world. One of the first nights I was in Varanasi I was guided to the bank of the Ganges river to witness the aarti ceremonies at night! I explored the silk markets, in addition to seeing where the silk was woven in basements only lit by a few lights on looms that seemed to have the buildings built around them after they were already in place. I watched the parade of mourners from the open doorways of the Blue Lassi Shop, as they carried the bodies of their loved ones adorned in flowers and beautiful fabric. They were on the way to the Ganges (Ganga) River a few blocks away. They would bath their loved ones once more before placing them on top of stacks of wood to be cremated on the banks of the river. I witnessed death on the Ghats in Varanasi, while I could not photograph there it was an incredibly heavy emotion, not of sadness but of joy as family members gathered to make sure their loved one were given the send off to the heavens that they anticipated for many of the years in their life prior. One morning we went out to see an aarti celebration which is different than the evening ones. This is where I captured "Sahdu Morning Journey" as he may have been headed to the river for his morning prayers as well!
**Special Note: Where I resided while visiting Varanasi, The Bowl of Compassion is more than a restaurant. Somit, the owner takes great pride in educating all of his guests about the needs in the community. He makes delicious meals that you can purchase while staying there, the rooms are prices reasonably and there is a school for some of the local children on thee first floor. He also supports another branch of the school in town and will take you there upon request. There are a few people that work for him as tour guides that will get up early to take you out on the river, this is where we met, "The Fisherman's Friend". We also saw other "Vigilant Sailors" in boats as we rowed back to shore.
My final stop during this trip was in Gujrat - I've become good friends with a family as I nannied their son and daughter and the children's grandparents were kind enough to open their home to me on this leg of the journey. It's a wonderful feeling to walk in as friends and leave as family. We had about a week together before I returned to the states. During this time we shopped at the local markets and clothing stores where I bought some lovely cultural outfits. We also traversed the sites of some old temples in addition to local farms where we met the families that worked the land which included, "A Farmer and Her Friend".
The first set of photos below is to help set the context a bit more of things I've mentioned here, before you scroll down further to enter the gallery that is "Moments From India". My genuine hope is that one of the images speaks to you and you feel compelled to add it to your collection, even if you do not envision planning a trip to India, once displayed I hope it offers you an escape or the chance to remember a trip, place or memory that's as near and dear to you as this journey was for me!
Helpful external links if you choose to venture to this part of the world in the future:
Stay in Kerala
The Bowl of Compassion - Varanasi