Saturday, March 27, 2010

Why I loved being in India so much...

"My dad takes his afternoon nap on his scooter [behind] our room while mom cleans" From Atul Loke's photoessay My Chawl: One Big Family. Photo: Atul Loke

I was in India for the past five months. I just got back a week ago and am settling back into regular life in the U.S. Hopefully the blogging will also pick up, now that I have regular internet access. I have SO many thoughts running through my head about things I should write about, including where this blog is going.

Someone asked me recently why I liked being in India so much. What few knew was that my India trip was supposed to be a six week trip that turned into five months (I only returned because I ran out of money and had to start working again)!! How that happened is something I'll write about later.

India is overwhelming; but if you let it wash over you in waves, rather than be shell shocked, you'll find great comfort in her richness. I found that I could spend hours just watching life bubbling up in the alleys of any city or village I was in. I was reminded of this as I browsed through Atul Loke's excellent photoessay about Life inside his Chawl. (A "chawl" is something like a college dorm facility; a multi-family residential facility constructed to house largely labor classes and their families. A characteristic feature of the chawls is that several families share single toilet and bath facilites).

Firstly, I'm blown away by this man's talent. He is just one of the many silent geniuses spawning across the expanse of India's varied landscape (and the developing world, in general). But more importantly, notice the richness of the life just oozing out of every picture. This is why I couldn't tear myself away from the place...

[hat-tip @yoginisd for pointing me to his work]


Makemytrip said...

There are so many reasons why India is much loved by tourists and travelers alike. It is a great country with very promising places to offer. It's a good place to unwind and relax or even spend a family vacation.

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小云 said...

Found your blog while searching for more information on Jim Kim and Paul Farmer, after which I read some of your entries on India. Way to integrate development studies, traveling, technology, serving the poor, and the like. Keep it up!