I survived India!
I still can’t believe that I survived India and surprisingly wanting more of India. 10 days playing with awesome lights and colors in Delhi- Pushkar- Jaipur- Mathura- Agra … amid by the smelly and dirty open toilet attitude of its people or by the rubbish friendly life( people and rubbish live in harmony side by side) … and surprisingly I am still longing for more of India. Argh … I want more …
I was nervous to the bone when we started our journey. Our bus broke down on our way from New Delhi to Pushkar and we were stranded for hours at a local back-lane Tata workshop. And, I had my first hand experienced being weirdly “stared” by the male workers at the workshop. That head to toe kinda weird stare … as if I am a ‘thing’ and not a human kinda stare. Or I might be exaggerating more than I should here 😉 … ya lah … after all those news about rape and ill-treated women in India, any sane woman should be worried.
I was blessed with a great travel companions again this time around … alhamdullilah and walking on the street with a good travel companion made my journey here in India felt safe and easy peasy.
P/S: I am recommending Yes India Photo Travel by Yamin Ibrahim to all of you who wanted to explore India through the photographer eyes ( … Cik Rita Aziz kena bayar I commission 🙂 )
We were at the ancient Shri Banke Bihari Temple in Mathura district, India to experience the colorful Holi festival celebration. A festival of colors and loves celebrated by the Hindus and to mark the beginning of spring. There are more hinduism spiritual story behind this festival of love and I think uncle Google could explain it way better than me. Being a photographer, I was drawn more towards the colorful images of holi than understanding the full details about the festival.
Color powders of yellow, blue, green and red were playfully thrown to the air, wiped onto faces on the street and colored waters were splashed across the road onto just anybody on the street. Colors of all sorts filled the air … and I was surrounded and was overdosed by the colors around me. We were dressed accordingly (well prepared to be fully covered by colors) that morning and our cameras were well covered too. Amazing … amazing view when we first entered the temple. Devotees were crowding the small temple ranting in loud prayers (or sort … I am not sure) before the festival start.
Crowded places have never been my favorite and I am at my most creative moment when I am alone and at peace with my surrounding. That moment when I was at the temple was weirdly interesting to me. It was crowded, loud and wild beyond my imagination. Powdered color was splashed all over the devotees on the floor and we were pushed either from the left and the right or from up and down around the temple. My mind went total blank … not sure what to shoot and what to look at. It was wild … but very interesting.
The feeling? Hmmm honestly I felt annoyed being pushed and shouted around but considering that I was a stranger in a strange land … tolerant was the best remedies for this moment. Yeay … the big word is TOLERANT. This is what you learn when you travel to strange land other than your homeland … tolerant and understanding differences between us human. After all … we are sharing the earth, right?
Being in the middle of such places considered sacred or holy to a certain religion might looked alarming to some of my non-traveling muslim friends but experiencing all these spiritual moments from different perspective had enriched my soul and my personal belief. Yeah … I had my weird ‘why oh why’ moments too whenever I encountered something that totally against my belief system, but understanding why people do what they do help me to understand my Al-Quran more than before.
I am sharing with uols some images taken during the festival. “Learning is the eye of the mind” …
Honestly, this trip has affected me a lot. Here in India, not only the contrast of lights and colors caught my eyes but also the contrast of life within its people made my heart ponder upon my own life. The poor and unwanted were piled up on the other side and the rich and powerful were up there on the ‘loft’. A huge contrast of life here in India … and it was so obvious, it makes my heart cringe.
I compared my life with them. I have everything that I needed and I am surrounded by people who care for me, yet I still have that selfish need for more. Especially for love and affection … I was looking for it everywhere … and almost all the time I seek for love and affection from a wrong direction. Selfish need that wanting something that was not mine at the first place. Do I need love or do I want love? Heart that bounce for a bit of thrills in life or was it love? The confuse me … aduyaii … looking for an answer.
But honestly, I like the confused feeling that I had when I traveled to tough places. It encouraged me to re-evaluate my direction in life. It taught me to differentiate between joy and sorrow, the need to taste sorrow to truly understand joy.
And, when I am on the road alone with strangers and far away from all sort of life attachment (family, friends and materials), I tasted peace. The peace of understanding and experiencing God’s presence. That the Almighty will always be next to me in whatever situation that I was in … by protecting, guarding, loving and teaching me about the joy in life. And as I have tasted peace, I will recognize and understand anxiousness and worry in my life … better than before.
Enough ranting about complex thought. Life goes on and on. I am packing up for my next adventure to Batanes Island, Phillipines next Tuesday … hunting for great landscapes and gorgeous milky-way shoots. Wish me luck …
p/s … aftermath of holi festival