I have traveled to India 4 times in the last 2 years and I still find it an enigma. There are many things I can say about India but they do not add up to a full explanation. In this series I present 5 street portraits of people I encountered while discovering urban India. I hope that through these portraits some of the interesting contradictions that abound in India can be seen. And I hope that the essential gentleness of the ordinary person in India comes through.
Image 1: (left) Bathing in the Ganges
Early morning on Ganges river in the Hindu holy city of Varanasi will find many devout Hindu people bathing in its spiritually purifying waters. Physically less pure.
Hindus consider the waters of the Ganges to be both pure and purifying. Nothing reclaims order from disorder more than the waters of the Ganges
A popular paean to the Ganges is the Ganga Lahiri composed by a seventeenth century poet Jagannatha
I come to you as a child to his mother.
I come as an orphan to you, moist with love.
I come without refuge to you, giver of sacred rest.
I come a fallen man to you, uplifter of all.
I come undone by disease to you, the perfect physician.
I come, my heart dry with thirst, to you, ocean of sweet wine.
Do with me whatever you will.
Image 2: The Painter
The Mysore Palace is second only to the Taj Mahal as a famous landmark in India. To keep it in pristine condition regular paint work is needed. This image shows a painter heading to his task with his bamboo ladder supported by his assistant.
Image 3: Satish enjoying early morning tea
Indians enjoy small espresso sized cups of strong sweet tea in the morning. Satish, my driver, chilling out at a tea shop while his crazy passenger runs around photographing an old flower market before sunrise.
Image 4: A shy glance
She was walking around in a suburb of Bangalore during the festival of Ganesha with two of her friends.
Image 5: (right) The princess and her palace
The Taj Mahal was built by an Indian nobleman for his beloved wife, princess Mumtaz Mahal after she died in childbirth. In this image I try to capture what the beautiful young princess must have been like, her very mausoleum in the background. This image is a composite of the Taj Mahal and a young dancer I photographed during the festival of Ganesha.
© Gerald Bloch Photography