India: Sights, Smells, Sounds

By 19/07/2010 15 Comments

A kaleidoscope of colours, smell and taste. I did not imagine India to be anything else but interesting. In my list of countries to visit, India is definitely not one of my top 10. But at the end of June 2010, I had a taste of India. AND, felt the burning heat of the sun, all 40 degrees of it. I was in India for a corporate shoot. 8 days, 4 internal flights, many hours on the road and 5 cities later, I felt I had seen two different sides to India.

On one hand, you have poverty…

Children with growths on their heads, young girls who barely look like teenagers holding on to babies, begging on the streets…

And then you have development…

Fancy buildings that look so futuristic. Offices with coloured glass windows. High end apartments that only few can enjoy.

What a contrast.

I was not on the tourist route. During these 8 days, I was mainly on highways, on top of high rise buildings, climbing train tracks that have yet to be completed… I was working my butt off.

This is one of my most physically challenging jobs. The heat took its toll on me, and most of the time, I was really dehydrated, sweating buckets (and those that know me, I don’t really sweat a lot!), and tired from the lack of sleep (3-4 hours on average daily). I have a new found respect for construction workers that are in the open the whole day, in physically challenging jobs irregardless of the weather. I am really thankful though, that my stomache remained strong throughout the trip. And I COMPLETELY enjoyed the mushroom masalas, chicken tikkas and whatever else that went into my tummy during those 8 days.

The main thing I learnt in this India trip is the meaning of the word “perseverance”. Despite the difficult situations you go through in life, you just have to persevere. Sometimes there’s no respite from the heat of the sun, but you just have to persevere. In one incident, I was taking a local flight from Delhi to Jaipur, and the air conditioning in the plane was not working. 40 degrees outside, humid and stuffy inside. Persevere, persevere, persevere.

But amidst my tough working situation in India, I met many people along the way, people whom I cannot communicate with but whose smiles radiate a warmth that is so universal. It is these people that draw me into the heart of India. Despite the language barrier, I felt connected with these souls.

A smile that is so genuine, not holding back anything.

A grandfather’s love that is just so real.

An innocent child, ready to face the world.

I wonder what their future holds.

Join the discussion 15 Comments

  • Nora Ismail says:

    Grace, your India photos are amazing! You truly captured the beauty of India’s life and culture :D

  • Amazing! Now you made India go into my Top 10 list. If only I can persuade my wife that 40 degrees is not that bad :P

  • sharon t says:

    Beautifully captured esp on the people & i love how u caption the photos….meaningful :)

  • Anna-Rina says:

    Nice shots Grace :) This is such a good reminder that we’re so blessed to have what we do. And to have an awesome job allows us to realise all this ;) Thanks for sharing!

  • Grace Tan says:

    Thank you, everyone! :) I love reading every one of your comments.

    Nick: Go in another season other than summer. :) Tell her that the shopping is amazing!

    Anna, yes we are indeed blessed!

  • steph says:

    beautiful photos, and amazing trip. love the people shots especially. cheers!

  • zull says:

    amazing n beautiful shoot,now u can make india into ur top 10 list but not for honeymoon but for good photography trip,congrat grace.thank for sharing ur experience.

  • MunKeat says:

    Lovely work Grace …love this series a lot and the color is amazing. I certainly need to visit India one day. Loving my job too : ) Keep up the good work !!

  • ez says:

    Fuyooh! Amazing! I love the colours and expressions.. :)

  • Rainstorm says:

    Nice pictures Grace ! Is not THAT bad la the working trip. At least we get to see different cities and did some shoppings :)

  • Grace Tan says:

    Javine, the shoot wasn’t THAT bad! :) Haha but the environment made it tougher. Yes, I enjoyed seeing the different cities and doing our bits of shopping towards the end of the trip! :)

  • Pamelyn Tan-Corsi says:

    I love the stories in the pictures you shoot ; so apt with the name of your web. Makes us realise how fortunate we are. You have shown us the richness of culture, colour and awareness that we are the same everywhere … and to have an appreciation for little things in life … to show respect for anyone in the street and that we are mere mortals … that we are all touched by love and compassion. Love the stories you tell :)

  • Anish says:

    India is such a beautiful country, so vibrant and culture and development go hand in hand. Stunning pictures…and i agree about the smells!

  • Fiona says:

    Love this!!

  • Pru says:

    Thank you for sharing this. This really warms my heart… thank you Grace…

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