Driving down the streets and highways of India took a Herculean strength of visual patience. Our eyes absorbed so much activity, so many details and so much new comprehension of lifestyles in a new land. The second most populated country in the world presented us with much to see and absorb. Food stands, shepherding, farming, outdoor barbershops and various other occupations were in co-existence on these hustle-bustle streets of India.The lightweight fabric of mens’ clothing allowed them to spend long days in the heat, doing their rigorous tasks. The delicate, colorful and feminine fabrics of the ladies’ clothing were in juxtaposition to their hard labor. If fascinated me to see this duality.
What irony to find in my photos a picture of a modernly dressed shepherd wearing a t-shirt titled “Highways”…as we drove past him on a highway between Agra and Jaipur.The colors were vibrant and popped out among the debris and pollution. The fields and shacks could never seem “simple” with such imagery.Driving down the highway, we saw tuk-tuks and heard nonstop beeping of horns. I was astonished later to discover the ladies in this photo who were sitting so elegantly in the back of this truck. As I cropped in on the photo, I was desperately curious to know what their thoughts were on this truck ride. Their gaze penetrates me. Their scarves have now become the prettiest green I’ve ever seen…I’ve renamed it India- green and that’s how I’ll always think of that shade.A rusty old truck transporting these elegant ladies in their India-green scarves…..their jobs might be simple in reality but all I see is opulent hues and regal females.By far, my favorite visual memory of India (other than the Indian wedding I attended) might be this food stand photo. A hot day, a cold shot of espresso (probably) and the succulence of fruits. All the imagery together is how I’ll remember India. A kaleidoscope….tapestry….. mosaic….right there on the streets of India.
Photos by Gina Kingsley
Different and in-depth stories about India can be found in the book, A Magic Carpet Ride. Profits from the book go to various charities.
Follow this lesson plan to build trip itineraries with your family: