India is myriad entities …caring, ruthless, heartless, spiritual, digitally commercial, naive….A country with one foot in the 21st century and the other stuck in quicksands of iniquity. Difficult to fathom and difficult to love.
Sharing Alison & Don’s blog Adventures in Wonderland a pilgrimage of the heart. Their love for India, reflected in A Portrait of India – a photo essay…. transcends barriers of heart and mind bringing the spiritual and the pedestrian to eye level. ‘There are six main unifying forces in India – chai, garbage, free-range cattle, marauding monkeys, dust, and snarling howling traffic that is a both mystical and terrifying insanity‘.
An outsider requires will power to accept and admire the polarities and in the words of Allison…. ‘When I travelled in my twenties and early thirties I never wanted to go to India. I’d heard of the poverty, and of the “Black Hole of Calcutta” and it frightened me. It took about another thirty years before I was finally ready. Now I wonder what took me so long’.
Present….‘I miss India. I miss the madness of it, and the heart of it, and the way the people, in the midst of hardships we westerners can scarcely fathom, are still so welcoming and open hearted. The power of thousands of years of spirituality informs everything in the most grandiose and the most subtle of ways, and is impossible to ignore. I miss the way their spirituality is lived with such enthusiasm and optimism. I miss the sheer force of Life in India. Life is lived out loud; the good, the bad, the ugly, the sacred, the profane, all stewed together to create a culture unlike anywhere else….’Their romance has no full stop.’
To me A Portrait of India – a photo essay… is a journey of affinity.