“There are some parts of the world that, once visited, get into your heart and won’t go. For me, India is such a place. When I first visited, I was stunned by the richness of the land, by its lush beauty and exotic architecture, by its ability to overload the senses with the pure, concentrated intensity of its colors, smells, tastes, and sounds… I had been seeing the world in black & white and, when brought face-to-face with India, experienced everything re-rendered in brilliant technicolor.” ~Keith Bellows, National Geographic Society
I’ve never visited India before. Yet. It’s in my list of travel destinations, though. When a group of students from India came to my city to study medicine here a few years ago, I had this wonderful opportunity of beautiful faces wanting to do portraits with me. For years, a friendship has bonded between us (“Come visit us during the Holi Festival!” Sagar and Rupal would say). I came to love their spicy food a lot, as well as their personalities. One day soon, I will go to India and shoot to my heart’s delight.
In this particular photo above, Prasoona, a new graduate and a young doctor, posed in her traditional wear for me. For every portrait I do with them I get to have beautiful sarees as gifts. I must wear them soon.
Here are the two faces of India for me – the traditional colorful culture still clinging steadfastly to ancient rituals and old beliefs, and the modern India, steeped in development, high technology, and producer of brilliant minds.
Prasoona flew to my country to stay, study and soak in our own culture for four years. If she tires of being a doctor, however, she has a fall back profession as well.