An Indian Adventure – Part 1

The holiday of a lifetime! We have been wanting to go to India for years and years and finally did it a few weeks ago. The food, the culture, the scenery and the people have long fascinated us but it can be an intimidating place to go with a young family. We needn’t have worried, our guide – Avdhesh – took all our worries away and by the time we parted company and went solo we were confident that we knew what we were doing, or at least as confident as you can be!

Over the next few blog posts I will be sharing some of the hundreds of photos I took. This particular post is just an introduction and contains some of my favourite shots from many different places whereas further posts will follow a particular theme.

The photo below was taken on the streets of Jaipur during some kind of festival. Forgive my ignorance, I have no idea what the festival was celebrating, we just came across it by accident. These two girls saw some white tourists and dashed over from their group wanting us to take photos. Their group leader – a rather stern fellow – quickly came after them, gave them a telling off for troubling us and sent them back to their group. We made it clear that we were loving it and were happy to take photos at which point his demeanor completely changed and he turned into the happiest chap in the parade. He then proceeded to try and drag one of my sons into the parade for a dance – the look of panic on my boy’s face put a stop to that!

The photo below is from the same parade in Jaipur. Hundreds of people – some walking, some in open-top trucks – closing off the streets of central Jaipur with music, dancing and lights. An amazing sight!

I have to admit I don’t remember taking the photo below. I have no idea where it is – my guess is either Delhi, Agra or Jaipur. A white person pointing a camera obviously caught the attention of this little boy though.

The photo below was taken at Fatehpur Sikri – a UNESCO World Heritage site west of Agra. This lady was posing for a photo for her husband and once he had taken a shot from the bottom of the steps she continued to sit there holding her mobile phone. I had a different vantage point and neither of them noticed me taking this shot.

As you walk the streets of any city, town or village in India you can’t miss the colourful street traders selling everything under the sun. If you had the time you could spend hours just walking one short stretch of road – the people are so friendly and, while they are very keen to get you to look at what they have to offer, they are always polite. Others simply want to say hello – they are as interested in tourists from England as we are interested in them.

There is never a dull moment even when travelling long distances by coach. I’ve no idea why the couple below were sat at the roadside in the middle of nowhere. They didn’t appear to be selling anything, there weren’t any houses nearby, they weren’t even talking to each other. At least they had a chair and a stool.

As with many shots taken on our trip they were snatched moments as we sped past. The term “hustle and bustle” simply does not do it justice. One second you are avoiding a cow in the street, the next you are trying not to get run over by a scooter, the next a painted elephant passes by.

I was really disappointed with the photo below when I got home as walking through the markets of Old Delhi at night was a highlight of my time in India and the photo could easily be classed as a ‘dud’. I thought long and hard about whether to include it in this post because obviously it is technically a disaster however the more I think about it the more this photo is the perfect representation of walking through the streets of Old Delhi. The streets are heaving with people, motorbikes, dogs, cars, tuk-tuks, bicycle rickshaws all vying for space even when there is none. It is not for the faint-hearted and at times not for the claustrophobic. These boys saw my camera and started pointing at it and me saying “selfie, selfie”. I duly obliged but there was absolutely no chance of getting the lens far enough away from them for it to be able to focus hence the blurred image. Once I had taken the shot they crowded round to see the end result which delighted them, the crowd then pushed us on our separate ways.

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