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Unforgettable India

My introduction to India was by way of a luscious, emerald-green silk sari that my husband purchased for me in New Delhi. That sari unconsciously, ignited a fascination with the Subcontinent that would have tremendous impact on our lives.

In hindsight, my first journey to India in 1998 was laden with humorous naiveté. I read the guidebooks a bit and off I went on a jet plane. If anyone had said to me that I would have a love affair with India or that I would become a photographer of the culture, I would have laughed uproariously. Fast-forward the clock twenty-seven years and here I am writing a story about the unthinkable.

India is vast: 1.3 billion people; 24 languages; 1,600 dialects; 28 states; myriad cuisines; 330,000 gods and goddesses; 300 ways to cook a potato. The Holy, muddy Ganges River, attracts millions to its banks. The words of Mahatma Gandhi, India’s great gift to the world, resonate daily: “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”

There are more millionaires in India than any other country; it also is home to egregious poverty. India is one of the richest and most ancient cultures on the planet but don’t drink the water. I have visited this tumultuous place eight times, always remaining a bit mystified.

For a photographer, India is a cornucopia filled with color, texture and form, a veritable feast to the eyes. There is nothing more beautiful than a woman of Chennai attired in a brilliant silk sari, with flower-adorned black, braided hair. There is nothing more handsome than a strong, muscular man in a colorful turban working on the streets of Old Delhi. There is nothing more moving than watching a group of women during their communal bathing ritual at Sagar Lake, Rajasthan. You make a thousand pictures and still there are millions more crying to be made. In retrospect, I wish I had made more pictures and made better ones.

The ordinary people of India gave me a gift.

I will remain forever grateful…Namaste