As April snowflakes fall outside my window, it’s hard to believe that it’s been more than two months since I returned from India. And I had thought that by this time I would have fully processed what the experience would mean for me, what I had taken away from my weeks working with Calcutta Rescue and photographing the people they serve. But even ten weeks and hundreds of images later, for the moment this is all I know: for all of its frustrations and difficulties, the time I spent in India earlier this year was also one of the most beautiful, humbling and rewarding experiences of my life. Witnessing the fortitude and patience of the men and women waiting at clinics, the joy of the little children studying and playing in the schools and the beauty found in so many day-to-day experiences was a truly amazing thing. The displays of compassion and kindness I witnessed during my short time there were wonderful, and I’m so happy to have had the opportunity to play a small role in the meaningful work that the organization does.
Having spent so much time these past weeks immersed in the images from my travels, I have a newfound appreciation for the fact that as photographers, the images we make truly can have a profound impact on the world and people around us. I feel so lucky to be a part of that.
These images below are some of my favorites from our travels to Calcutta (Jesse was even able to join for most of the trip!). Though our time started with mists, fog and rain, it didn’t last forever, and looking back now on these first few days in the country I’m so happy we were able to experience the beauty that the spring rains brought to the many landscapes we enjoyed during our brief stays in Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and Varanasi. It was amazing to see these temples and palaces in person, but my favorite experiences were always those little day-to-day things: eating breakfast in our Tibetan hotel (we stayed in a small Tibetan enclave when we first arrived), getting lost down narrow cobblestone streets, waking to the first signs of misty daylight when the call to prayer sounded, and of course (despite the warnings) the street food.
Naturally I became horribly ill by the end of the first leg of the trip and spent the night we waited for our train to Calcutta in a fever dream, just praying that Jesse would let me sleep on the cement platform. I was sure that the cow (yes, cow) next to us wouldn’t mind in the least. Luckily, our train arrived and after a night’s sleep, lulled by the rocking of our cabin, I was sufficiently restored to enjoy the rest of the journey and nearly knock Sarah and Anthony over when we saw them.
But those are pictures for another post :)