Wednesday, January 27, 2010
I was feeling a little down today after having both cameras break (thankfully I can still shoot with one if I give it a good smack every few minutes) and getting harassed by an overly suspicious lady cop yesterday; so today I decided to take the day off, sleep in, and wander around town doing the tourist thing.
This place is breathtaking. I've been waking up before dawn every morning and walking through the fog for nearly a half mile to the main Ghats and watching the faithful bathe in the icy waters of the Ganges as the sun rises, it's clear that this is an incredibly important, spiritual experience for them.
Maybe having my 5D's die was a blessing in disguise; a sign telling me to ditch the cameras for a while and have a look around. Just the other day, I spoke with a photojournalist from France that I met here who was doing just that: putting down his cameras for a few months at a time to just enjoy traveling the world. We agreed that while you're busy shooting behind the lens, it's far too easy to get caught up in taking the right shots and forget to experience what's around you.
This break from New York is something I've needed for a while. Working for a daily newspaper every day in the city, I got caught up in the routine of my assignments, becoming just another member of the hustle and bustle and dizzying blur of trying to keep up as a working professional within the city. Eventually, I burned myself out, and had forgot why I got into this profession in the first place. Now, halfway across the world at the base of the Himalayas, I think I am finally starting to remember.
Monday, January 25, 2010
The River Ganges is seen during the Kumbh Mela, the largest religious festival in the world, in Haridwar, India, January 26, 2010. Hundreds of thousands of devotees will take a dip in the icy waters of the Ganges river in one of northern India's holiest cities on Saturday, January 30, during the monthslong Hindu festival. It is expected to attract more than 10 million people.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
My 4 hour bus ride from Delhi to Haridwar turned into 14 hours after a miscommunication with the bus driver. I woke up after driving all night through the fog in Rishikesh, 25 kilometers and a hour past Haridwar, so while all the Indian tourists got out and toured the temples I wandered around town a bit. It was the most beautiful, peaceful place I've been in a long time.