Portraits in Rishikesh
I usually forget to blog about my travels- I’ll try to get to it one day- but I spent January in Rishikesh, India, with Heart of Living Yoga foundation. (I’ll explain more about it and its work in another blog, but feel free to look it up in the meantime.)
I didn’t have a lot of free time as I was there to train as a yoga teacher so didn’t come back with thousands of photos, only 2500, which for 5 weeks isn’t a lot, but I loved the faces, the expressions. I could have taken photos of everyone and many people were happy for me to take photos. I don’t feel good “stealing” photos of people. It has to be done with love and respect.
I will write a few blogs about this incredible experience but just couldn’t wait to start sharing and it was obvious that people came first, so here are some of the people I encountered.
The girl on the left had dressed up to welcome us in her school, I’ll explain in another blog, but the costume was magnificent- and her dancing too. The one on the right is Nepalese and works at Ramana’s gardens, a famous cafe in Rishikesh that provides school, work and home to many children and women.
Everything was fascinating to me, thankfully many people found me exotic and photo worthy too. I usually don’t like my photo taken but that felt like a fair deal, they take photos that I don’t see and I get to take their photos and keep them!
Many people were very happy for their photos to be taken and posed or smiled. The whole town feels peaceful despite the traffic, and business.
There are many swamis, sadhus and spiritual beggars who have renounced possessions and give everyone a chance to do good deeds. I found them particulalry beautiful and fascinating. In Rishikesh the number of people wearing signs of their spirituality, their devotion is incredible, I’d never been anywhere- not even Vatican- where devotion and dedication were so visible and common.
I love the gravity and natural elegance of these women.
These portraits were at a dance after a ceremony, even with no common language I was happy to be able to share warmth, softness and baby games.I love the variety of faces. India is a big place with many types of people, many skin colour, eye colour etc. There were also some Tibetans, which was both heart warming and sad since they had to flee Tibet to be free to practice their language, religion and have a photo of the Dalai Lama.
I loved capturing street scenes too, here are some portraits, I’ll have to do several blogs to not flood you with too many photos at once!
I noticed this man in the street and thought how much I’d love to take his photo so when we saw he’d come to talk to us, I did ask him for his portrait.
I will write other blogs about what happened on that trip as it was life changing. So this is with thanks to my teachers and fellow learners as well as to all the people we met and who welcomed us.