I had the opportunity to head to India for a small photography and film job, so I squeezed in a bit of adventure before the real work started.
Day 1, I arrived in New Delhi at 1:30 am local time. To keep it simple I booked a hotel just mins away from the airport. I was not prepared for what was to come. People covering the streets, cows stopping traffic, beggars banging on the window, 99 degrees out. My cab driver doesn't speak English or have gps and now we're lost in a dark alley with 20k worth of equipment.
May have taken us an hour to get 2 miles, it's 4am. After some confusion at checkin I get to my room. There's a bucket for a shower, guys sitting in the hallway smoking cigs, and my bed sheets have pubs all over them. So I keep my clothes on stretch a shirt over the pillow and crash. At 6am I get a text that my friends, the hotel didn't have the rooms they booked. So it's time to explore!
It really is a city that doesn't sleep, honking all through the night. 7am when we hit the streets it seems like all the carts and vendors are in the exact position. Dogs wandering very slowly with no destination in mind. We headed to the train station to head 2 hours south to the Taj Mahal, I thought the view of the busy trains were only in movies but man it's real. Being an hour early for the train might have been my favorite part of the trip.
When we got off the train there was a sea of guys pushing showing and yelling in Hindi. It seemed really aggressive so we all put our heads down a chopped through it. Turns out they were calling dibs on us, "I've got the girl in blue!!!"
You can't have anything with a motor near the Taj so this poor guy is trimming the grass with scissors
The Taj Mahal was truly impressive, I had no idea the actual scale of it. It's towers over everything and even after 350 years it's still the brightest shiniest thing i saw in India.
It's crazy, I've never seen so many people excited to be photographed. I'm usually pretty smooth and can get some sneaky shots but this trip people would pull over to the side of the road or come out of they're house to have a photo taken. I couldn't sneak up if I tried they were posed and ready. I love it
One night I walked the streets for a few hours, I ran across the street to catch a tuk tuk and was backed into a tarp city a little boy rolled out of a make shift hut and without words we both understood it was time for a portrait session. He got into position and gave me the most confident pose ever. It wasnt childish or playful right away, he broadened his shoulders like a man. I think this is how he wanted to be remembered. I hope this guy makes it
Our hotel was right next to a carnival that had been rowdy until 1am every night but Friday night it was closed by 10 for some reason. We came up at 10:30 and tried to figure out why it was closed. We drew a crowd of 25 or so employees that were full of smiles. After some smooth talking the boss came over and said screw it let's hang out. He turned all the rides on and we all scattered to get our seats. Such an amazing experience. For free!
The trip started out terrifying, but each day I warmed up more and more to the surroundings. I can honestly say by the 7th day I had no desire to go home. India has some of the sweetest people I have ever seen and they turned it into such a memorable experience, I am forever greatful. We were treated like royalty, people were dancing and chanting around us calling us Gods!?
Now I'm back in London where no one makes eye contact, It's been hard to give a shit about small things like so and so at work did this thing. It's taking some adjusting for sure, excited to go back now that I see how warm and friendly everyon was. Thank you India, till next time.
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