INDIA: a place of stimulation…the scent of fire burning and steady hum of chanting, cows walk among yogis as monkeys mingle with tourists. The hair on my skin stands tall as I visualize myself back there, amidst a world of perfect chaos, a place of presence and fluidity, a country where humility is written in the palms of beggars’ hands. Through the eyes of its natives, India is where I discovered grace.
Not knowing who was going or what propelled me to do it, I took a leap of faith when I signed up for the spiritual journey led by teachers Candace Silvers and Anand Mehrotra in the fall of 2008. Three weeks was all it took to change my life forever.
I spent the bulk of both trips in Rishikesh, located in the foothills of the Himalaya and spread along the right banks of the Ganges. I felt its sacred pulse upon arrival, even before discovering that consumption of meat and alcohol is illegal and that it is the birthplace of yoga. Needless to say, it was a rather sobering experience.
Besides Rishikesh, during my first trip I also spent time in Kerala, a stunning southwestern state known for its backwaters and Ayurvedic treatments. Here I bathed in the warm and salty Arabian Sea and learned the art of meditation. For the majority of the second trip, we stayed in Rishikesh while traveling to nearby villages in the hills and mountains. Due to India’s insane driving conditions where rules of the road simply do not exist, each road trip was an experience in and of itself. While in Rishikesh, we stayed at Anand’s family-owned hotel, Hotel Jaipur Inn.
I had thankfully just purchased my first “real” camera only weeks before my second trip in 2009, a Canon Rebel XSi, so all of these photographs are a product of that using the kit lens it came with.
Because I have such a plethora of images that have been just resting in my computer, I’ve decided to break up my blogs into separate categories with corresponding tales and photos from my journeys. As India represents such a profound turning point of my life, the least I can do is share it with those who are interested. Please enjoy, and thank you for viewing a piece of my heart.
*All of my India photos are available for purchase. If interested, please visit: http://francesiacuzzi.smugmug.com/Other/India-Photos/15916710_xNW8z