Manns in India

India overwhelmed us in every conceivable way. It swept us up, shook us to the core, flooded our every sense, and then set us back down again as different people, in a world that will never quite be the same.

It all started with our tourist visas… the ones we failed to acquire until the absolute last second of the 11th hour. Having been so immersed in our travels through Sri Lanka, we totally forgot to request our tourist visas until the night before our flight from Colombo to Bombay. Little did we know, this was to be the first of many speed bumps along our topsy turvy journey through the chaos of India… missed flights, rescheduled trains, 8 hour delays, crowded markets, cow jams, unfathomable traffic, and HORNS! But within all this chaos, confusion and noise, was an inexplicable beauty and peacefulness we have never experienced.

A few of our most memorable adventures in India were…

Attending, speaking, and teaching at the Silk Inspire Festival, India’s first ever wedding photography conference, where we connected (and reconnected) with so many incredible photographers from across India and around the world. We especially enjoyed spending time with Sephi, Shefi and their twin girls. They took such amazing care of us while in Goa.

Sharing the beaches of Goa with cows of every size, shape and colour.

Meeting an incredible lady named Nitu, who invited us into her humble home and showed us the true meaning of kindness.

Learning to “haggle” in the crowded, colourful, smelly markets (an assault on all senses).

Nitt picking our way through, not one, but two head lice infestations.

Exploring the Blue City with our friend Sulabh, who took us for pan, which tasted like a big mouthful of toothpaste.

Waking the kids up at 4:30am and forcing them to climb over 400 steps to see Jaipur at sunrise. The kids, fuelled only but a bag of chips, didn’t complain once! Thanks for the tour, Yash!

Getting sand in places we didn’t know existed in Khimsar Fort and Dune (thanks for the suggestion, Joe).

Our first glimpse of the Taj Majal. After 4 hours of chaotic traffic to arrive in Agra, we hardly thought it would be worth the journey. Madelyn had insisted we go, because she had learnt about it in grade 3 Social Studies. The whole world (and thousands of tourists) melted away as soon as when we caught our first glimpse of this magnificent piece of art.

The adventure of the train system in India! Missing our first train and ending up on another, with a bunch of school kids who were on their way to a science fair in Jodhpur, and stalling on the tracks for over seven hours.

Navigating the chaotic streets by foot, tuk tuk, and rickshaw in Old Dehli, with our friends Mannu, Prasheila and Priyam. At one point, we managed to squeeze 8 of us into one tuk tuk.

Photographing a celebrity wedding (photos coming soon).

People, people, people! From old friends, to new friends, to strangers we met on the street. There are faces that are forever etched upon our memories. Faces of sadness, faces of happiness, faces of desperation, faces of hope.

Here is a small collection of photos and journal entries from our 5 weeks in India.