Two Russian travellers click India for the love of it.
Through the lens The photos document daily struggles and victories
It may not be a professionally stimulating photo exhibition, but worth a look, nonetheless. The reason is, the pictures document vividly the life, struggles, surroundings, festivals, food, and smiles of the people of various regions of India and Nepal . The photos are taken by two young Russian travellers Tatiana Mararenko (28) and Vera Adler (26), who have been in India for almost a year “for the love of it”.
Since they have taken numerous pictures of the tough life of fishermen in Orissa, the daily struggle of women to gather fuel for cooking in Uttarakhand, the scenic beauty of Nepal, and monks and festivals in Ladakh, they have divided the exhibition titled “India – My Love” into three parts of 20 photos each. Mounted at the Press Club till June 30, the first part — with pictures of temples in Nepal and Ladakh, monks and their lives, smiling heads of families, etc. — concludes this Friday evening. The second part, “Fishermen of Orissa”, begins this Saturday and concludes on June 25, while the third one, on “People and Mountains in Uttarakhand” will be from June 26 to 30. This happens to be the first time the Press Club is exhibiting work by non-Indians.
The photographs are a blend of the juvenile and mature, both in terms of content and framing. However, some of them are quite telling.
Tatiana, an engineer and researcher in Moscow who has extensively travelled in her country, besides Turkey and other parts of Europe, and documented life there, says, “I saved a lot to stay in India. I came here earlier also, travelled alone, went back, again saved money, and this time I have brought Vera with me.” Vera, a medical assistant by profession who has also travelled to Turkey to photo-document life there, chips in, “What brought me to India was its intriguing rivers and oceans. I was always fascinated by famous Russian ocean painter Aivazovskiy’s paintings. So, I loved Orissa more than other places and clicked pictures of the fishermen and their struggle for survival.”
Tatiana narrates her experiences of Ladakh, “We lived in Buddhist temples with the monks and cooked our food in the monastery kitchens. We also went to Garhwal and Kumaon. People in Nepal and Ladakh are very friendly. They greeted us with ‘namaste’ , smiled and helped us wherever we needed.”
Vera was fascinated by the Uttarakhand women. “They are very strong. They scale the trees barefoot, cut wood and descend like acrobats. Like them we also carried wood and grass on our heads and cooked food. It was tough. But they were very helpful and they took good care of us. We have documented all that.”
Tatiana and Vera plan to return next year to “explore other parts of India”.
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