India Travelogue, Ep. 1:


Everywhere I went in India, several times a day, I was asked to take photos with locals. At first I didn’t understand and thought the individuals and/or groups were asking me to photograph them. I finally realized they wanted to pose with me.
I was clearly a giant among them and I assumed my stature was such an oddity it merited photographing. But my friend Rama said “They don’t see many white faces and I think it is the combination of your very light skin, red hair and light eyes.”
This particular group of schoolgirls were touring a palace (somewhere in Karala — I’m still struggling with all the unfamiliar names because we visited sooooo many locations) when I heard them giggling behind me and the girl in blue shyly asked for my photo. Their English was broken so we struggled a bit to communicate, but after I thanked them and offered the traditional well wish of “namaste,” the girl in blue exclaimed “You so cute!”
I realized on this trip I’m not really a trouper when it comes to sightseeing. I kind of had the attitude “You’ve seen one palace, you’ve seen them all.” But the magical — no other word explains it — connections with the people, even in halting, imperfect language, is what made the trip for me. I will never forget these beautiful, warm, curious girls. And it tickles me to death to think that all over India, I’m on somebody’s social media feed just as they are on mine.

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