Waiting For India To Be Back On Track

It is heart breaking to see the hardship India is faced with during these difficult times and having visited the country myself, I fully appreciated how India is a country full of such vibrancy and history, bursting with culture, which is why I have several galleries dedicated to it. I hope these collections can tell a story to those who haven’t been lucky enough to visit and hope that the country will be through this very difficult time as soon as possible, so everyone can get a chance to experience the wonders of India very soon.

During my visit I became particularly interested in the Indian Railway and its massive importance in India. It is a huge employer in India and of course the pandemic will have affected it so much and yet from news reports, trains are still running on time, which is amazing!

My series, ‘About Ticket to Ride‘ is a collation of photographs taken in Victoria Station. A UNESCO world heritage site in India, Victoria Station is a constantly busy place. Mumbai, formally Bombay, is the most populated city in India with over 22m people, and it had India’s first train in 1863, with this station being built in 1887 to commemorate the golden anniversary of Queen Victoria. Around three million people a day use the station, and while it wasn’t rush hour during this shoot, it was still busy. With so much activity it can sometimes be difficult to know where to look and which images will work best but I tried to capture the moments of every day life where the contrasts of fabrics, textures, light and dark, shapes, expressions and movement, I hope, work with even more expression in black and white, as this gallery is.

India is the world’s largest democracy which is an incredible feat to pull off in itself.  Ruled by the British once, who did as many good things as awful things, we still have a certain intrigue for the country, as well as the food of course.

India is hard travelling. I remember my father telling me of his arrival in Bombay (now Mumbai) station. He was in the army then and found someone to wheel his trunk out. However, he made the fatal mistake of walking in front of the gentleman, so when he turned round at some point the gentleman and his trunk were no longer there !

However, as with anywhere really, as long as you have your wits about you,  travelling there can be thoroughly rewarding, and difficult as it is there, one finds oneself fondly remembering the country that is India. A country full of opposites.

During the pandemic, India’s historical trains have also played a hugely important role with some now becoming isolation rooms due to the lack of hospital beds. 500 carriages have created 8,000 more beds for coronavirus patients in Delhi.

 

As a country that is full of photographic opportunities, of course one cannot leave out one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, The Taj Mahal. Usually the Taj Mahal would be full of tourists this time of year, but of course now it is closed. A building dedicated to love and built from grief, it took 22,000 people 22 years to complete and over 1,000 elephants! It is still one of the places to see in your lifetime and I can’t wait until India is back on track and this wonder of the world is again buzzing with adoring visitors.

If you would like to help India to get through this crisis, you will find a place to donate some money here:

UNICEF – DONATE AND HELP PROTECT FAMILIES IN INDIA

OXFAM – INDIA COVID-19 APPEAL

BritishRedCross – Global Coronavirus Appeal

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