Almost 12 months have passed since that night on the Cosy Guesthouse‘s terrace in Jodhpur, when we celebrated Diwali together with the guesthouse staff and other travellers. Diwali is one the biggest festivals in the Hindu community, it falls on the new moon night between mid-October and mid-November and its celebrations last 5 days.
Memories of our Diwali last year include Kingfisher beers, delicious indian food, crackers and fireworks everywhere, and interesting conversations. At some stage, during the night, we were brought into a tiny home temple where mr. Joshi, the guesthouse owner, and his brothers marked a small tika (the third eye) on our forehead, and said some prayers for our ‘luck and prosperity’.
The night ended on the terrace, where Romana and I gathered together with a group of Polish travellers for a ‘clandestine’ vodka drinking session – When I asked the Polish why on earth they had a bottle of vodka with them, they explained they used to have a sip before and one after the meal to ‘disinfect’ their stomach and keep any evil Indian bacteria away 🙂
Probably it wasn’t the most orthodox Diwali ever, but it was great fun, and today I feel so nostalgic I wish I could teleport myself in India to celebrate again!
The photos that follow have no artistic ambition but I love to see them because they bring some great memories to my mind 🙂
To enlarge the images and see them as a slideshow click on any picture.
The few days after the rooftop party, we spent a lot of time in the guesthouse drinking chai, setting up this blog, which wasn’t officially online yet, and socializing with other travellers – But we also explored the old town and some of the villages in Jodhpur’s outskirts, meeting local families and taking our first Indian street portraits.
I remember we were so excited while moving our first steps into this extremely photogenic world, trying to take visual advantage of it. However, when I see our street pictures now and try to figure out if any of our opinions or emotions and ideas show through them, I realize they express little else than our ‘photographic newness’, our wonder at the characteristics of the environment around us, and our love for the sociability (and sometimes the outfits) of the people we met along the way.
Of course there’s nothing wrong with it, and each picture is a piece of affective memory and a personal story to me and Romana. But if I was to go back to India now I think I would shoot very different images and I’d look for meaningful stories and a less self-referential message.
By the way, here are the images -I hope you enjoy them, and happy Diwali if you’re celebrating 🙂