India has been everything but what I’ve been told.
When one travels, one dives into the unknown, immerses oneself in the difference, gets out of one’s comfort zone; everything has the taste of novelty and needs to be learned, discovered, experimented; shaking all of the patterns, habits and beliefs one clings to. One has to let go and adapt; embrace the adventure!
Being new and open… how rejuvenating, how difficult, how easy… how interesting!
I waited years before daring to take this trip; I wasn’t feeling ready. My head was filled with fake ideas and cliches about this incredible country. It is shocking to realize how we can create and blindly transmit a vision that is an illusion and has nothing to do with reality.
Experiencing something is the only way to true knowledge.
My random wanders along the streets were the best way to meet India and its people—lots of beautiful and ephemeral encounters that touched me deeply.
Many times, I was the only pale face, the stranger, the curiosity, and felt out of place. But I wasn’t lonely with my camera as company. Through my lenses, I could see better and could look more carefully. I took more than a thousand photos, but these are actually a very small part of all the images and scenes my eyes captured. India was a rich, stimulating and beautiful environment. So much to see, so much to contemplate…
My camera was also an interesting and unexpected link with the locals. It created bonds—interactions. It became a social media. People came to me, intrigued, questioned me, asked me to photograph them.
Many faces, severe and closed, melted all of a sudden in warm and bright smiles. I smiled back each time, contagious warmth and goodwill.
What I won’t miss: klaxon, dirt, trash, noise, crush, line-jumpers, over-closeness, public burping, farting, spitting, peeing, shitting…
What I’ll remember from India: colors, smiles, head bogging, loudness, overflow, klaxon, barefoot, dirt, spices, idli and sambar, hustle-bustle, kindness, craziness, beauty…
Often, I felt lost (in translation) then found again; sometimes I was doubtful, insecure, unprepared, but always curious, positive and open. I loved the journey and its intensity and I’m looking forward to more exploration.
Being nothing, anonymous and present, being nothing to be a part of everything, merging with all… being whole. Being a part of something… just being.
Elodie Saracco. I’m a French woman, climber, photographer, traveler. In 2006, in need of a life change, I decided to expand my vision and go out of my comfort zone by exploring more of this beautiful planet. Everything started with a round-the-world ticket: one year, five continents, 26 flights…
Shortly after I returned from this deeply transforming adventure, I quit my graphic artist career and settled life in Paris and left France for a remote place in Kentucky where I fell in love with the gorgeous sandstone and the amazing climbing community. It’s been now seven years that I’ve chosen another way of life. Mostly based in US, I keep exploring and experiencing different paths. My camera as a Third Eye, I’m trying to capture the moment and show the beauty all around in order to share with the Other.
Do not hesitate to contact me for more information and feel free to give me a feedback or leave a comment: I’d love to hear from you!
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Ed: Brianna Bemel
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