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Deniz Bensason

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The Faces of India

Barbaric city sick-with slums,
Deprived of seasons, blessed with rains,
Its hawkers, beggars, iron-lunged,
Processions led by frantic drums,
A million purgational lanes,
And child-like masses, many tongued,
Whose wages are in words and crumbs. From: “Morning Walk”,
by: Nissim Ezekiel
Indian Jewish poet
16 December 1924 – 9 January 2004

On just has to leave the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai, India, take one whiff of the local air and a sense of spirituality enters your body. This is also true in hustle and bustle of the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Mandai market – you just can’t shake the feeling of mysticism and otherworldliness in India.

I have no idea if it is the air, the scent or the geography - Mystical and spiritual, chaotic and confounding; India is a land rich in contrasts. Contrasts that invite the camera to seek and record the divergence we call India.

I cannot help wondering; Is it the relative peaceful co-existence of Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Zoroastrians and Jews that made India the land of spirituality and philosophy or is it the societie's exploration of spirituality and philosophy that creates a fertile breeding-ground for co-existence and mystic harmony?



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