Year 2010 . I had just graduated to a brand new camera In the past i have travelled a few times through this 200km stretch and observed the village life with curiosity. The meetings were mostly brief and left me with little time to photograph. This particular trip was to simply soak in some village life and photograph . The encounters made me smile , laugh , frown and retrospect all in a day. I am just sharing a few pictures and incidents from this particular journey 6am and I am already in a village. We had driven about 3 hours from Mumbai airport. A clear but cold morning. Nobody in sight for some time. Then I spot an old man in an open field among hay. Permission to photograph was asked and he immediately nodded with a wide grin. I took about 20 minutes talking to him and was lost in the interaction as a small crowd of villagers gather around us. Some ask questions and sought clarifications if we were from the press. I must admit, ZEE TV is quite popular in these villages as many walked up to me and asked “ saab…app zee tv se hai kya” ( Sir…are you from zee tv) . One of them was already chewing paan/ betel leaves ( a common habit among villagers) and the juice trickled down from the corners of his mouth. I spot a rooster at a distance and immediately want to do a portrait with the paan guy holding the rooster. His name was Samat Me : Samat can you catch that rooster ? Samat : No sir, it runs too fast Me : I know.That’s why I am asking you to catch it ?? Samat : No. It will climb the fence Me : Why don’t you seek some help from your friends Samat : No saab…..i don’t think we can Me : OK . I Will give you 100 rupees if you catch it . I did not complete the sentence and Samat disapperared after the rooster along with a few urchins following him. The Rooster was simply too athletic and samat nor anybody could keep pace. What amazes me about Rural India is its simplicity and the way of life. An hours drive and I bump into Gopal at a wood depo. I chat up with the locals and have a kadak chai( tea) and am again asked if I work fphoto tours 24or zee tv. I say no but they refuse to believe and one of the workers inform the big boss. The big boss arrives in a Mahindra jeep ready for some interrogation. They are not convinced and my Marathi speaking assistants speak in the local language. Finally I show them some ID’s and we become good friends after some very impolite conversations. The chowkidar (watchman) at the wood depo was an interesting personality . Dressed in khaki and wearing a local ray ban glass he spoke in a unique dialect. Little hindi ,Marathi and english mixed. img_0905 An hour passes as I bump into an Adivasi family who lives atop a hill. No electricity. The primary income was from their cattle and the woman gathered dry leaves as a way of income. The daily earning was not more than rupees 50(USD 1). The children never went to school and also had some deformation due to nutrition deficiency. I pay him some money and he is delighted. A few images from the journey are displayed in the slideshow below . As I look back, the journey taught me several things from engaging people to the nuances while shooting in a new/strange place. These are things you never learn attending a world class workshop or listening to a great photographer. There is simply no alternative to being there. I guess I was lucky to have some local language speaking people with me. Rural India is soon getting urbanised. Clicksmiths introduces new and exciting photography tours to improve your photography skills under the guidance of a professional and experienced photographer. On our tours you will learn outdoor the real essence of being a true photographer while exploring new destinations, cultures and landscapes which makes the experience interesting as well as educative. We provide high quality and organised tours with local expertise in the region to support while keeping it affordable. On all tours the accompanying photographer will be available for a one on one session to clarify and questions you may have. Our Photography tours are custom made to suit both novice as well as experienced photographers. These tours also enable you to be among a group of photography companions and share your insights. The effort brings together experienced photographers from various genres that are well travelled and also has a passion to teach and share their wealth of knowledge. Currently, our focus is on photography tours to Nepal, India, Srilanka and Vietnam. Look out for more destinations in coming days. To view more upcoming Photo tours

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