“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.” – Anais Nin
One of the main reasons I love to travel is because travelling gives me a new perspective every time. It takes me to different places, gives me new friends, satiates my hunger for adventure, fills me with joy and even opens my eyes to some harsh realities of life. But the best part about travelling is that it also takes me back in time!
And as is the case with many travellers, I am passionate about photography! Whenever I lay my hands on my camera and go clicking, I lose all track of time and I lose myself in it.
On my most recent trek, which was to Sandhan Valley in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, I was transported back in time to my childhood. It was a Sunday afternoon, and we had just finished the gruelling yet thrilling trek and had reached the base village - Dehne, where we were supposed to have lunch at the house of one of the locals, and then wait till our jeeps came to pick us up. We offloaded our heavy bags from our tired shoulders and settled down in the veranda.
Amidst all our loud chatter, three kids quietly came out of the house and started playing Bhatukali (an age-old game which involves kids playing with miniature utensils and other kitchen and household equipment) on a raised platform near the doorway.
I casually glanced to the left and instantly, the photographer in me woke up and got to work, while the little kid in me reminisced all the days of unbridled joy that childhood offered. The innocence on the faces of those kids was priceless. Life is so very simple at that age. All we have to do is eat, talk, play, learn some new things everyday, and then play some more and repeat that the next day! At that stage, our world is so small and yet so peaceful! As my mind kept sinking in the nostalgia, my hands were busy adjusting the focus on my camera lens, and I had to snap back to the present!
One of these kids was a boy named Sarthak, and I can say for sure, I haven't seen a more photogenic kid in my life!
As soon as the kids became aware of the camera lurking nearby, they felt a little shy and stopped playing but kept smiling and talking to each other in a low voice. So, a little bit of talking and showing them some of the pictures on the camera did the trick and they started playing again, only this time with bigger smiles on their faces!
By now, Sarthak and the others were fully enjoying this impromptu photo-shoot of sorts!
Every click was now followed by giggles and demands of "take a picture like this" or "click a picture of that" and I was more than happy to follow their orders!
Somehow, half an hour had passed and we were called inside for lunch. But I wasn't leaving without taking a picture with these two pure, simple and wonderful souls.