Delhi, Jodhpur, Indien

A Scent of India

published 25. Jan. 2018 | categories asia - india

Versuche nicht erst, dieses Land zu verstehen

The wedding

A humid evening on a roof terrace in Delhi. A touch of jetlag will not let me sleep on the first night. Somewhere in the vicinity there is screeching music or what is perceived as such due to the exotic tone sequences and the volume.

It’s a wedding, I suspect. On closer inspection, I get to know India in a first condensed version. Outstanding viewer in the dark of the night and celebrating people in the center. Here the light, the colors and the volume of the music almost seem like a border between the boxes. A synonym for the opposites that still await me?

It is danced and let dance. Trained dancers show their arts, transvestite representations are not uncommon. Their professionalism is measured in feminine elegance. And these dancers are so professional, you do not notice the difference between the sexes.

This is India, a land of contrasts, colorful and loud, intrusive exotic, marginalized and biased, poor and rich in extremes.

And then I am discovered and dragged out of the darkness into the light – or from the observer to the observed, from the photographer to the object, from the standing to the dancer …

Delhi is not waiting

The night was short. Too short for my plans to explore Delhi halfway refreshed. A quick breakfast, the Red Fort, the merchant district of Chandni Chowk with the mosque Jama Masjid and it breaks in the darkness. In the Lodhi Garden the Feierabendler recover shortly before going out. So dense and short, so full and so exhausting is a day in India that it lasts for four days.

As a photographer always watching and as a human being with ethical principles always overwhelmed you leaves a day in Delhi back baffled. When I sit back on the roof terrace, the attempt fails to classify the experience halfway. So unlike Western ways of life, this India lives, every attempt of questioning is meaningless. India does not wait, it lives on.

Prostrate Stretched

And so I leave Delhi in the direction of Jodhpur to get to know the secrets of Rajasthan. And first of all, visit Fort Mehrangarh, which for centuries was considered impregnable. A virtual tour gives an excellent insight into the exoticism of this place and its inhabitants. And their untold stories. It is almost a perfect moment of silence, enjoyment and watching. Then the weakness breaks in.

The next few days go by in flight, alternating between daylight and dark. And already I am on the return flight, exhausted, but halfway recovered from a short, violent diarrhea.

I’m pretty sure India will face a massive hygienic problem in the next few years. The tons of antibiotics that are already flooding the sewage system create multidrug-resistant germs that could be difficult to combat.

I should fight this gift from India for a few more weeks and finally defeat it. After all, I have stayed for three days of my ten days. Three days that clearly showed me the discrepancies of this subcontinent. Nowhere have I experienced the span between rich and poor, between sick and healthy, between morality and ethics, between future and past as intensively as in these three days. And nowhere is a country more colorful, mysterious and intense than this one.

So many untold stories and secrets in this scent of India.

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