Around the World in 18 Barbers’ Chairs

Sitting in a barber shop in the coastal city of Split, Croatia, I struggled to answer the stylist’s simple question: How long would we be visiting Croatia? I had learned a smattering of Croatian words, but the names of the months had so far escaped me.

Remembering the calendar hanging above my head – albeit adorned with nude calendar girls – I flipped through the weeks and pointed to a date. As I exposed each month’s voluptuous model, the 70-something barber’s moustache-framed mouth curled into a mischievous grin. However awkward the method, I had satisfied his curiosity. Clearly I was in male territory, though.

Continue reading “Around the World in 18 Barbers’ Chairs”

Celebrating International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day, a commemorative day that’s celebrated in different ways throughout the world. In some countries, the focus is on women’s accomplishments, whereas in others, it is a day to merely show gratitude towards women.

Continue reading “Celebrating International Women’s Day”

Photo du Jour: An Elephant & His Mahout – Amber Fort, Jaipur, India

Elephant in Jaipur Amer Fort

Responding to a command from his mahout while ascending the walkway leading to Fort Amer, an elephant poses for the camera. The practice of offering commercial elephant rides to tourists visiting the Amber Fort is controversial, as discussed here. When I visited the formidable fortress, which was built in the 1590s, I opted to make my approach on foot. Nevertheless, I found the sight of a string of caravanned elephants to be magical.

Where in the World?

Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

Photo du Jour: A Produce Merchant in Pushkar, India

Woman wearing traditional jewelry and clothes selling vegetables in Pushkar, India

If only this produce merchant and I had spoken the same language, for I think she would have had remarkable stories to share. I crossed the woman’s path while exploring the more quiet, but extremely colorful back lanes of Pushkar, India. (Pushkar is in the Indian state of Rajasthan and it’s perhaps best known for being one of the five most sacred Hindu pilgrimage sites.)

As this scene presented itself to me, I noticed the juxtaposition of the traditional and the modern — the woman’s weathered face and her traditional, clunky, silver jewelry contrasting with the shiny and new motorbike behind her. I was pleased that she graciously allowed me to take her photograph. And I wondered – what must be on the minds of individuals who have never held a camera, never had a copy of a photograph with their likeness on it? Indeed, they must be just as intrigued by a shutterbug’s motives as I often am about the treasure chests of stories they possess.

Woman wearing traditional jewelry and clothes selling vegetables in Pushkar, India

Strolling New Delhi’s Lodi Gardens: Sun Salutations, Water Lilies, & Tombs

Man doing sun salutation in the Lodi Gardens - New Delhi, India

I hopped out of the chattering auto rickshaw and stepped onto the quiet New Delhi street. Much of the city was still in a deep slumber in the leafy district, not far from the Lodi Gardens. It was my first full morning in India. I felt a strange blend of timidness and Indiana Jones-like curiosity brewing as I entered the park so full of handsome and old stone architecture.

Man sitting in the Lodi Gardens - New Delhi, India

The Lodi Gardens spread out on more than 90 acres. Populated with tombs, a mosque, and lush flora, the park created an ideal haven in which to escape the honking horn symphony – something that I couldn’t help but instantly noticing upon arriving in India’s capital city.

Lily Pad and Flower in the Lodi Gardens - New Delhi, India

I had come to the Lodi Gardens to participate in a Heritage Walk. The tour, which was led by The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), taught me about the architecture of the imposing buildings scattered throughout the park. I also learned about Mohammed Shah and Sikander Lodi, two former Pashtun rulers who are interred there. As the morning acquiesced to the afternoon, the expansive park grew less hazy and mysterious.

woman doing sun salutation in the Lodi Gardens - New Delhi, India

Once the tour ended, and many of the visitors dispersed, I embarked on a solo promenade, passing ponds studded with pink water lilies, and domes offering special resting spots for flocks of birds. As a yoga enthusiast, I was thrilled to see Delhi residents meditating and doing sun salutations under a canopy of trees, amid the largely 15th century architecture. It was a beautiful introduction to New Delhi.

yoga in the Lodi Gardens - New Delhi, India

Lodi Gardens - New Delhi, India

reading in the Lodi Gardens - New Delhi, India

Architecture details in the Lodi Gardens - New Delhi India

Lodi Gardens, New Delhi India

Man reading in the Lodi Gardens - New Delhi India

Stream in the Lodi Gardens - New Delhi India

Yoga in the Lodi Gardens, New Delhi India

Yoga in the Lodi Gardens, New Delhi India

Sun saluting in the Lodi Gardens - New Delhi India

Lodi Gardens, New Delhi India

Where in the World?

Photography & text © by Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Related articles:

The Beguiling Backwaters of Kerala

The Taj Mahal in Black & White & Corn?

Mother and Child in India Black and White photoMother & Child – Kochi, India


Photo du Jour: A Ride Through the Pink City – Jaipur, India

Woman riding bus in Jaipur, India

Even though my maiden voyage to India was nearly four years ago, I vividly remember that first afternoon exploring Jaipur, the so-called ‘Pink City’. With my  new camera in hand, I delighted in capturing images of vibrantly-painted elephants, bus passengers, and motorcyclists as the auto rickshaw I was riding in passed them. Naively, I initially thought I was pretty camouflaged, tucked away under the dark awning of that chugging rickshaw. Yet, the images of these bus passengers flirting with my camera’s lens illustrate that my camera and I instead stuck out like a sore thumb. :)

Man riding bus in Jaipur, India

Where in the World?

Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

The Taj Mahal in Black & White & Corn?

Taj Mahal Sunrise

You’ve undoubtedly seen the image of the Taj Mahal numerous times, but still, nothing can compare you for your first real-life glimpse.

With pure excitement that morning in Agra, I woke up with the roosters, determined to arrive before thousands of additional visitors joined me. It was my first time in India.

After I passed through the turnstile, I sat on a bench in front of the reflecting pool, watching how the light changed the marble’s color. From a shrimp-colored morning glow, to a bathed-in-sunlight look, it was magnificent!

I didn’t always have such a romantic or authentic perception of this great monument to love. In fact, I once confused it with a monument to maize. When I was eight years old, my parents and I, accompanied by our German friends, embarked on a trip to the American west. We stopped at Yellowstone Park, Mt. Rushmore and the Corn Palace, which is in Mitchell, South Dakota. (The Corn Palace was originally built in the 1890s to showcase the fertile South Dakotan soil and the tradition of creating corn-adorned murals has continued today.) After touring the palace of a corn sort, I later saw a picture of India’s gem after which the Corn Palace was modeled. I excitedly remarked to my mother, “Ah, it’s the Corn Palace!”

Elements of that childhood blunder were with me that day in India, particularly as the sun turned the white marble into a golden hue reminiscent of the organic palace devoted to corn in South Dakota. :)

Taj Mahal photography by Tricia Mitchell

Taj Mahal photography by Tricia Mitchell

Taj Mahal photography by Tricia Mitchell

Taj Mahal photography by Tricia Mitchell

Where in the World?

Photography & text © by Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

 

Photo du Jour: Under Watchful Eyes – Munnar, India

Under the observant gaze of a bindi-clad woman in a storefront advertisement, men discuss the day’s happenings and observe passersby on a main road in Munnar, India. Munnar is well known for its tea-growing estates, which are some of the highest in the world.

Where in the World?

Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.