(In 2004 I went on a two month Kanchenjunga expedition with the Indian army to document their climb in my journal and my camera. The following is one of the travelogues I wrote for magazines. The galleries have photographs from the expedition.)
Wherever he went in India, photojournalist Sanjay Austa, found people in rural and urban areas devouring the daily newspaper. Even in metros, where a large number of people use public transport. It was a stark contrast to what he had found abroad, in countries like the US, where people preffered reading books.
I visited the kothas several times over the years and realized that the moment the sex-workers cross forty they are virtually done for. The clients don’t come to them, their families don’t want them and even the media doesn’t care for their sound bytes anymore. In the red-light districts of India the elderly are relegated to the lowest hierarchy. With no livelihood they are expected to clean, wash and run errands for the younger women in the kothas if they want food and shelter. Most of them suffer from many venereal diseases but they have hardly any money for treatment or medicines.
(Click on photos to go to gallery) Pictures of the Gay Community in India. Also pictures of the Gay Pride Parades. Not all people in these pictures are homosexuals. Some of them are gay rights activists and friends and family of gays and lesbians.
Indian weddings are a raucous affair. Much like India itself there is too much colour, too much noise and too much chaos. But in the end there is somehow a semblance of order.
They were in their mother’s wombs, few days old , or school going toddlers in 1984 when their fathers, uncles or siblings were butchered in the Delhi anti-Sikh riots which left almost 3000 Sikhs dead. These children were suddenly wrenched out from their snug family setup and hurled into the world of neglect, apathy and abuse.