Seeking India

Discover the busy streets, rich culture, and exciting sights and sounds of one of the Eastern world’s most exotic destinations, through the eyes of Meeno Peluce—one of the most talented lensmen of our time.


 

WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY MEENO PELUCE

Once upon a time, we entered into a life of fables. We fell in love very quickly—I, at least, knew at first glance. We were quick friends and soon into the quick. The thick of it had us off within the year to India to be married in a Hindu ceremony at dusk, sprinkled in holy milk, incense, marigolds and sanskrit promises. All of this on a palace floating in the middle of an ancient lake in the desert folds of the storied land of Rajas south of Delhi. Parenthood, equally mysterious, came the next year. To our growing daughters we often told of how mommy and daddy were wed—truly bound up—in their marriage odyssey in India!

After a decade of traveling with them all over the world, our daughters were seasoned enough for induction to Indian travel themselves. For a voyage to India, a child must be ready in the simplest and most fundamental ways. They must be self-sufficient on long plane rides and not afraid of new foods or exotic places to tuck in for the night. We also figured it would be a good idea if our youngest daughter, 6, was big enough to not put everything in her mouth. The girls are now also savvy enough not to rush headlong into the typical Indian oncoming traffic of cars, tuk-tuks, camels, cows, rickshaws, Tata trucks, sadhus, brightly sari’d water-pot-on-head bearing women, red-beetle-spitting-London-toady-pant-wearing men, cripples, lepers, urchins, milkmen, sweet chili-crisp food carts, Hindu funerals, Muslim 3-story-papier-mache-tower-toting parades, elephants and the occasional really cute little puppy covered in mange.

They had to be metaphysically ready as well. I mean we, as nurturing parents, had to steel them for the full cosmos of madness that India presents to the Western mind. India is all about submersion, plunging full into a world that is seemingly not of our ken. It is the dream turned inside out. India is the richest silk, the most threadbare cotton, and constantly the wildest, most garish glittering rayon. We keep a vibrant and colorful home, full of creativity and gardens and pets. They know about life and death and the sense of cycle this entails. We guessed, very correctly, that they were out of their milk teeth far enough to bite into this old, weird apple.

You have to be able to go all the way in, in order to get all the way back out of India. Our CHICKS proved to be heartily up to the task.

 

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