When Senses Speak—Capturing India

Words and Photographs by Martin Miller.

What can one say about India? There are few places on earth which engage, or often manhandle, the senses as thoroughly as this subcontinent. The more energy spent trying to verbally express the cacophony of colors, sounds, and scents, which she exudes, the less available to engage with her, in the moment. If nothing else, a place like this A photo essay 3demands our open presence. Indeed, there may be little choice in the matter. For the more we attempt to remain distant, comfortably aloof and safe in our judgments, the more quickly we are pulled into the fiery, divine dance taking place around us. Such a dance seems dreamlike, eternal, or nearly so. It is an experience which Carl Sagen put best when describing Hinduism in his 1985 bestseller, Cosmos:

There is the deep and appealing notion that the universe is but the dream of the god who, after a hundred Brahma years [8.64 billion, X 100], dissolves himself into a dreamless sleep. The universe dissolves with him – until, after another Brahma century, he stirs, recomposes himself and begins again to dream the great cosmic dream. Meanwhile, elsewhere, there are an infinite number of other universes, each with its own god dreaming the cosmic dream. A photo essay 4These great ideas are tempered by another, perhaps still greater. It is said that men may not be the

dreams of the gods, but rather that the gods are the dreams of men.

 Practicing photography amid such a scene might seem antithetical to such a premise. For, how can a tool which relies on the capturing a snippet of ‘time’, ever hope to express the ‘timelessness’ of a place like India? Such a conundrum can at best serve to quiet the mind, open the heart, and let the photos speak for themselves.

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