The journey continues! Our short stop in Mumbai ended and we were off to Gujarat. This was our main reason for planning this entire trip! We were going to visit our friends in Baroda, Gujarat.
Vadodara also known as Baroda, is the 3rd largest city in the Indian state of Gujarat. As of 2019 it had a population of 2.175 million. The part we were visiting really didn’t have any tourist attractions, so for our three weeks in this city, we would be living like locals and recovering from culture shock!
We walked a lot and had many opportunities to take rickshaw’s to get around. We saw many interesting sights, smelt many interesting smells, and heard many interesting sounds. I won’t say it was all pleasant, because honestly, it wasn’t. I definitely experienced sensory overload on many occasions, but it’s all part of the experience I guess. Before I get too off track, let me share with you some more images I captured using my phone camera.
The image above was taken while walking to a friend’s house. I took this picture because I saw these two boys playing with a kite. In Canada, you don’t often see children playing with kites, enjoying the simple, uncomplicated things in life. I appreciated their joy, I wanted to capture that. But when I look at this image now, all I see is the dog laying in the garbage and dust on the side of the road. The strong smell comes back and my nose starts twitching. It’s amazing how the human body can adapt to it’s surroundings after being exposed to something for some time. The dust and garbage on the streets was just another thing we saw outside, not unusual.
Sights like this were unfortunately, also not uncommon. The gap between the rich and the poor is extremely wide and so unfair. As difficult as it is to look at an image like this and imagine what this woman’s life is like (one full of sadness and loss, by the way) it was way more difficult for us to see this in real life. In Canada, we don’t have prevalent poverty. Of course, it is worldwide, but this was really the first time that it was in my face and the unfair issue was screaming at me.
Photography has many different purposes. In this situation though, I am using this tool as a means to bring attention to issues such as poverty, unfair treatment, and pollution. When you live in a country that doesn’t have these issues slapping you in the face every day, you begin to live in a dream world. Being aware of other people’s reality is important for perspective.
Ok, it’s not all doom and gloom. Let me show you some more positive sightings. Starting with the fresh veg night market:
This was definitely the freshest and tastiest food I have eaten. The variety was mind blowing too.
Can you smell the fresh chili peppers and cilantro? Now these were some of the good smells!
These little girls were so talkative and curious. My friend was talking to their parents who were at the front of the truck, as I was standing with my back to these girls, they were touching my curly frizzy hair. (Probably wondering what was going on with it!) I turned around and they were so outgoing and chatty. They were as cute as their smiles! This is definitely one of the good sights!
The three weeks we spent in Baroda was not enough time to really soak in everything we were experiencing. We definitely want to go back to visit our friends there and we would go with way more time. I could go on and on about my experience in this city, but this blog post would be way too long (it already is). For now, I’ll leave you with this final image from Gujarat.
Next week, we continue the journey!
Thank you for viewing and reading!