100 Days of India Project – Short stories about our travels in India

On my two visits to India I found the country and its people absolutely fascinating. I loved some aspects of it, and disliked others. Many things simply perplexed me. I made many photographs during each visit and my 100 Days of India project is simply a collection of personal observations, each prompted by a photograph made at that time. Think of them as little vignettes; a collection of 100 photographs with 100 short stories about our travels in India.

The idea was actually born during the COVID 19 era where people were in lockdown and 100-day challenge projects sprung up to keep people occupied. I decided to make my project about travel since, well, it was one big part of my life that I could no longer partake in.

This is definitely not a travel guide for India.

Unlike your usual travel blogs, here you won’t find recommendations, details of hotels and restaurants or anything I have been paid to write. There are already hundreds of those blogs and they don’t really interest me. Instead, my 100 Days of India project is a collection of photographs combined with my thoughts about the wonderful country of India.

My stories may not be factually correct, although I do my very best to make sure they are. I write about things that I actually experienced myself. Being a naturally chatty and inquisitive person I love to quiz people about their lives and how they live so some of the information has also come from these little conversations with locals people who live and work there. I quickly came to realise that in India there are variations of the actual truth and I simply write about what I was told by our friends there.

All being well I shall be returning to India at the end of 2024. It is such a compelling place, full of life, and I have plenty of things I wish to record through photographs and writing. My wife accompanies me on these trips and, as an artist, she has produced some amazing prints and painting you might like to see by clicking here.

I hope you enjoy reading this collection of short stories about our travels in India and, if you would like prints of any of my photographs, remember you can buy many of them through my website here.

Black and white photograph of a bicycle rider walking past a large puddle in New Delhi
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61/ 100 Hunt for a Milk Shop

As soon as there first few fat raindrops landed in the dust that covered the streets the entire area transformed. Seemingly from nowhere, huge sheets of plastic appeared over chai stalls and over the gaudy displays of plastic goods lining the streets in this part of town. Cycle rickshaws attached flimsy screens, completely opaque from decades of use, to their roofs to offer some protection from the warm but torrential rain.
Indian coffee and chai tea shop in Delhi, India.
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60/ 100 Indian Coffee

Imagine you have just arrived in New Delhi railway station after spending several hours on a train from Jaipur. You push your way through the thousands of passengers, sliding your bags through the security scanner. It isn’t even switched on, but a guard makes you do it anyway. You avoid making eye contact with the tourist-spotting touts vying for your business
Three old men stand outside a metal workshop in agra, India
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59/ 100 Repairs

This photograph was made in Agra where, if you need a length of metal chain and some industrial-sized bearings (hand polished of course) you would be able to get them in the same street that sold all the heavy metal goods. We saw folk transporting their broken scooters, on oxen-drawn carts, to the part of town where the mechanics were based.
Boats on the river Ganges in Varanasi, India
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58/ 100 Fishing for Oranges

We liked to get up early to go out and take photographs and make sketches of the edges of the river Ganges slowly coming to life at dawn. Even though the sun hadn't quite risen there were plenty of people already hard at work, doing things like washing clothes or ferrying people up and down the river on boats.
Sahil Wedding Band speakers in a corner of Udaipur
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56/ 100 Indian Wedding Music

As I have said before, India is VERY noisy. There is the constant blaring of car horns and music and, if you make the mistake of visiting during wedding season as we did, there is the incredible wedding music to contend with too. It starts around midday and never ends. On many, many nights it was the last thing I heard before sleep finally washed over me, and even then I am sure it was permeating my dreams and giving me nightmares.
White wedding horse in a stable in India
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55/ 100 Wedding Horses

One of the many wonderful cities we stayed in was Udaipur, a city of manmade lakes in Rajasthan. Unbeknown to us, our visit coincided with wedding season. Not only that, it transpired that our apartment was directly opposite the communal wedding grounds. People would hire the space - basically a very large and very dusty open air sports field - and spend the day decorating it before the festivities began very late that night.