I’m in India for the second time for a work trip, an hour outside New Delhi.

It’s no surprise that the extreme poverty is the most distressing part of the trip, and it’s as terrifying as it was 2 years ago. Despite what appears to be homelessness, but might in part be protection (men sleeping next to or on their bicycle carts), the culture contains a thriving street community, at least for the men.

I also feel for the animals – as a dog lover, the feral dog situation here is distressing. There are stray dogs everywhere, starving and copulating, sometimes packing and killing. The cows, though mostly free, are thin and weary. Those who work at pulling carts are thin and exhausted.

During the 45 minute drive from the airport at 2am last night, I saw 9 dogs, 6 separately and 3 in a group (one in the inside airport parking lot), one thing that looked like a very big rat (looked like it was 1-1.5 feet long), and one cow, resting on a road divider. The rat was following a dog, which was disturbing too – was it so big or fierce the dog didn’t want to eat it? Too bad it was too dark for photos, even at a very high ISO.

I had a revelation about something that I kept wondering about when I was here last, which is the perpetual interest in building materials – I kept seeing men moving them, stacking them, but nothing gets built (there is an astonishing amount of partially finished & abandoned buildings here)… I think it’s actually a form of hope – despite the corruption, poverty, and chaos in this country, I think people want to build things, they want to accomplish things. But the infrastructure doesn’t allow them to.

I’ve felt all my photos of India are not necessarily good photos (partly because they’re taken through grimy windows), but they’re fascinating in what they depict. Cow photos to follow.

 

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