A stark image of lush greenery, with a woman clad in a mekhla chaddar is typical of the Northeast India. Such are pictures of many enthusiastic photographers of the country, who are taking part in the Northeast Through My Eyes photo contest till March 20.
After a visit to one of the seven sister-states of India, these individuals are submitting a single image to be a part of this online photo contest. “This is a paradise unexplored. The pictures have to speak volumes of this region. Many entries we have received till now do just that,” says Jim Ankan Deka, the director of Eastern Fair Music Foundation.
One of the many fascinating images that Jim made a mention of was a black and white image of a native woman with her nose piercing. “There are not many tribes in the country where you find this tradition still existing. Things like the head gears are worn on an every day basis in these regions and here is where the beauty lies,” says Jim.
Many individuals who submitted photographs were in these regions on holiday. Aarti Gadeock, head of administration and marketing, says, “The moment I captured was amazing and pure. It was at a Buddhist monastery in Darjeeling. Since I chant Buddhism prayers, I felt a connection with this place.” Aarti’s husband edited the image to make it black and white and only the monk’s maroon robe is colour.
Most photographers admit that they did not plan the picture but that it happened by chance. Ritesh Kumar Maity, a lawyer says, “Our bus broke down at Gurudongmar Lake in Sikkim. It was three degrees celsius. Since I am from Kolkata, such a temperature was unreal for me. In this natural setting, I captured the raw scenic beauty. But the most thrilling experience was when an army truck was passing by; they gave us a ride till our hotel.”
The images are an epitome of the purity of this place. Bijit K. Dutta, an industrialist, says, “I wanted to capture the essence of Manjuli. Manjuli is the largest river island in the world. In my image, I got the beauty of the paddy field and hard working nature of the natives.” Just by looking at a photograph, a destination goes on your bucket list.
This often happens with Northeast India. Rob Horsefield, an occasional freelance travel photographer, part time traveller and full time NE India lover says, “I wanted to give the world an opportunity to see a culture that is, especially to Western eyes, both unusual and interesting.”