I really couldn’t write last night, or even this morning. The vision of  the cremation fires  and  the amount of poverty we’ve seen in the past few days has a profound effect on the senses.

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We bought these children some apples. This little boy was about 18months old, walking the streets with his brothers. They took the apple from him and put it in their bag… hopefully to take home

Of course  this is a special place. 
In 1897, Mark Twain, the renowned Indophile, said of Varanasi, “Benares is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together.”


walking in the back alleys of Varanasi this morning I came across these amazing colors.


But amongst the beauty as I perceive it is poverty.

I’m no stranger to working with and seeing people live in poverty, It was part of our lives when we were saving the world as young marrieds. I’ve worked with people in the slums of Bangkok, India and Sri Lanka. but in those days, we were pretty poor ourselves. But here I am photographing with a camera that would fetch 5 years wage for a family in these conditions and I feel so far removed..
However, that said, I express my feelings though my photographs which need little explanation.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Laurie Tigner says:

    Pam, my husband and I spent two 3-month stints traveling around India in the 70-s and early 80’s. India and the poverty we saw were the reasons we decided to adopt instead of make our children. Your photos have so totally captured the heart and soul of that incredibly beautiful and complicated country. Thank you for this. They convey so much.

    1. Pamela K Holland says:

      I guess we’ve done both… and on of the things I wanted to do when we adopted our family was to capture the moment and we did in a small way, but I had the feeling that I needed to capture it now for them as adults.

  2. Carolyn Foley says:

    Hi Pammy
    I was deeply moved by these scenes when I was there also. But the thing that stayed with me was the spirit of these people. Yes, it was grinding poverty but somehow they were more than this. I often wondered how they lived each day but there was always the little smile and that shinning intelligence. I came to the conclusion that it was their spiritual life that sustained them. I’m glad you could take the photos, I found it it too hard.

    1. pam says:

      I agree with you Carolyn. What does poverty really mean. I think many of these wonderful people have more in spirit than we do.
      As far as taking photos they all wanted their photo taken and I return with wonderful memories, some moving, some sad and some enlightened.

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