I am humbled to the extreme as I write this post!
When my dear friends WhatsApp’ed me about India Is… on a late evening, little did we know about what was waiting ahead! It was just yet another online photography competition that we were going to enroll into and nothing more than that! As their home page says, India Is… is an initiation by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India to capture, highlight, showcase and delve deeper into the essence and core of India. A campaign that begun as India Is Global Video Challenge in 201,1 which received entries from over 40 countries over three months, came back in 2012 with the India Is Global Photography challenge. The challenge invited to explore and showcase the incredibility of India through the lenses of amateur & professional photographers. Ably supported by some major global brands like Google, Incredible !ndia, Conde Nast Traveller and Taj Group, to name a few, India Is Global Photography Challenge 2012 rolled out into a major event.
Though I did not have any hopes of going for the podium finish, the point that attracted me was the main motive behind the entire concept of this event, showcasing India. The website has it in clear words, “Through photographs and videos, ‘India Is’ illuminates the significant nuances that make India what it is, a diverse country with originality enshrined in its roots, a country that is world renowned for its amazingly rich and diverse mix of cultures shaped by its history, traditions and its people.”
We live in a country that is blessed with some of the best in the world. May it be the pristine blue waters, dense forests, majestic mountains, rustic ruins, alluring arts or deserts that entice; India has a diverse offering for all those who come to her. We have the Varanasi, Vaishnodevi & Ajmer for the devote at heart, Khajuraho & Belur for the art lovers, Kovalam & Goa if you are in for an exotic holiday, The Himalayas & Western Ghats if mountain is your abode. We boast about the blue waters of Andaman & Lakshadweep, feel proud about the monuments of Thanjavur & Orissa and Ladakh is the feather in throne. We have the dense forests of Sunderbans & Nagarhole that are home to millions of species with some of them being unique, the Thar desert & Rann of Kutch is for the adventurer, Athirappilly, Jog and Akashiganga waterfalls are sure to make you awe at nature while the hill stations of Ooty and Darjeeling make you cuddle up. We are home for the ayurveda and the lip smacking Indian cuisine. From New year to Christmas, we are the country that celebrates a festival on every other day! Holi, Sankranthi, Deepavali and Ramzan season offer you the best of times. We are the country which the erstwhile traders sought for and we are the country which houses the silicon valley today. We are the country rich in diversity and unique in unity, our first mantra reads Athithi Dhevo Bhava which translates to Guest is God. We are the land of Taj Mahal, We are India, incredible!
And now, I am proud to say that one of my photographs from the Dudhsagar trek has made a podium finish at the first series of the India Is Global Photography Challenge 2012 which encapsulates the essence of this Incredible India. The beauty of India is such that whoever captures it never goes disappointed. All that results is in a “wow” photo. I am humbled and with all remaining pride I would say that it’s the sheer beauty of Dudhsagar, one of the highest waterfalls in India that has made this picture worth a win on a global platform. Thanks to the organizers and jury for having faith in this picture that it conceptualizes the vision of India Is, Showcase India!
here’s the facebook link