Archive for Varanasi

Life Breath of Half the World

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2013 by stevemccurry

INDIA-10220 India

India’s  monsoon rains have covered the entire country a month ahead of schedule,
brightening the prospects for a
bumper output of summer-sown crops such as rice, oilseeds and
cotton in one of the world’s leading producers.

INDIA-10214-(1)Mumbai, India

INDIA-11087India

During the year I spent following the monsoon in a dozen countries, I learned to see it as a critically important event, 
and not the disaster it had first seemed to my Western eyes.

INDIA-11030Varanasi, India

For half the world’s people, good monsoon s  mean life and prosperity.
Bad monsoons mean famine and death.

INDIA-10301NF2India

Farmers experience the monsoon as an almost religious experience 
as they watch their fields come back
to life after being parched for half the year. 

INDIA-10678-(1)India

BURMA-10564
Burma

For months there is no rain, and then there is too much.
Half the world’s people survive at the whim of the monsoon.

BANGLADESH-10009
Bangladesh 

Rain is grace;
Rain is the sky descending to the earth …
– John Updike

INDIA-11984India

INDIA-10221India

Only He shakes the heavens and from its treasures takes out the winds. 
He joins the waters and the clouds and produces the rain.
He does all those things. 

- Michael Servetus (1511-1553)
Spanish theologian, physician, cartographer

NEPAL-10032
Nepal

INDIA-10926Monsoon skies over Bihar, India

Anticipation
Fizzy, frothy, fickle rain
Resurrection

INDONESIA-10006Indonesia

INDONESIA-10002NF2Indonesia

INDIA-10582NFIndia

BANGLADESH-10007     Bangladesh

Monsoon History

Shirley Geok-lin Lim
The air is wet, soaks
into mattresses, and curls
In apparitions of smoke,
Like fat white slugs furled
Among the timber
Or silver fish tunnelling
The damp linen covers
Of schoolbooks, or walking
Quietly like centipedes,
The air walking everywhere
On its hundred feet
Is filled with the glare
Of tropical water.
Again we are taken over
By clouds and rolling darkness.
Small snails appear
Clashing their timid horns
Among the morning glory
Vines.

INDIA-10377NF3Monsoon Festival, India

BURMA-10003Burma

Monsoons, Australia, River, Arnumlan Untold_bookAustralia

INDIA-10436
India
INDONESIA-10007, Ujung Pandang, Sulawesi, Indonesia, 1983
Indonesia
BIO-10085NF
‘Steve McCurry in monsoon flood, Gujarat, India 

Last Night the Rain Spoke to Me
by Mary Oliver 
Last night
the rain
spoke to me
slowly, saying,
what joy
to come falling
out of the brisk cloud,
to be happy again
in a new way
on the earth!
NEPAL-10075
Katmandu Valley, Nepal
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River of Life

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2012 by stevemccurry

KOLKATA TO KABUL

Kolkata/Calcutta

“Look! Brahmins and chumars, bankers and tinkers,
barbers and bunnias,pilgrims -and potters -all the world going and coming.
It is to me as a river from which I am
withdrawn like a log after a flood.
And truly the Grand Trunk Road is a wonderful spectacle.
Such a river of life as no where else exists in the world.”
- Rudyard Kipling, Kim

Kolkata

Howrah Bridge

For more than 20 centuries, travelers have walked, ridden, prayed, traded, invaded, escaped,
fought, and died along the 1,500 miles of the Grand Trunk Road which stretches from Kolkata to Kabul.

On the GTR in Bihar State, India

Here are some pictures of people and places I have taken along the route of the Grand Trunk Road during the past thirty years.

Varanasi, India

Varanasi, India

Varanasi, India

Agra, India

Near Agra, India

 Red Fort, Delhi

Allahabad, India

Kumbh Mela, Allahabad, India

 Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism all developed along the route,
and Muslims proclaimed their beliefs on their journeys along the road.

Kumbh Mela, Allahabad, India

Amritsar, India

Amritsar, India

Sikh Golden Temple, Amritsar, India

 The Grand Trunk Road served as the two way escape route for
75 million refugees caught between Indian and Pakistan during Partition.

Lahore, Pakistan

Rawalpindi, Pakistan


Rawalpindi, Pakistan

Peshawar, Pakistan

Peshawar, Pakistan
Peshawar has been a haven for Afghan refugees during decades of war.

Outside of Peshawar, Pakistan

Peshawar is strategically located at the crossroads of Central and South Asia.


Landi-Kotal, Pakistan
Near the border with Afghanistan

 Khyber Pass connects Pakistan and Afghanistan

Jalalabad, Afghanistan

Jalalabad, Afghanistan

This ribbon of humanity stretching Northwest from Kolkata, the city of culture and joy, to Kabul, the city of conflict,
has been moving merchants, buyers, conquerors, refugees, prophets, nomads and pilgrims through what is today
India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Jalalabad, Afghanistan

Jalalabad, Afghanistan

On the road to Sarobi

Along this road, forged by conquerors and invaders,
the GT facilitated some of the most significant historical developments which affect us today.

Kabul, Afghanistan

Kabul is over 3,500 years old; many empires have  invaded the valley for its
strategic location along the trade routes of Central and South Asia.

 Kabul, Afghanistan

Kabul, Afghanistan

Kabul, Afghanistan

Kabul, Afghanistan

Along the route of the GT there is a  struggle between secular modernity and the conservatism of ancient religions.

The Lives We Live

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2012 by stevemccurry

The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.
- Flora Whittemore

AFGHN-12708

Maimana, Afghanistan

Since the beginning of time, doors have
symbolized both great opportunities and thwarted dreams.

INDIA-10870

Varanasi, India

Morocco-10024; 00541_07; Morocco; 03/1988

Morocco

The open door is a metaphor for new life, a passage
from one stage of life to another, and metamorphosis.
Closed doors represent rejection and exclusion.

KASHMIR-10076

Kashmir

The Door
Too little has been said
Of the door,
its one face turned to the night’s
Downpour
and its other
To the shift and glisten of firelight.

AFGHN-12927NF

Bamiyan, Afghanistan

For doors are both frame and monument
To our spent time,
And too little
Has been said of our
coming through and leaving by them.
- Charles Tomlinson

INDIA-10412

India

CAMBODIA-10002

Cambodia

TIBET-10927

Tibet

A door just opened on a street–
I, lost, was passing by–
An instant’s width of warmth disclosed
And wealth, and company.

The door as sudden shut, and I,
I, lost, was passing by,–
Lost doubly, but by contrast most,
Enlightening misery.
- Emily Dickinson

AFGHN-10235

Kabul, Afghanistan

BURMA-10005

Mingun Pagoda, near Mandalay, Burma/Myanmar

AFGHN-12648

West Kabul, Afghanistan

INDIA-10556

India

USA-10256

Los Angeles, United States

The door swings open:
O god of hinges,
god of long voyages,
you have kept faith.
It’s dark in there.
You confine yourself to the darkness
You step in.
The door swings closed.
- Margaret Atwood

AFGHN-12467NF

Kabul, Afghanistan

AFGHN-13116NF

Bamiyan, Afghanistan

INDIA-11038NF

Bombay/Mumbai, India

AFGHN-10156

Kabul, Afghanistan

BANGLADESH-10020

Dhaka, Bangladesh

CAMBODIA-10145

Monastery at Rolous, Cambodia

YUGOSLAVIA-10055

Macedonia

The Door

Go and open the door.
Maybe outside there’s
a tree, or a wood,
a garden, or a magic city.

Go and open the door.
Maybe a dog’s rummaging.
Maybe you’ll see a face,
or an eye, or the picture of a picture.

Go and open the door.
If there’s a fog
it will clear.

Go and open the door.
Even if there’s only
the darkness ticking,
even if there’s only
the hollow wind,
even if nothing is there,
go and open the door.

At least there’ll be a draught.
- Miroslav Holub
translated from the Czech by Ian Milner

YEMEN-10094

Yemen

VIETNAM-10019

Vietnam

The closing of a door can bring blessed privacy and
comfort – the opening, terror.
Conversely, the closing of a door can be a sad and final thing -
the opening a wonderfully joyous moment.
- Andy Rooney

The Firmest Friend

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2011 by stevemccurry

 The poor dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend.
- Lord Byron

SOUTH_AFRICA-10014-(1)

Johannesburg, South Africa

 

Dogs are our link to paradise.
They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent.
To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be
back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring.

It was peace.
- Milan Kundera

 

IRELAND-10009

Ireland

 

TIBET-10363

Kham, Eastern Tibet

 

INDIA-10852

Varanasi, India

The dog … is the god of frolic.
- Henry Ward Beecher

CAMBODIA-10032

Angkor, Cambodia

INDIA-10205

New Delhi, India

 

AFGHN-12941

Kabul, Afghanistan

With eye upraised his master’s look to scan,
The joy, the solace, and the aid of man:
The rich man’s guardian and the poor man’s friend,
The only creature faithful to the end.
- George Crabbe

INDIA-10221

Porbandar, India


The bond with a true dog is as lasting as the ties of this earth will ever be.
– Konrad Lorenz

BURMA-10073

Bagan, Burma

 

ITALY-10089, Rome, Italy, 10/1994,

Rome, Italy


I read the Odyssey because it was the story of a man who
returned home after being absent for more than twenty years
and was recognized only by his dog.

- Guillermo C. Infante

FRANCE-10028, France, 1989

Marseille, France

VIETNAM-10003

Vietnam

INDIA-10727

India

 

If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have
known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.
- James Thurber

USA-10389NF

Texas, USA

Histories are more full of the examples
of the fidelity of dogs than of friends.
- Alexander Pope

INDIA-10412

India

BHUTAN-10011

Bhutan

INDIA-12064

Jaipur, India

All knowledge, the totality of all questions and answers,
is contained in the dog.
Franz Kafka, Investigations of the Dog

SRILANKA-10031

Near Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

 

ITALY-10045

Rome, Italy


USA-10186

California, USA

The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in
this selfish world, the one that never deserts him,
the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog.
- George Graham

PARAGUAY-10012NF

Paraguay

If you think you’re a person of some influence, try ordering somebody else’s dog around.
-  Cowboy Wisdom

 

Gruffy, our family dog, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania

We invite you to visit our new website:  http://www.stevemccurry.com

More Fun and Games

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2011 by stevemccurry

NIGER-10013NF26

Wodaabe Tribe, Niger

Laughter is by definition healthy.
– Doris Lessing,  Nobel Laureate in Literature

HONDURAS-10027

La Fortuna, Honduras

CHINA-10114

Shanghai Circus, Shanghai, China 

RUSSIA-10031

Moscow, Russia 

ITALY-10338

Perugia, Italy

If music be the food of love, play on.
– William Shakespeare

_SM15545, Havana, Cuba, 2010, CUBA-10020

Havana, Cuba

INDIA-11290

India

INDIA-10621play

Rajasthan, India

INDIA-11331

Lucknow, India

No human being is innocent, but there is a class of innocent human actions called games.
– W. H. Auden

00660_14, Beqaa Valley, Lebanon, 2005, LEBANON-10074

Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

TURKEY-10098

Mersin, Turkey 

Could we look into the head of a Chess player,
we should see there a whole world of feelings,
images, ideas, emotion and passion.
– Alfred Binet

INDIA-10232

Jodhpur, India

00635_19, PERU-10004NF6, Alto Churumazu, Yanesha People, Peru, 2004

Peru

CAMBODIA-10463

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Some people believe football is a matter of
life and death.
I’m very disappointed with that attitude.
I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.
– Bill Shankly, English soccer manager.

AUSTRALIA-10008

Maningrida, Australia

TIBET-10830

Tibet

INDIA-10624

Young Shepherd during Holi, Rajasthan, India

We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.
– Immanual Kant

TURKEY-10037NF

Istanbul, Turkey

Until one has loved an animal,
a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.
– Anatole France

INDIA-11048NF

Mumbai/Bombay, India

 

AFGHN-10111NF

Buzkashi, Kabul, Afghanistan

BURMA-10048

Yangon, Myanmar/Burma

They say golf is like life, but don’t believe them.
Golf is more complicated than that.
– Gardner Dickinson

BANGLADESH-10034

Bangladesh

 

00253_10, YEMEN-10058NF, Yemen, 1997

Yemen

 

You must invent your own games and
teach us old ones how to play.
– Nikki Giovanni

BURMA-10278

Burma/Myanmar

INDIA-10851

Varanasi, India

Importance of Elsewhere

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2011 by stevemccurry
INDIA-10206

Calcutta, India

In Paul Theroux’s new book, The Tao of Travel, he writes,
“As a child, yearning to leave home and go far away, the image in my mind was of flight — my little self hurrying off alone.
I wanted to find a new self in a distant place, and new things to care about.  The importance of elsewhere was something
I took on faith.  Elsewhere was the place I wanted to be.”

AFGHN-12211

Afghanistan

 “The wish to travel seems to me characteristically human; the desire to move, to satisfy your curiosity or ease your fears, to
change the circumstances of your life, to be a stranger,
to make a friend, to experience an exotic landscape, to risk the unknown …”   – Theroux

BRAZIL-10013NF5

Brazil

NIGER-10001NF

Niger

MALI-10035

Mali

INDIA-10887

Mizoram, India

00707_08, Shanghai, China; 1989, CHINA-10080

Shanghai, China

CUBA-10022

Havana, Cuba

“…The tourist generally hurries back home at the end of a
few weeks or months,the traveler, belonging no more to one place than to the next, moves slowly,
over periods of years, from one part of the earth to another.”
– Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky 

TIBET-10510

Tibet

TIBET-10093NF2

Tibet

THAILAND-10075

Thailand

INDIA-11443

India

 

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
-Marcel Proust

INDIA-11042

India

Mazar-i Sharif, AFghanistan, 2003, AFGHN-12341NF

Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan


“All good trips are, like love, about being carried out of yourself and deposited in the
midst of terror and wonder. “
– Pico Iyer, Why We Travel

INDIA-11030

Varanasi, India

BANGLADESH-10007

Bangladesh

BANGLADESH-10010

Bangladesh

 

PHILIPPINES-10028

Sulu Sea, Philippines

“There is a change that takes place in a man or a woman in transit.
You can see this at its most exaggerated on a ship when whole personalities change.”
– John Steinbeck


BURMA-10228

Burma/Myanmar

 “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
– Mark Twain

TIBET-10720NF

Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet


COSTA_RICA-10006, Papagayo, Costa Rica, 05/2007, Paul Theroux

Paul Theroux, Papagayo, Costa Rica

 

“Travel is flight and pursuit in equal parts.”
The Great Railway Bazaar, Theroux

INDIA-10711NF-(1)

Agra, India

 

Lost in Thought

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2011 by stevemccurry
BURMA-10069
Bagan, Burma/Myanmar
 A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought.  There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor. 
- Victor Hugo
CAMBODIA-10319
 Angkor Wat, Cambodia

 Never be afraid to sit a while and think. 
- Lorraine Hansberry,  A Raisin in the Sun
INDIA-10852
 Varanasi, India
AFGHN-13257
Afghanistan 
 
CAMBODIA-10323
  Cambodia

 Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen;
even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind. 
-Leonardo da Vinci, Notebooks, 1508
CANADA-10005
Canada 
USA-10550
New York City 
KOREA-10010
South Korea 
UZBEKISTAN-10007
Uzbekistan 
USA-10101NF
United States
CHINA-10065China
HONDURAS-10039
Honduras
AFGHN-12422Ahmed Shah Massoud, Kabul, Afghanistan
AFGHN-12906
Bamiyan, Afghanistan
 
No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.
– Voltaire

CAMBODIA-10298Angor Wat, Cambodia 

KASHMIR-10147
Jammu & Kashmir 
SPAIN-10020NFMuseo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain
Guernica and the Evolution of Consciousness, Picasso

USA-10292Grand Canyon, Arizona, United States

Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?
Winnie the Pooh,  A.A. Milne

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