India | Namasté

Wherever I am in the world, I am inspired by the beauty and color and character of unfamiliar cultures – the architecture, the landscape, the artifacts, and, perhaps most meaningful, the people.

I have also found that my feeble attempts to speak even a few words of the language are usually rewarded with a smile (okay, it’s sometimes a laugh at my bad pronunciation) and an open door into new worlds.

In India, the simple greeting of “namasté” transformed faces from wary to welcoming.

The traditional Indian hello of “Namasté,” delivered with palms together in front of the heart and a small bow, means literally, “I bow to you.” In deeper terms, it means, “The God in me greets the God in you; the Spirit in me meets the same Spirit in you.” It is as heartfelt to deliver as it is to receive.

Walking through the streets of Narlai, I found that the villagers were happy to engage, and even to pose for my camera, in response to my “namasté.”



The children would strike a pose, and then giggle delightedly and beam with pride when I showed them the image on my camera.

They would say the only English words that they know…in sing-song voices as if they were parroting their teacher: “Hel-looooo. What is your name? Where are you from? What is your mother’s name? What is your father’s name?”



Even though we exchanged just a word, or maybe two, it gave me a chance to stop and look into the faces of the people in this village…

…and, for a brief moment, to connect.

9 responses to “India | Namasté”

  1. Nancy

    your photographs are always beautiful but the ones from India are absolutely amazing….each and every one work of art!

  2. Orlene

    I especially love the children in the photos!  Awesome!

  3. Looking through your India posts takes me down memory lane of my two trips there. Your images reveal the grand differences among the north of India and where I’ve been (Mumbai and Gujarat and Chennai). Your choice to open this post by discussing the value of knowing even a few words in Hindi stirred my spirit. Suddenly what poured forth was the invocation sung before anusara yoga classes:

    Nichole, a fellow gori

  4. Susie

    I want a copy of the book when you publish these photos!
    Truly beautiful.

  5. Hillary

    Absolutely gorgeous, the places, the faces, the photos! What am amazing experience. Thank you!

  6. Edy

    wow!  Your pictures left me speechless.  The colors, the expressions on the faces, the moods you captured are fantastic.  I could look at these again and again.  Thank you!

  7. Pamela~
    These photos are beautiful. You captured the human spirit.

  8. Gorgeous uplifting colors, beautiful textiles and amazing faces . The architectural “canvas” for each portrait is an intriguing source of interest and beauty. Lovely series.