Visiting old friends in Ladakh

22 March 2016

Shoot Director Sridhar caught this moment on a private photography tour of Ladakh. I love this photograph. Here’s Sridhar on the backstory:

“He is mostly a recluse, and his house itself is away from the main village. He is originally from Punjab and moved to Ladakh with his brother who was in the Indian Army. He fell in love with Ladakh and its people over two decades ago and married a local woman. Even after his brother passed away, he did not have the heart to return to Punjab. You can see his brother’s photo in the background.

I visit him almost regularly, part of it is selfish, because he has such a nice face, but part of it is also because he does not keep too well himself.

“On this day, when I went to visit him he was feeling under the weather but was glad I came, so he could chat with someone other than his wife. He told me he had taken in a cat and three of her kittens so there would be a little more ‘life’ in the house.

“I saw two of the little ones and after looking around in vain for the third, he asked me to settle in because he would begin his evening prayers. He had burnt a little juniper when I saw the third kitten crawl out from under the blankets.

“In this image, he is speaking to the mother cat, not in the frame, but she’s sitting in the corner on the window. He is telling her that she needs to take better care of her kittens, specially the naughty one he has in his hand.”

Postscript: We were sorry to learn of this gentleman's passing in February, 2018. RIP.

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