The Man From Ooty

By Mary Kay Seales

I traveled to the hill station of Ooty in southern India in 2011 while working as a teacher trainer with the U.S. State Department. Reaching Ooty required a journey through the lush hillsides of the Nilgiri Mountains. Tea plantations and wild untamed forests with elephants, monkeys and Bengali tigers, it’s a journey worth the 10-hour drive from Coimbatore or the historic train ride from Coonoor, a little mountain town.

Stealing their souls?

I’m always careful when photographing people in places I visit. Many people from traditional cultures believe you are stealing their souls with your camera. Taking a photograph of a person is, indeed, an invasion on the part of the photographer, and if the photograph is good, it WILL capture a piece of that person’s soul, right?

While I was taking photos in the little town of Ooty, this man stopped me and ASKED ME to take his photo. I love the accidental backdrop, his handsome and intense face and piercing eyes. I feel he is looking into my soul.

It’s one of my favorite images!


Further Reading:

Lonely Planet South India & Kerala (Travel Guide)

Lonely Planet

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