Getting to Vrindavan for the Holi was one of the most difficult and long journey of my life. The kind of moment when you think everything is against you : train was cancelled, Nico losing money and credit card, hotel trying to scam us, being lied to by dishonest people, feeling stuck in Varanasi, having to drive 17 hours in a cab which broke down 100k before reaching destination, getting lost… Anyways, we finally arrived, a bit late but more than ready to get colored. And as soon as we stepped out of the autorickshaw, we got powdered !! So we didn’t lose time and just threw our bags in the hotel, rushing to the streets, ready to click !
Experiencing the Holi in India was one of the thing I always wanted to do since I heard about it a few years back, and I couldn’t imagine how crazy it actually is. For a day and a half, I felt like stepping into a war zone. The amount of people overcrowding streets and temples, the noise, the music, the singing, the dancing… everything felt alien. To add at this craziness, as a foreigner and a photographer, you’re probably one of the favorite target. Colors, powder or water are coming from everywhere and anyone, rooftops or balconies, kids or elderlies and It is impossible to predict it. You just have to accept it!
But in all of this chaos, there is a feeling of equity, community and happiness. There’s no violence, and people are not agressive. They just want to party for Lord Krishna. When you get inside the temples, the spirituality overtakes you and you can witness these beautiful moments of dancing, chanting and praising the gods (safely protected behind a glass window).
It was unfortunately really hard to document it properly as I never worked in these conditions, but you cope with it and shoot thousands of pics, hoping you’ll get some nice ones. But even if you don’t get good shots, the experience is definitely worth it. It is the best and craziest thing I’ve done in my life (so far) !
I’m happy that I shared this moment with my friend Nicolas Coupet, with who I’ve been travelling for a couple of months now in the crazy and beautiful India!