05 December 2010 – Sunday - Guesthouse, Delhi, India
The Little One awoke this morning just after one am, her cold worse than ever. She cried and cried and cried and cried. The only way she can sleep is when she is being held. The second you lay her down, she wakes up and starts crying again. She can’t feed properly because her nose is blocked and she hasn’t quite figured out how to breathe and drink at the same time. So she struggles with feeding and sleeping.
So today, because of that, we spent the entire morning indoors. The Little One slept most of the time, as did H, who didn’t sleep much in the night at all. At around 2pm, however, H’s sister R came over and we drove back to Connaught Place and the famous Oxford Book Store, where we have been several times in the past. We had brunch there and I looked at photography books by the great Indian photographer Raghu Rai. His black and white work is amazing. It is so inspirational. I also found this oversized coffee table book of kite photographs of India. Kite photographs, you say? What the hell is that? (that’s what I said) I didn’t know either. At first I thought they were all aerial photographs taken from an airplane or helicopter, because that’s exactly what they looked like. But exploring further I discovered they actually were taken from a kite. This French guy developed and adapted a special Japanese kite with a photo camera suspended to the bottom of it that had some kind of two-way video camera also attached so he could see what he was shooting. Then he would wake up early in the morning and fly his kite high above all these historical monuments of India. The work is absolutely stunning when you consider they are not taken by some guy strapped into an airplane, but by a little camera attached by string to a kite, of all things. The other thing that really makes his images stand out is that they are taken just as the sun breaks over the horizon, which gives his pictures this warm, sculpted look and just reaffirms that the most beautiful light in the day is early morning light. I read a quote once that said something like ‘no good photo was ever taken in the middle of the day.’ I think that’s true.
We had to pack up all our things at the Guesthouse this evening and move all of our big suitcases over to R’s place, as we were leaving the Guesthouse first thing tomorrow morning for the train station for our short trip to Haridwar and Rishikesh.