Tales of Innocence

Every time I travel to places, I see all kinds of people. I talk to them, hear them, their stories and photograph them. Some of them allow me, posing shyly or looking curiously at the camera lens, perhaps excitement of seeing themselves in a photograph for the very first time. And there are some who simply deny. But the most common subjects and the ones who never say No, no matter what the time, place or season is are children.
You don’t need a permission to talk to them and because of their simple yet pure thoughts, they befriend you quickly and guide to their homes or even the secret places, talking about everyday life, things that we grownups often don’t pay much attention to.
Perhaps this is the reason why I have photographed children the most throughout my travels. They represent a complete life. I have seen them in different forms, from infancy to toddlers to teenagers. Some, who are fortunate to get the basic enmities, enjoy their childhood, while some take the burden of responsibilities that even an adult hesitates to bear, very early. But what is the most extraordinary thing about them is that they find a way to be happy no matter what. Some are shy, introspective, while others very naughty. Some are privileged while some are not. They can be your best friends sometimes and you live the colours of life with them. They inspire you with their innocent, heartbreaking smiles, sometimes nobody can make you happy except them. And their eyes, Ah! Brimming bright with hope, a potential that drives the humanity.

School kids try to run the windmill toy in Arunachal Pradesh.
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Children playing cricket in saffron fields of Pampore,a town in the outskirts of Srinagar, Kashmir.
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A  farmer in the making.
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Kids outside a wooden hut in the Lolab valley of Kashmir.
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A girl waiting at the gate of a shrine to collect alms.
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A shepherd boy from the bakerwal community guiding the herd. Bakerwals are the semi nomadic herdsmen of the Himalayan Region.
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Kids studying inside a charity run school in Bhaderwah, Jammu and Kashmir.
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A boy comes out of his polythene covered tents in the outskirts slums of Srinagar, Kashmir.
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A girl sits by the window seat of the local train in Kashmir.
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Kids collecting water from a public tap in the outskirts of Srinagar, Kashmir.
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A boy holding a used notebook, waiting for his customers to check their weight. This weight machine earns him daily bread at an age when he should have been in school.
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Migrant kids living in the slums in the outskirts of Srinagar, Kashmir.
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A Kashmiri kid gets his bicycle repaired in the old Srinagar city.
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Young rag pickers smoking bidi in the outskirts of Srinagar.
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A school boy rushes through the paddy fields of Lolab Valley, Kashmir as it was about to rain.

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Young kids on the way to the forests of central Kashmir to collect firewood.
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