We met our wonderful group yesterday. It was evident from the beginning that they would become fast friends. As a tour leader it is a delight to see, and to be able to sit back and listen to the chatter about what tours they have been on, where they are going and where the want to go in the future — this is they kind of group dynamic that makes a photography tour successful. Someone who is new to the fold commented during our orientation meeting that it was like a family reunion — music to my ears because that is what we strive to be — a photographic family.
As Herb and I had arrived a day earlier, we took a ride into Ahmedabad for a couple of hours and found these workers preparing kite strings for the upcoming Uttarayan or the Kite Flying Festival. Uttarayan, which falls on January 14 every year in Western India's Gujarat state, is marked with celebrations involving the flying and battling of kites. The strings are covered with a mixture of glue and ground glass which when dried, rolled up, and attached to the rear (also known as firkees) become sharp enough to cut skin. These types of sharp lines are used on fighter kites, known in India as patangs, to cut down other kites during various kite fighting events.
We will be in Bhuj at the start of the festival so we will be able to experience a much more rural approach to the event.
Jeremy Woodhouse is a professional photographer and traveller. He leads photography trips to all corners of the globe