The city of Agra is best known for the incredible Taj Mahal but if you have enough time to explore the city there is plenty more to discover.
I like to offset the indulgence of idyllic landscapes and gleaming tourist attractions with a taste of gritty city life. Sure enough it’s often amid grimy challenging conditions that we discover the most moving narratives and learn more about other people’s lives and struggles. If we are lucky, we might learn a little more about ourselves too.
Tough environments overflowing with desperation, poverty, resilience, hope, cooperation, love and kindness all at once certainly make me think a lot about what is happening in the world and how we all connect.
Take this record shop for example. At first I think most people just see a fun and colourful image as I did. Thinking a bit more about it though, this shop looks in a very poor state regarding the condition of its stock to such an extent it might be laughed at by a wealthy western traveller.
Is it somebody’s livelihood and main source of income? Does anybody actually shop there? There is certainly some pride taken in how these records are displayed which suggests it means a lot to somebody. I’m not sure what the story is behind this shop but as with most situations it likely runs far deeper than we would begin to imagine. I hope the shop is still there when we are lucky enough to return to India.
Please visit our India page to find more galleries from this wonderful country.