WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY BHARAT SIKKA
Photographer Bharat Sikka reflects on the journey of water in India—its sounds, its smells, its colors, its pace—and how our lives revolve around it.
I think about water. Water falling from the sky.
The wet air, the smell of rain, and the voice of thunder.
A long road leading on.
There is a silence, a quietness all around, as people move sparsely or hide within closed doors.
Time compressed or perhaps paused. Flashes of green, passing by.
The distant quiet hill, a gloomy cluster of houses abandoned and left alone, like a mountain of green dunes.
An abandoned town, mysterious and eerie, takes you back in time.
The occasional sunny day, the light breaking through the melancholic clouds,
A deserted lake, static as stone reflecting the sky.
Life revolves around water.
The ritual of the walking down to the water.
The hallucinatory symmetry of the stairs in the barren landscape, the cool quiet of the stone.
The baoli offer glimpses of an enlightened past, the going inward into the Earth,
Each step taking us closer to a sheltered refuge.
The wisdom of the ancients still standing,
The yearlong patient longing for the monsoon.
Whisper of an urgent conversation,
To remind us about the unpredictability of the rain gods,
The clairvoyance of the ancestors.
I search for water deep down, deep below a submerged palace.
A place lost in time under the ground above the sky.
Mysterious like a pyramid but inverted and dug into the ground,
A cascade of steps leading us mysteriously down,
Perhaps a portal into another world and another town.
PRODUCTION Manoj Adhikari Production PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT Abhishek Khedekar
Cascade explores the notion that every action, including inaction, is a choice—and each choice we make has a series of consequences, cascading across time. The choices we make now in regards to the planet will determine the trajectory of the human race for generations to come. Water can conform to its container, or it can gather in force as whelming as a wave. What will you choose?