A few of my favorite plants from my visit to the Botanical Gardens in Washington, DC and Brooklyn, New York. So ornate, detailed, unique, and incredibly beautiful. Not to mention prehistoric? I mean, those lily pads! (Photographed old school style with a Pentax K1000.)
Little Family, Big Hearts
I first met the Pacharne family in 2011 when I was interning with a micro-finance organization in the town they live in. Sunita, by some chance encounter had suddenly become my tailor. Through broken English she befriended me and invited me to visit her home to meet her children. That first visit changed my life forever and I can now say that I have extended family in India. The two months that I was able to spend with Sunita, whom I look up to as my elder sister, her husband Machindra, and their children, Namrata and Samarth were some of the most heartwarming and insightful experiences I've ever had among another culture. I was an outsider welcomed to see what most others wouldn't, the true dynamics of their family. The ins and outs. The fights and celebrations, The discipline and carefree attitude. When I returned to India in 2013, I spent about three weeks with them. It was like I had never left. There are only so few moments when one feels as though they have picked up right where they left off, where nothing has changed, time has stopped, and you are whole. I'm lucky to have had this moment with them.
Machindra & Sunita. I am inspired by their lives', their struggles, their happiness, and their ability to stay dedicated to their family through any hardship. Always up for a laugh. They are my mentors, my teachers.
Samarth. He's ten, but his eyes speak wisdom beyond his years. A young boy full of curiosity, life, and mischief. Though at the same time he's shy, quiet, and content. I'm quite taken by such a great persona in such a small boy. He has the whole world ahead of him.
Namrata & Samisksha. When I see Namrata, I see perseverance and ambition. I see a fighter and someone who will succeed. Not to mention stubborn. She's not afraid to back down. Rightly so, as her nickname is Samruddhi, meaning 'prosperity'. She's a beautiful human being, inside and out. Her best friend is Samisksha. She's shy (as you can tell) quiet, contemplative, smart, sweet, and a dreamer. I've come to be a sort of 'mentor' of these two---someone whom they can trust. My heart beams for all of them each time I think of them.