“Varanasi is one of the most sacred centres of pilgrimage for the Hindus, and there are few other places where the intensity of impressions impact western visitors with as much power as here: colours, smells, noise, people, grace, suffering, and spirituality, come together to form a spicy mixture that is overwhelming even by Indian standards.
During my wanderings through the city, I came across this scene at one of the many ghats – as the accesses to the Ganges are called. It was at the period leading up to Diwali, the great Indian holiday, and many Indians see the event as a reason to repaint their houses and businesses. In this case, two connected round towers were getting a fresh coat of paint. The two workers spent the whole time on this uncomfortable, apparently improvised, scaffolding – which didn’t seem to worry or disturb them at all. On the contrary, they went about their worked completely relaxed and obviously having fun in the process.
The picture belongs to a small India series with a focus on people and street photography, that was taken during two journeys in the north and the south of the country. I want my photographs to reflect India as I myself experienced it: multi-layered, multi-faceted, exciting and always a challenge to the senses. I considered it important not to fall prey to corny clichés, but rather to simply capture scenes of everyday life.”
Meissner (*1978) works as a text writer and photographer for an advertising agency. While his professional work focusses on objects, his private interest lies in travel and street photography.