A Love Letter to Kerala

A Love Letter to Kerala

common way to describe Kerala is “India light”, used by locals
and visitors alike. It’s an homage to one of the country’s top
travel and living destinations; Kerala has all the flavour of India
but without the carbs, so to speak.

Population development, progressing gender dynamics and a
thriving economy have positioned the southwestern state as a model
to aspire to across the subcontinent and beyond. I travelled to
Kerala on assignment with an international portrait photographer,
escorted by locals which allowed us an inside look into the
elevated quality of life people here enjoy. I was able to really
get behind the scenes and began to learn what makes this narrow
pocket of India so inviting.

We hiked through the dense forests of Wayanad where wild
elephants roam and the exotic flora fills the mountain gorges. We
wandered along sweeping beaches among fishermen hauling their daily
catch off colourful wooden vessels. We caught a boat and floated
through serene backwaters, rice paddies drifting past on either
side. We feasted on fresh local cuisine, which couldn’t be more
different to the western interpretation of Indian food (much
better, might I add). We ducked in and out of golden temples,
traditional homes and bustling street markets.

For three glorious weeks I fell gradually more in love with
Kerala, and it’s a relationship that is only just beginning. I have
already been back once more to deepen that bond. It is not just the
beautiful landscapes and ease of exploration that draws me back. As
I think this series shows, it is the people that really pulled me
in. Their inviting nature, florid aesthetic and friendly
disposition allowed for some of my favourite portraits from across
the world.

“India light”, is a smooth tropical culture of colour and
progress, and one for which I think I will always have a thirst. A
mere two weeks has passed, and I’m already parched.

brianmcguffog.com | @brianmcgufffog

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