The best routes are the ones you haven’t taken yet, says Gautam Kulkarni

The stories of people I have met including this palm reader and his daughter are in my pictureforapicture book

Learning to ride a bike is something every child wants. Imagine using that childhood passion to roam the towns and villages of India to satisfy your love for travel and photography. This is exactly what Gautam Kulkarni did when he decided to cycle through Gujrat and Rajasthan and photograph his favorite subject: human beings.

Gautam is an Indian national who grew up in Dubai and was educated in the UK. He runs a multi-million dollar business in Dubai which he founded at the age of 23. He continues to wear his many hats as an entrepreneur, adventurer, father of a family and philanthropist with ease and to live his life in his own way.

We asked Gautam what drove him to cycle India and what was the most memorable experience on the trip:

Cycling is like a meditation for me. It also allows me to travel at a pace where I can slow down, stop, meet people, interact with them and photograph them with ease.

One of my favorite memories is when I was cycling through Gujarat and Rajasthan. While the whole trip was filled with adventure and I met a lot of wonderful people along the way, I vividly remember that time when I stopped for a break from my bike and I saw a young girl playing with her friend on the side of the road. She had such a beautiful smile that it made me want to photograph her to capture it. Her dad, I guess, got worried when he saw me stop my cycle next to her and started walking towards me.

However, as soon as he approached his suspicious gaze changed to a friendly smile and we started chatting and asking what I was doing on the bike with my bags on the bike. He told me that he had been the reader of the face and palm of the village, but that he had to take his family and leave because there was no money to be made in this profession in the village. . They were now traveling on foot to another village, with all their belongings with them, staying by the side of the road in a makeshift tent. He read my palm in exchange for taking a few pictures of him and his daughter and another of his whole family (and of course printing them out for him on my portable printer). Tracing the furrows with my hand, he sought to paint a picture of my past and then told me where I might be heading in the future. It’s hard to explain, but even though we both lead such different lives, I felt such a deep connection with him, as if we had always known each other. We chatted a bit more before I left. Travel and photography have given me an incredible opportunity to meet people I would never have met otherwise. Their incredible stories, their resilience and their warmth gave me a much bigger picture of the world we live in. I am truly grateful to everyone I have met along the way for sharing a part of their story with me and becoming a part of mine. The stories of people I have met, including this palm reader and her daughter, are in my pictureforapicture book.

Gautam’s pictureforapicture book is a collage of amazing photographs like the one mentioned above along with short stories giving insight into his interactions with them. It is unique in that Gautam always prints an image of the people he photographs and gives them the impression.

Picureforapicture is available on Amazon and Kindle and is published by Notion Press. Gautam’s Instagram ID is @hobograph and its social networks are managed by Groundwork.

Disclaimer: No Asian Age reporter was involved in the creation of this content. The group also declines all responsibility for this content.

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