Day 6 of the Rotterdam Photo takeover. 

Today’s image was taken in India. Each time I return to India, I remember my very first arrival at Delhi International Airport. Never having left Europe, I had no idea what to expect. Although India is only a 10-hour flight away, the contrast with Holland could not have been starker. A country with a population of over a billion, metropoles are the norm, and 77% of its inhabitants have to get by on less than one euro a day. Leaving the airport on foot I witnessed something I had never seen before. An adolescent walking on hands and feet, like an animal. His back broken like a twig in order to increase his begging income. India turned out to be a country where the dead lie lonely at the side of the road, waiting for someone to collect them, but also a country where a simple rickshaw driver seems happier than us. Often I wondered if I had not boarded a time machine instead of an airplane and had landed in the Middle Ages. The more time I spent there, the more this mysterious, mystical, and occasionally frightening country captured my heart. I keep coming back on a never ending quest for comprehension.

Eli Dijkers