Have you travelled on a train for a journey that’s more than overnight, perhaps two days or three? We’re sure you felt a lot uncomfortable, be it by the dirty toilets or just by sticking to your not-so-comfy berth for so many hours at a stretch. Believe us, your journey was nothing compared to Dibrugarh-Kanyakumari Vivek Express journey which is 85 hours long! The train runs between Assam and Kanyakumari over a stretch of 4,237 kilometres.
Ed Hanley had the guts to take that journey.
He hails from Canada and first found his interest lying in the music in India which gradually developed into a penchant for photographing India’s diversity. A tabla player who is also a photographer, Hanley took on the longest train journey in India and captured beauty as well as disturbing factors like poverty and beggary.
This is his 10th visit to India.
“India is the most photogenic place I’ve ever been,” says Hanley as reported by BBC.
“It’s a mix of colour and personality, where beauty and chaos coexist in the same moment, and where ancient traditions absorb and integrate modern ways.”
Hanley discovered that he was the only passenger to be covering the entire train journey among the passengers and staff.
Hanley came across two girls who had hopped onto the train, one doing acrobats while the other playing a dholak. “They were both incredibly talented, and they made some money, but they should have been in school.”
Recognising child labour as a serious issue that grips India, he said, “Education is really the only way out of the poverty cycle, so it’s sad to see kids begging at six or seven years old when they should be in school.”
Chai kept him company!
“When we arrived in Kanyakumari my legs took a few hours to get used to solid land!”
(We can totally feel you, bro!)
“If all journeys are teachers, it may well be that a journey to India is the greatest teacher of all.”- Ed Hanley states in his blog.
(All pictures have been sourced from Ed Hanley‘s blog collection)