“You have to see the way people around the world live,” said Caren Libit, who with her husband in October 2008, ventured into northern India’s Rajasthan province on a 3-week bicycle tour.
The ex-software executives and early-retirees from Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., started their tour in Delhi. Libit says they stopped in a tiny, poor village called Narlai where she captured the essence of a mother’s love — a woman taking her disabled son to the market, this week’s top-rated It’s A Snap! image.
“I saw this woman come by with a severely disabled boy (anywhere from 9 to 11 years old) on her head. She didn’t speak English, but I asked to take her picture and she agreed. In third-world countries, they don’t see themselves in pictures, so I showed it the mother and the little boy. He lit up when he saw it, it was incredibly moving.”
Libit says a translator talked with the woman and found that she takes her son out every day for a walk through the village to get fresh air, and when going to the market, she carries him an a wagon. “That’s the joy he gets every day.”
“The thing about India, out of a billion people, 90 percent of them are dirt-poor. But it’s an amazing place — the colors, the smells — and the people are so warm and open,” said Libit.
Another stop on their tour was India’s holy city, Varanasi. “It’s the craziest damn city — crazy in a good way” — it’s the most moving place I’ve ever been,” Libit proclaimed. “It’s the most incredible city.”
Libit explains that Varanasi is where people bathe in the Ganges River to wash away sins, and is the place where they go to die and get cremated. “The smells are amazing, burning bodies — but it’s the most amazing place I’ve ever been in my life. You can wash the smells and dirt off your body, but you can’t wash it out of your mind,” said Libit.
Adding, “A lot of people don’t want to go there because of everything they’ve heard. You have to be in the right frame of mind to go … It’s a mind-blower.”
Libit snapped the winning shot with a Panasonic DMC-F27 Lumix.
Read more about the Libit’s worldwide travels .