rajasthan

Sydney siege: Rising from the ashes – I pray for understanding &…

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Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson

This morning I watch the news with tears in my eyes… 

My heart goes out to those affected by the Sydney siege, an event which is now at it’s conclusion, but will live on in our hearts, minds and future actions.

Like many Australians I am well travelled and having spent half of my life in Melbourne, I left Australian shores for a life in the Middle East in 1999 with the misguided notion that because I’d grown up in a city with a melting pot of nations that I understood how the world worked and the people living in it.

It wasn’t until I returned to Australia in 2006, having spent 6.5 years living in Dubai, traveling around the globe working for Emirates Airline, working with & managing people from over 100 different nationalities and cultures, that I begin to appreciate how misguided this notion was.

Every day around me I see a casual racism that’s so prevalent and ingrained in Australian “culture” that it’s glossed over, passed off and readily accepted as good humour, whilst in reality has an ongoing impact much more than the user can quantify and know.

What many of us forget is that all of us living on this world’s largest island, a land of wondrous beauty and contrasts, are originally are from somewhere else… black, white, green & gold, true blue… even our indigenous Australians originally came to this land mass some 40,000+ years ago… it existed long before we all got here and will continue to do so long after we’ve left this earth.

Now more than ever, in the wake of the awful events that have just transpired, I’m hopeful that as Australians we can pull together as a people and use the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the diverse range of people across a range of cultures and nationalities that live within our borders.

Many of us fail to stop, recognize and appreciate that essentially as a species we’re all the same in so many ways – watching in wonder as a loved one’s small child takes it’s first steps or the magic of making that child smile as we cradle him or her in our arms, watching as our family puppy does something stupid and makes us laugh, working our hands to the bone during the week, so that we can all enjoy the simple pleasures of spending time in the company of family and friends at night and on weekends, listening to much-loved songs or going out to a live show, cheering on our favourite sports teams, the desire to travel and learn… we all have our own little quirks and idiosyncrasies, we all fear, we all hate, we all love, we all love… and this is what I want us to focus on…

Our fear of those different to us and the fear of the unknown is where prejudice is born, but once we take the time to look beyond colour, race, creed and actually get to know our fellow man the world is a different place. When we step outside of what we think we know to learn more about our fellow man and embrace our differences, we open ourselves up to realizing that we’re not so different after-all.

When you step outside into the world today, with the events of Sydney siege not far from your mind, do me a favour and do one thing that I guarantee will give you fresh perspective, a burst of positive energy and put a smile in your heart.

Take the time to perform a random act of kindness for a complete stranger – whether it be to hold a door open for someone coming up behind you and allowing them to walk through first, getting up to give another your seat on the train/tram/bus/ferry, saying hi and ask the person behind the counter how their day’s been or even sharing the simplest act of kindness through a compliment or smile.

With small steps we can work towards making a positive impact on those within our own world and it’s wonderful how one simple, selfless act can generate warmth, energy and love.

From the red deserts of central Australia, to the mountaintops of snow and pristine beaches lapped by turquoise and aqua waves – like our land, the people in it are blessed to be able to enjoy a wealth of contrasts and we are better for it. 

We are many. We are different, yet still so much the same and by looking out for our fellow man we become strong.

We all love. We are as one. 

Dan Wilkinson

Hot & Delicious Group.. Passion, Creativity & Community.

Culture, travel, music, news & live photography from around the planet:

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Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.

Listen to the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series by clicking here.

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series is a weekly podcast interviewing inspiring individuals and successful entrepreneurs from around the planet across a range of industries (incl. music, film/tv, fashion, travel, comedy and more) about what makes them tick as people and drives their hunger for success.

Little girl with the most amazing eyes. Uttar Pradesh (India).

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Photographic tales of an ex-Emirates flight attendant – Hot & Delicious:Rocks The Planet

#15. Little girl with the amazing eyes. Uttar Pradesh.India.
Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

A trip to the Taj Mahal is a once in a lifetime experience… although for that is just 1 highlight of a country that will blow your mind…

Everywhere we traveled on my 5 day journey around India’s Golden Triangle involved an explosion of colours, cultures, cows with their arses parked in the middle of busy streets, Horn Please and of course an Englishman, Irish lass and Aussie boy as pale as the white of snow being followed around by locals, who were either curious at how different we were, keen to get a cash lining for their pockets from the rich foreigners and sometimes a combination of both.

I must admit, at the time I got quite frustrated at the lack of space, being followed absolutely everywhere and constantly begged, hassled and cajoled for money. Life was crazy busy with Emirates Airline and to me holidays were a time to get away from the masses – the hundreds of people I met every single day at work and I was craving a little time to myself/solitude.  Blame yourself, Jack… it was never going to be that kind of holiday! 😀

Anyway, 23 miles along the road from Agra (where the Taj Mahal lives) to Jaipur we stopped at this beautiful ancient city on top of a ridge overlooking the rich brown lands of Uttar Pradesh called Fatehpur Sikri. The city was founded in 1569 by the Mughal emperor Akbar and is a beautiful, walled city of red sandstone.

I was blown away by the architecture and busily snapping away on my Nikon SLR, when all of a sudden I turned around and this beautiful little girl was gazing up at me… like a deer in the headlights she stood stock still and just stared.

She had the most amazing eyes, I was just captivated and I can’t explain it, but in those few seconds for me it felt like time stopped. Everywhere I went in India people were constantly asking for money, which I almost never obliged and when I offered some to this little girl she wouldn’t take it.

She just kept standing there staring…

DW

The ancient ochre city of Fatehpur Sikri. Uttar Pradesh, India.
The ancient ochre city of Fatehpur Sikri. Uttar Pradesh, India.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can also listen to the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series here.

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series is a weekly podcast interviewing inspiring individuals and successful entrepreneurs from around the planet across a range of industries (incl. music, film/tv, fashion, travel, comedy and more) about what makes them tick as people and drives their hunger for success.

Hot & Delicious Group.. Passion, Creativity & Community.

Culture, travel, music, news & sick live photography from around the planet:

Twitter @hotndelicious 
Instagram @hotndelicious
Facebook.com/HotnDelicious
hotndelicious.wordpress.com

Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.

 

Journey to Jaipur, Rajasthan (India) – Photographic tales of an ex-Emirates flight attendant

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Hot & Delicious Rocks: The Planet! – Photographic travel diary series.

Roasted peanuts. Jaipur, Rajasthan Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

Flashbacks to India and another fantastic snap from my trip to the Golden Triangle.

Spending a night or two in Jaipur was just magical and a real eye-opener. Everywhere we went we were followed by crowds of people and I (like most no doubt) was captivated by the striking colour of the buildings in this majestic city in Northern India.

Jaipur, also known as The Pink City, is so named as Maharaja Ram Singh (the ruler of Amber) had to entire city painted in pink in colour to welcome the Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria when they visited India on tour in 1876. Pink is considered to be the colour of hospitality and tradition has been maintained ever since with the locals now obliged by law to keep their buildings pink.

I clearly remember shooting this little dude on the side of the road roasting his peanuts. The 3 of us were wandering around town and everywhere I looked was a photographers dream. Most people hassled us for money, but this guy just kept about his daily task, looked me in the eyes and smiled.

I never did try his nuts…

DW

You can also listen to the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series here.

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet is a weekly podcast interviewing inspiring individuals and successful entrepreneurs from around the planet across a range of industries (incl. music, film/tv, fashion, travel, comedy and more) about what makes them tick as people and drives their hunger for success.

Hot & Delicious Group.. Passion, Creativity & Community.

Culture, travel, music, news & sick live photography from around the planet:

Twitter @hotndelicious 
Instagram @hotndelicious
Facebook.com/HotnDelicious
hotndelicious.wordpress.com

Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.

 

Taxi driver – Fare for Hire. Delhi, India. Horn Please!

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Taxi for Hire. Delhi, India. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

Hot & Delicious Rocks: The Planet! – photographic travel diary series.

Taxi for Hire. Delhi, India. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

Following on from last week’s post, Little girl’s curiosity. Jaipur, India, I shot this image as we were leaving Delhi International Airport in a taxi with this gentleman who was to be our driver and travel guide around the Golden Triangle for the next 5 days.

As I captured this moment in time, I watched our driver examine each of us closely in his rearview mirror, taking in the broad, distinct London, Dublin and Aussie accents and personalities of the 3 passengers seated in the back of his old school ride. 

And for all you out there who’ve ever travelled India by road… “Horn Please!” 😀

DW

Click here for more photos from the Hot & Delicious Rocks: The Planet! travel series

Hot & Delicious Group.. Passion, Creativity & Community.

Culture, travel, music, news & sick live photography from around the planet:

Twitter @hotndelicious 
Instagram @hotndelicious
Facebook.com/HotnDelicious
hotndelicious.com

Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.
Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.