This Russian’s travel tales in India depend on the sale of his photographs
Just before the open flea market at the Palika Bazaar crossing and Block A of Connaught Place, if you walk through the small crowd, you’ll spot a foreigner sitting on a slightly raised platform. Ahead of him, is a spread of postcard-sized photographs, placed in neat rows. And along with these, is a placard explaining what the man is upto!
Meet Kola – the man from Russia who is selling his photographs in Delhi to earn money to be able to continue travelling. “My name Kola. It’s long name… Nikola and Indian name is Coca Cola because people ask me, what’s my name and I say Kola, they say Coca Cola. I say yes,” he says cheerfully. “I’m sorry but my English isn’t good,” he adds with a short laugh that makes him blush in embarrassment.
With whatever little English that he manages to speak, it can be understood that he has run out of money while on his exploration of the Indian sub-continent. “It’s normal, no problem. I travel long time. I come back from Nepal. I sell photo for one week and make money. Next I visit Kashmir. I like Kashmir. It’s top place in India,” says the man who is a traveller at heart.
His thoughts on the sheer change in climate between his homeland and Delhi? “It’s very hot…,” he says wiping sweat off his forehead, “That’s why I go to Kashmir. It’s not hot in Kashmir. I live in Siberia. It’s too cold!” How much money has he made by selling his landscape photographs? “Yesterday I made 1000. Today don’t know… I’ll count when I go back to hostel. Hostel gives place to live. But I need money to eat and travel. I’ll manage,” he adds, on observing our concern.
“I leave India June 22. My visa expire. So, I want to go to Kashmir before that,” he shares. Hope he makes it to Kashmir and back home to Russia safe!
Bhawesh Thakur and Srinika