This Rus­sian’s travel tales in In­dia de­pend on the sale of his pho­to­graphs

HT City - - My City - Henna Rakheja

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

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