I am indebted to Ashish Vidyarthi and to Gopal Rao who inspired this
It takes courage, boldness, and verve to bring enlightenment to India.
Mother India, home for centuries to the
the holy men of the east, one of the oldest, most
respected, and most densely populated countries on
(1.19 billion people compared to the United States' paltry
by comparison 310 million) has literally for thousands of
years defined for humanity what enlightenment is. But because of how
we're structured as human beings, enlightenment and in particular the
way it's delivered, invariably gathers and coagulates concepts and
beliefs around it to the point where, how ever well meaning
and well intentioned, conversations about it end up shrouding it in
significance and jargon, thereby actually blocking its living
experience and availability.
This slide show comprising close to three hundred photographs is the
work of Ashish Vidyarthi, an award winning, well known, appreciated,
admired, and recognized Bollywood film, television, and
stage actor who has mastered both dramatic and comedic roles and is
equally at home portraying villains and
A multilingual artist, he has appeared in over one hundred and fifty
films, shows, and plays. Ashish is a
and an unbridled, unabashed, and unstoppable spokesperson for
in India and the world.
You'll notice Ashish is also a master photographer. For me, what makes
Ashish's work extraordinary is not simply the way his photographs
represent Werner - and the way his photographs represent Werner is
extraordinary. What's really extraordinary is the way his
photographs represent Werner even when Werner isn't in the
photograph! Ashish's photography shows people in the
of something awesome, being with something great, getting in touch with
and mastering something profound. Ashish's photography
reminds us that in the end, Werner is each of us.
There's a powerful, rich opportunity here to experience
Here's the link to the slide show, the porthole looking onto what
happened. Set aside a quiet, undistracted moment to take in the
enormity of it, to be there, to be with Werner in India.