This is the village of Khuri, near Jaisalmer in Rajasthan. It is surrounded by desert and barren land. Peacocks and antelopes run wild. As a photographer, what attracts me are the stunning sunsets in the desert. In Khuri there are no streetlights, so people rise as soon as the sunlight appears in the sky. From dawn, women and children walk about six hundred metres to the nearest well to fetch water for the day.
The village is known for its safety. People live in a very simple way, with few resources, and they are openhearted, welcoming and smiling. I ask some children if I can photograph them, so they take me inside their house and introduce me to their grandmother, who offers me a drink and something to eat. Whatever little they have, they are so happy to share. Every family has domestic animals – camels, cows, dogs and goats. They respect and care for their animals as if they are part of the family, with no sense of exploiting them There is only one vegetable that grows in this region, so meals comprise mainly this vegetable and chappatis. I am surprised that nobody is looking for money, trying to sell something or take me somewhere in order to make money. They just go about their simple lifestyle, happy to help with no expectations.
The men work in the camel safaris and rent their camels for heavy transport. The village has a couple of small shops offering very basic groceries and stationery.
Children go to a nearby government school, so their basic educational needs are met. When they return in the evening, they play games on the streets with wooden sticks and stones and also help take the animals for grazing and drinking water. Though people from all over the world visit the vicinity, the customs and lifestyle of the Khuri villagers seem untouched. For me, this trip to the desert was much more than photography; it was an amazing life experience.