Diwali is one of the biggest festivals in India and we at SUJAN believe in sharing our happiness and spreading joy through giving. The SNS Foundation (SNSF) represents the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of our larger conglomerate ‘Anand’ and has spent over five decades establishing social initiatives that provide health services, education, gender empowerment, meaningful training and skill sets to communities wherever our organisation has a base. Our aim is to help create an economically progressive and environmentally sustainable society in harmony with itself. Read More Diwali celebrations with SUJAN
Blink and you’ll miss the undulating desert track that meanders off the surprisingly well-paved Jodhpur/Jaisalmer highway and plonks you in the middle of a sublime mirage. But one wonders whether this is a deliberate attempt to protect a treasure?
The Serai is one such treasure comprising of supreme luxury, of whiter than white tents infused with understated elegance, coupled with unrivaled attentive care and, hold your breath, gingerly nestled in 100 acres of desert where you can stand on a clump of bush and watch the weather roll in… Read More A visit to The Serai, Jaisalmer
Unheard of rain fall levels are greening the Great Thar Desert in Rajasthan where all was previously sand. The great fort of Jaisalmer rises today not from dunes but from a rough sea of hardy shrubbery. The sun nevertheless fights back with undying force; if it fails to dehydrate the land so dramatically as in the past it will certainly succeed in dehydrating you and visitors to the remarkable oasis that is The Serai, Jaisalmer tented camp are strongly advised to drink plenty of water, wear hats and layer on the sun cream. The temptation though is to drink more of the delicious range of cocktails on offer and, if the sun gets too much, to retire to a beautifully appointed tent or to the hedonistic luxury of the Spa for a massage with wondrous smelling natural oils. I may have been camping recently on a desert island with no visible amenities or even fresh water and thought it good entertainment but I could get a serious taste for really high class hotels and no cockroaches. Read More The Serai, Jaisalmer
In June this year, 2013, Jaisalmer was declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site, a great tribute to this surviving mediaeval fortified city, its palaces and havelis finely carved in yellow sandstone, the colour of the Thar desert. For centuries Jaisalmer, built by Rawal Jaisal in 1156 AD, was an oasis on the inter-continental trade route linking India with Central Asia, Persia, Egypt, Africa and beyond. In 1974 Indira Gandhi visited the city and declared it a protected site but despite that Jaisalmer was neglected and allowed to degrade without a conservation management plan and the necessary enforcement of laws and norms to ensure its protection within the parameters of it being a living city and therefore, a living ‘monument’. Read More The Golden Fortress of Jaisalmer
Here is a collection of some photographs taken around The Serai, Jaisalmer. The landscape, the skies, each element has a depth of it’s own. Read More The Thar
When I heard the brief about creating a short promotional video for The Serai I instantly had a picture in my mind of the opening shot. A distant, wide angle shot, of a camel walking through the sand dunes in the golden light. I thought that orchestrating this would be as hard as getting a tiger to walk in front of the car…how wrong I was! Read More How do you Photograph a Camel in the Desert?
The other day someone asked me what my favourite Disney movie was. I was torn between the Lion King and Aladdin. The Lion King is so familiar to me, filling me with a warm homely feeling. I can relate to everything and feel so proud of how my continent, Africa, is portrayed. On the other hand Aladdin appeals to me for exactly the opposite reason… it is so completely foreign. Transported, momentarily, out of one’s comfort zone and into an entirely new life. Read More A Whole New World…
I never dreamt of going to India, in fact it was so far off my radar that I had absolutely no prior conceptions or expectations. It did not even feature on my creased and coffee stained map of the world, which forever lies sprawled out on my bedroom floor. In my dreams I had journeyed to far off lands, conversing in tongues that have yet to be jotted down in pen. I had battled the rough seas and traipsed deep gorges. I was an explorer. Read More On Assignment in India