While Iran is a beautiful country with a rich history, it lacks a thriving tourism industry mainly due to its international image and what can be seen as a lack of effort to attract travelers.
We spoke to Gautam Kulkarni today, an avid traveler and photographer who enjoys traveling off the beaten path and places Iran on his list of top 3 travel destinations. Gautam runs a multi-million dollar business in Dubai that he started at the age of 23 and easily wears many hats as an entrepreneur, adventurer, author, family man and philanthropist.
He has visited the country on several occasions and tells us about one of his experiences of meeting a Kurdish man living in the Zagros mountains in Iran, and how these encounters during his travels led him to publish his book pictureforapicture , which takes a unique turn in photography.
“I was traveling with an Iranian friend when we met this man in the mountains of Kurdistan. The Kurds, whose roots go back over four millennia, are the third largest ethnic group after the Persians and Azeris. As an ethnic group, they are very different from what the outside world usually describes as typical Iranians.
I thought he looked very majestic, almost like he was the leader of a tribe. I had my friend translated who I thought looked very distinguished in his traditional clothes, and I would like to take a picture of him. When I printed his photo and returned it to him, he was so happy that he wanted us to have tea with him. As we were served sweet black tea sitting outside surrounded by beautiful mountains, he began to tell us stories from his life in the mountains and his thoughts on why there is conflict between them. religions. He told us that the only religion he believed in was love and brotherhood.
The man spoke with wisdom and a deep sense of understanding the true cost of conflict for the innocent. It’s truly amazing how a photograph can help break down barriers and lead to deep and meaningful conversations. These conversations then help change the preconceived notions that created the barriers in the first place.
Meeting this man left a lasting impression on me and I had to include his photo in my pictureforapicture book. “
Gautam’s pictureforapicture book is a collage of amazing photographs like the one mentioned above, along with short stories of how he met the people who make them up.
Picureforapicture is available on Amazon and Kindle and is published by Notion Press. Gautam’s Instagram ID is @hobograph and its social networks are managed by Groundwork.
Article first published: Thursday, December 23, 2021, 2:12 PM [IST]