Journeys with the caterpillar: Travelling through the islands of Flores and Sumba, Indonesia
By Shivaji Das
Journeys with the caterpillar, is a humble and humorous attempt to capture the dramatic simplicity of Nusa Tenggara Timur(NTT) in Indonesia, covering the islands of Flores, Komodo, Rincaand Sumba.
Here, islands greet the sky with over a dozen volcanoes rising hurriedly from the seas, nestling within them whimsical colour-changing lakes that shelter dead spirits.Along the edges, shores adorn themselves with kaleidoscopic stonesand beaches blush from the remains of dead pink corals. Nearby, baby Komodo Dragons scramble for the nearest tree, fleeing from their prowling mothers.
In these islands, people live in small tightly-knit communes, holding on to their ancient cultures. They practice elaborate animist rites for births, weddings, harvests and funerals, and ones'prestige is still measured by how many buffaloes and pigs he sacrifices.Across the islands, one encounters overwhelming humanity that celebrates and greets life with ever-blossoming smiles in the midst of grinding poverty.