A Traveler By Religion
|One is tempted to ask Preety Sengupta if she has a mole under her left foot, a sure sign in folklore that the person will trot over the globe. The petite woman from Gujarat has traveled to 105 countries: always alone, always to the most offbeat places from Antarctica to the Magnetic North Pole.
But Sengupta’s real love is India, which she can’t seem to get out of her system. She travels to it every year and has covered all but two states, which are out of bounds for tourists. She sees India the way ordinary Indians see it, staying at modest guesthouses, taking public transport and submerging into everyday life of the country. Her only complaint is people’s attitude when they learn she is traveling alone. They just don’t seem to like it.
Sengupta, who lives in Brooklyn, is not deterred. She travels everywhere, shoots images and writes about her adventures. She has published 31 books in Gujarati, Hindi and English, and is fluent in Bengali. Her color photos are a love ballad to India and she has made over 100 slide presentations in schools, bookstores and community groups. Now she is out with a hefty tome of her photography of the land she is addicted to: *Our India: Heart is where Home is* with over 200 photographs of all facets of India. As she writes in the book, “To me this is my child and my Mother. It is the object of our collective love. It is our India.”