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The Routineless Routine

Sam Harris

After the birth of our first daughter Uma, my wife and I began to seriously discuss a change in lifestyle. I was becoming disillusioned by the increasingly commercial nature of the majority of my work. I felt I had become too formulaic and I craved something more honest. It was late 2002 when I abandoned my career and we bought one-way tickets to India. We set off with an open mind and open hearts.

We travelled slowly and simply for several years between India and Australia. At this time I adopted digital photography and I also began the process of turning my camera inwards …

Time is the ultimate luxury. In India time seems almost elastic to me, certainly circular and not linear. I wanted to fuse this notion with one of an intimate photo diary of our experiences. The Routineless Routine, in many ways, represents a time of photographic and personal transition.

It was a time of undoing, searching and self-discovery. The result is a photographic sketch of our personal journey, in times when we lived very simply in several villages across India as well as camping and road tripping across Australia.


All images from the series, The Routineless Routine, 2003-2004, Digital

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A Mild Evening

Poem by Ankur Khurana


On a mild evening in the winter of life

A bluesy tune lingers on a shadow’s lips


Borne by a breeze of the southern hour

She lingers at the sarcophagus of solitude


And when I lie down to wait for a dream

Or to merely unravel an intricate tapestry


Her euphonic veil meanders languidly

Seeking a way into my wearied heart


I wish to be lost in her insouciance

Striving to leave all that time has given


Maybe only to collect space up in the sky

Or dive deep into the heart of the sun


If you are enchanted by the golden tune

Follow its trail and you will find me there


Where the mild cessation of thoughts

Staves off, for us the dark, descent of the night


And the notes of her too soon ending story

Call to question our faltering breath


Shall we succumb to that lullaby, so soft,

Shedding displaced regrets as a childhood


Or seek a new morn in tunes of our own

On a mild evening in the winter of life.