One day, I approached my father, asking him to buy me a camera. The camera cost fifteen rubles, at that moment a significant amount for the family budget. Father said, “No, I promised to buy you a bike.” The bike was more expensive – fifty rubles, but he bought it for me. It was a good bike – an Orlyonok. About a month later, I’d had enough of riding. I suggested dad sell the bike, but he was against it.

I didn’t listen to my dad, took my bike, and went to the bazaar. At the market, some musclehead came up to me and said: “How much?”

“Forty rubles,” I said.

“Here’s ten.” He took my bike and left.

I followed him for two kilometres, crying, asking him to give me the bike. And he, a muscled hulk, threatened me, and I was scared. I came home with those ten rubles and told everything to my mother. She gave me the remaining rubles, and I sprinted to buy a camera. My mom, sisters, and I all agreed that we would tell Dad that the camera cost 45 rubles. The camera was Smena 8M. It was so small and made out of lightweight plastic. For fifty rubles in those days, I could have bought the Zenith model.

We settled this matter, and mom somehow explained everything to dad.

I was so happy. I would have given yet another bike to a muscled bully just to have this camera. – Shavkat Boltaev

Shavkat Boltaev is a documentary photographer and artist from Uzbekistan. He’s the founder of the legendary Bukhara school of photography, a native Bukharan, and one of the main experts of both the past and the present of this ancient city. In the mid-1980s, he founded the first photo gallery in Bukhara. To this day, it remains a centre of attraction for local residents and the many tourists who visit the ancient, exalted Bukhara from around the world. Boltayev’s works from a 20-year documentary photo project about Bukharan Jews were published in The New York Times.

Art hostel USTO: https://www.facebook.com/artshavkat
Shavkat Boltaev: https://www.facebook.com/shavkatb

The countries that make up Central Asia are Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and sometimes Afghanistan is included as well. You will discover beyond doubt some of the longest past and the most hospitable people on this planet and the lowest rates!

Photos: https://abdulraaz08.wixsite.com/raaz

Were you ever in Central Asia? If not, add this area to your bucket list as it is just as nice.

Who are we?
Two young India Travellers sharing their experiences of travelling to the most underrated regions.

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All the documentary photographs credit goes to Shavkat Boltaev©
Music credit: https://youtu.be/fvCTanA-7o4
Photograph credits also to https://www.instagram.com/sabiri_as
Photograph credits also to other contributed photographers.


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