No matter what my assignment is, as a photojournalist, I usually keep a camera ready all day. You never know when there will be a chance to make an interesting image that can tell a different story.
I made this photo during a news assignment in Srinigar, capital of the part of Jammu and Kashmir controlled by India. I went to one of the most popular places for locals and tourists alike—Dal Lake. There, I hired a shikara, or small traditional boat, for a few hours. Although it’s an urban lake full of houseboats, commuters and pleasure-craft closer to its city side, in its farther reaches Dal Lake becomes more tranquil, and the peaks of the Zabarwan Range make a magnificent backdrop. Water lilies have long grown in the lake, and in recent years they have proliferated to cover more than five square kilometers, or about a quarter of the lake, proving a nuisance to boat traffic and a threat to ecological balance. To assist with their removal, shikarawalas, or small-boat owners, are often commissioned to help remove the plants and keep the waterways clear.
— Paula Bronstein
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