Barefoot, these kids are climbing a very special mountainside behind their Ooty village. For the first time in their lives the hill has become purple with flowers, and the next time this will happen, they will be 12 years older.

Just about 8 times per century does this species produce flowers – 12 years in between. The kurinji plant will grow for 11 years before it will produce flowers in the 12th season and then die. The cycle starts anew from the seeds, and for 11 new years these slopes will have just green hues.

It was fun how these kids were so absorbed with interest on me and my cameras, but had no interest whatsoever in the purple miracles in their midst. They asked me all kinds of questions, but none about the kurinji!

All they cared about was having fun after school, shouting messages to and from the village below and to other friends higher up the slope. After following me around for a while they lost interest and started climbing up the steepest and rockiest parts of the mountain, to reach someone higher up. This was the moment I captured.

Elevation: 1956 meters

  • Aperture: ƒ/5
  • Camera: NIKON D4S
  • Focal length: 200mm
  • ISO: 500
  • Shutter speed: 1/640 s