One hundred thousand flames of hope.

Butter lamps
Lighting lamps at a temple in Thimpu, Bhutan.

She was a picture of serenity in a room full of oil lamps. Sat there smiling, even with temperatures hitting the roof along with the smoke. She lit more than 10,000 lamps a day over ten days, to reach the magic number at this beautiful Lhakhang (temple). A number she and her husband promised to God in exchange for hope.

I had always been sceptical of rituals, especially religious ones. But I couldn’t deny the beauty of this, nor the effort and neither the hope that I saw radiant on her face.


Text by Tintu Saleem. Photos by Sukrit Nagaraj


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