Bearing the burden of family duty
A Hindu holy man is attracting bemused curiosity as he carries his elderly mother on his shoulders on an epic mission to take her to all the major holy sites in the country.
Village women bow reverentially in front of Kailashgiri Brahmachari, 32, as he trudges his way along the highways and byways with his blind mother, Kethakdevi, sitting in a basket hung from his shoulders and their worldly belongings (including a mobile phone) in the second basket.
Kailashgiri is on the outskirts of India's software capital, Bangalore, in south India, having covered more than 5,500km since he began his journey eight years ago to fulfil his mother's wish to offer prayers at the major pilgrimage sites.
It will take him another nine or 10 years before he completes the trek by arriving in Benares in time for the huge Kumbh Mela festival that attracts millions of people.
Rural women look at him with awe. In turn, he has a message for them. He tells them that, in this modern age, children tend to neglect their parents.
Bystanders offer them food and money. They rest at temples and schools. On a good day, they cover over 15km; on a bad day, no more than three.
By the standards of some holy men in India, Kailashgiri's mission is pedestrian. One stood on one leg for many years and another rolled on the ground from the north to the southern tip of India.