July 04, 2009

Mountain of the Moon




Every Bengali kid who has been taught to read and love Bengali literature would have read the Book called Chander Pahar – The Mountain of the Moon. When I was a kid, I dreamt of going to the jungles of Africa and camping on the Mountain of the Moon. It spelt adventure for me. It meant mystery. It meant a life beyond the ordinary. The protagonist was not exactly my hero but he was the one who made me love the outdoors at an early childhood. It was this book that taught me that there was beauty even in the most dreaded surroundings. You only had to look for it.


Anyway, the point is Didi beat me to it. As I write, she called me to say that she is seeing the Mountain of the Moon through her hotel window. Well, maybe it’s just fair. She read the book before me. After all, it was her book.


Not wanting to be left behind, I decided to run off to the mountains. If not the Kilimanjaro ranges, I decided would make do with the Sahayadris. And there we were 11 of us travelling down the black asphalted road called the Mumbai Pune Expressway. The rains had come into Maharashtra and were filling up the mountains with new life. The cycle of life was safe for one more year. These days you can never be sure when the nuclear holocaust could strike. And of course, men are no better. We have poisoned the earth enough.


11 people, 2 cars, an unexplored terrain. The best thing about big groups is that they act as a living organism. Most of the time it is a single celled entity with common goals but suddenly the amoeba splits and each part goes off on their own ways, only to reunite again later. And that perhaps is the best way to operate. You can spend time with yourself or with your group.


I picked up the camera. It had been a long time since I had done some serious photography, A had her D60 with her too and that helped. But as snobbish as I can be I continued to experiment with my humble P&S and knew that if you could compose the pictures well, things look differently.


For some reason I was awake the entire night. And as I sat outside for sometime. I could see the mountain changing its colour. From a sombre black to a melancholic grey to a golden smile and finally breaking out into a riot of green, the mountains had it all. My mountain of the moon.


The next morning was an experience of a different kind. I floated on a mountain river and felt myself carried off by the current to reach the ultimate final goal. To reach the destiny, the ocean of peace. The birds flew above me. The mountains played hide and seek.


And life seemed beautiful again.

PS: three of the most difficult pictures. The series is called Riot of Colours. 1. Green and Gray 2. Black and White. 3. Green in all its shades

PPS: Chander Pahar picture courtesy - Soshu



3 comments:

Sowmi said...

So, had a enjoyable and soulful day out???

Beautiful pics :)
and you are becoming more poetic these days Banjo :)

Sowmi said...

Muhahaha... wait for my 100th post.. next is my 100th post :) check out 99th meanwhile :)

Madhurjya (Banjo) said...

@ Sowmi- Poetic? really? People who don't know what to do with their lives become poets :) This I was told yesterday by a close friend :)