Witnessing a Cyclone-3

The last segment of the storm was that with rain. Though the gusty winds had shaken up almost everything by now, the rain added its own touch to the experience. I certainly feel that on a normal day I have witnessed much more rainfall. But today, even the slightest rain came down very hard on us.

The rain drops gathered massive velocity, thanks to being aided by the wind. They came down with such intensity that they managed to break past the beading seals in the window, flooding a small area of room.

After a few minutes of continuous rainfall and periodical winds howling past, the situation dialed down quickly. As a matter of fact, the skies cleared up and one could see the sun set. We went around the house to take stock of the situation. Though we didn’t sustain much damage, the foliage in our garden and a few houses in the vicinity did.

Our encounter with Cyclone Nisarga wasn’t as catastrophic as we thought it would be, thanks to last minute change in trajectory. But it sure imprinted in our hearts and minds that nature has reached its breaking point and the pay back for our sins were long overdue.

Witnessing a Cyclone-1

As if 2020 wasn’t enough of a bummer in itself, Mumbai witnessed its first cyclone which went by the name ‘Nisarga’ in over 100 years. Though the maximum city was mostly spared by the cyclone due to its last-minute change of path, the region Navi Mumbai got to witness some of the power and glory of Mother Nature.

The Konkan region being on the west coast of the country isn’t as susceptible to cyclonic storms as compared to its eastern counter parts. Cyclones do form in the Arabian Sea but they rarely make landfall in the region, especially in the city of Mumbai. Even though there is debate on the previous cyclone of 1882, this one wasn’t missed by any chance, thanks to the internet and the fresh memory of the havoc caused by the Cyclone Amphan a few days prior.

Though the city and I have witnessed different types rains and floods, this one was new. As a matter of fact, there was hardly much rain compared to a normal rainy day in the city. But the wind was what turned the tables-literally and figuratively.

First was the big sense of calm. It was as if time had stopped in its track. Though there weren’t dark clouds, the sky was dull and there was an eerie silence all around, amplified by the lockdown. And that’s when the cyclone made its entrance.

One doesn’t see the wind, but feels its presence. Trees rocked so hard and wild that they could snap any moment. Even the few raindrops in the air crashed down hard, gaining immense velocity by the wind. The howling of the wind from the gaps of closed windows seemed as if death was whispering it was time to go. One might have been in the security and comfort of their home but in a scenario this apocalyptic, no ever was truly safe.

Wonders from the Wetlands-5

A sequence of images showcasing the landing pattern of a flock of Lesser Flamingos at Seawoods, Navi Mumbai.

Watching a flock of flamingos land is vivid display of coordination, discipline and skill. Being the large birds they are, Flamingos deploy a different strategy compared to their smaller feathered counterparts. As they approach their landing zone, the flock often takes multiple trips in the air in a circular fashion, slowly descending into the area cutting down their momentum with each drop in height. When they reach an ideal combination of lowered height and momentum, they land into the holding pond to join their counterparts. They even deploy their wings to glide and often flap them, possibly to cut down and counter even more momentum.

No wonder humans deployed this brilliant technique in the aviation world where aircrafts use a similar strategy while landing on an airstrip, a manoeuvre very much favourable in a crowded city like Mumbai.

Silhouettes from the Sunset Past-III

The sun makes past the last set of cloudline before setting into the Arabian Sea, as seen from Navi Mumbai, India.

The sky is a canvas that often paints the wildest of pictures. Sometimes from looking like ‘The Eye of Ra’ (in this picture) to a full-blown monster ready to devour the land (when a storm approaches), the sun and clouds are elements that paint this canvas into a memory of a lifetime!

Silhouettes from Sunset Past-I

The sun sets amidst a pallet of colorful skies, beautiful clouds and towering buildings, as seen from Navi Mumbai, India.
The month of May has always been my personal favorite for shooting the sun during the golden hour. Not only is the sun at its best, there has always been some kind of interesting cloudscape or colors in the sky making for a much interesting and dramatic scene. A scene so soothing to the eye that one will forgive and forget the scorching heat endured during the day!
Any even though this image was made 8 years ago, May is the Way (still) to witness the best of what the sun has to offer, especially at the golden hour.

Circa-12th May, 2012

Myna at Sundown

A Myna perches on top a tree, a mandatory pit-stop before it heads for its nest at sundown.

Shooting subjects from a confined location is a challenge. Given the rather less geographical canvas to scan through and move about, one must look hard to spot a subject. And with the thick foliage around, it is often after a good game of hide and seek before a little one like this spares a moment, to get snapped before taking off to another location.

One positive effect of the lockdown is the dramatic increase in the number of birds. Though often hard to spot, they let their presence and numbers be known through amplified chirping and calls they make, something rather rare during a normal day.

At the Edge, witnessing the beauty ahead

A panoramic view into the canyon below from the cliff of the Tiger Point at Lonavala.

The current situation of the world is that of uncertainty and sorrow. And especially in an age when most of the people are well connected, each of us is able to witness this firsthand, helplessly.

But this same calamity has brought out a positive side of the world. Be it the tireless spirits of medical personals and the people involved, the mutual understanding and kindness between citizens, the ability of many to be there in a family and the overall revival of nature due to drop in pollution levels.

There is no denying or underplaying the fact that this is the one of the worst disasters of all times and the sorrow it has brought along. But seeing the positives even when standing at the very edge of uncertainty, holding on to the hope for a better future is just as important as the cure is.

Stay safe everyone. This too shall pass. There is beauty and peace beyond all of this 🙂

Street Shoot Part III

5.Facial expression
This is the game changer, try and act natural in front of the camera. Ask the photographer to see previous images of yours and focus on your best feature . It can also include your favourite frown look. To the natural candid smile look.

6.Keep it Cool
Shooting all day long is a tedious task for both the subject and photographer. Both are bond to get tired and irritated. So instead of getting frustrated at each other, its better to take a break, have some food and water, joke around, relax and get back your energy. Once the mind and body had their rest, inspiration will soon strike, guiding you to that dream shot.

I hope you all loved this series and the shoot. I can vouch for tips being helpful as it was a lifesaver for me- something I had never tried or been told about before.
Once again much thanks to Fiana Fashion Forward​ for being the best photographer & editor and for this lovely experience in total!

The Blue Hour Spell

A panorama of the Haji Malang Range as seen during the blue hour with the entirety of the range standing tall and the lifeless concrete jungle at the bottom. No matter how much I have photographed this scene, it always has something new to interest and captivate me.

Sunset Perfect

Though it is high time for the monsoon to have stopped completely, it does rain quite often even now. The mornings usually have an overcast with the sun making a brief appearance at times. The evenings follow with raging thunderstorms that are often accompanied by spells of heavy rain. But inspite of having an unpredictable weather, the evenings often lead you to amazing scenes like these, becoming a must needed treat to the tired eye and soul. And the fact that these untimely rains keep the dust, pollution and heat in check is always a boon!