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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
For a change starting this new year, I decided to be in front of the camera and pose for a shoot. That’s right!
I rarely get myself shot and a full shoot was never even a thought.
But thanks to Fiana Fashion Forward‘s constant persuasion and the beautifully perfect shoot, I finally gave in
This series will focus on how a photographer and model can prepare for a shoot especial if either or both are new to the portraiture photography. Though the tips are model focused, the photographer can use the same to talk and guide the model, getting to know the subject, their ideas, fusing them with their own artistic perception, all eventually leading to great shoot and wonderful results.
Much thanks to Fiana for this beautiful write up that has helped me in my own shoots and also for the best shoot ever!
So this one is for all the guys out there who are confused and apprehensive about posing on camera. Some sneaky tips and tricks which will make you seem like a born poser.
1. Forget the camera
Trust me once you feel that you are along, poses come naturally. Try to imagine that your camera or cameraman is absent. Try freeing your mind and pose swiftly.
Who is your favourite actor who adorns your walls or boards. There is something massive and charismatic about your favourite hero. Something larger than life. So try to think about him and pose like him. This will make you feel more comfortable and confident in your skin.
Rain clouds pass over the valley section of the Kharghar Hills at Kharghar, Navi Mumbai.
The rains seemingly made an early entrance this year due to the ongoing cyclone situation in the Arabian Sea. Though much of the rains were passing and there has hardly been any consistency, the area had already felt the effect with the earth becoming supple and mushy, dry and burnt grass turning fresh and small but vibrant green shrubs peeping from everywhere.
Monsoon in the hills is a sight to be reckoned with!
It had been a long time since I visited the area for a shoot or trek. Delighted about the fact that the hills and monsoon had kept their word by transforming the place into this green paradise I always knew of, I hopped around and scouted the location, finally settling at this small holding pond created by a steam coming downhill through the main valley.
Though the rains were passing rather than being continuous (a blessing in disguise) the place looked fresh as ever, emitting those same mystical vibes I felt each and every time I was around.
A female Asian Koel perches on a dry tree at the Seawoods Backwaters during morning hours.
Today ends my year long journey called ‘Project 366’. The task of making and preparing a photograph each day which represented the best memory I had during the day taught me a lot about this wonderful artform. I thank all the audience who watched this series and enjoyed it. I hope I was able to inspire anyone who found my images interesting.
Special thank to my partner, Pratibha for believing in me and this project more than myself and also supporting me when I needed help the most
Thank you all once again. It was great being ‘At Work’!
Tgatwork, signing off
A Red Vented Bulbul sits on top of tree during the early hours at Seawoods. These birds along with many other small bird species are seen in abundance in this area.