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-2

The storm started getting stronger by the minute. It came in brief pockets that carried much of its might. One such pocket had passed by few minutes ago, blowing away the solar water setup and the roof of a nearby house sending them crashing to the ground.

Then came this one which played its game with the mango tree we had planted right in front of the house. The earlier pockets had been rocking the small plantation for quite some time now. By watching the ferocity of the wind that rocked the trees like possessed people, we knew that one of the trees had their fates sealed. We assumed it would be the coconut as it was the ‘black sheep’ of the lot- never giving a proper produce in the last 15 odd years. It also had a lot of erosion at the base and its leaves broke off prematurely. But it was the mango tree, the star of our garden that was on the books.

As one such pocket of gusty wind came along, one of the bigger branches of the canopy, the one that used to give us a large number of mangoes, spanned from the main trunk and crashed to the ground. The power to the wind was so hard that it broke the branch into two segments, one of them crashing on to the road.

As we were still shaken by the solar panel fiasco, we didn’t focus on this very episode. But it was later when I skimmed through the footage and realized that I did capture that very moment on film. Though we were a little heartbroken that a good portion of the tree we nurtured and cared for about 2 decades snapped of in a matter of few seconds, we counted our blessings as there was no damage to anyone. And after the storm had passed, we realized that the condition of the foliage down the road was much worse- a trail of destruction till the very end.

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.

Wonders from the Wetlands-2

A flock of flamingos make their way around the holding pond in unison like that of a marching parade, as seen at Seawoods, Navi Mumbai.

Sights like these are a regular during the birding season. Though there are hundreds of birds that are either resident species or migratory visitors, nothing beats the spectacular show put up by the flamingos. Be it their ‘larger than life’ figures, the vibrant coloured feathers or the precision they maintain while flying past or landing, watching them in this region has been a favourite of mine.

Having seen many birds during my time, being able to witness these magnificent beings descends from the skies often seems like a dream, too good to be true. But what is more captivating is the fact that these birds and sightings are so accessible to witness, this close to home- something that is one of the true boons of this land.

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!

Sparrow Spotting

A male sparrow perches on the branch of a tree with a blade of glass in its beak before heading back to its nest during sunset.

I love the fact that we are able to spot sparrows much more often like we would in the past. There was a brief period when these little ones had become sparse in sight, maybe be due to the change in radio waves and pollution levels in the air. Though they can be mischievous at times, stealing fruits and vegetables being grow in the garden, I am more than happy to see them grow in numbers along with other flora and fauna in the region.

When Nature tries Art…

The sun illuminates the underside of the leaves on a coconut tree, making for a vibrant display of colors just before sunset.

Being the peak of summer, the sun is at its best and puts up an amazing show throughout the day. But the brilliance of this almighty disk is not limited to skies alone. When shining bright on the subjects that thrive due to its existence, it often paints them in ways that that captivates most of its audience.

Lock-down Notes

The sun shines bright, brilliantly illuminating the fresh and vibrant leaves of a tree before setting behind the hills.

This whole lock-down situation is interesting. Yes, it is being done for everyone’s safety and at the same time it also created a hell lot of problems. But one set of problems I would like to highlight today is the boredom factor people encounter. I remember the time back in the 90’s when things like on-demand entertainment through the internet wasn’t a thing. But still whenever there was a power outage or a bummer of that sorts, I don’t remember a whole lot of people being ‘bored’. Everyone always had something to do. The ‘frustration element’ never seemed to show up.

Though the current scenario is quite different and dangerous, the fact that people just got bored seems rather unfortunate. This is happening even with the internet and major communication channels still up and running. This fast-paced life has managed to take out even a generation who weren’t born with these comforts in the first place.

Though this whole situation and the lock-down are unfortunate, I still would see this an opportunity. An opportunity to clean my gear, stay calm and composed, to stop and stare enjoying the little things in life, develop hope, get started with all the tasks that had been neglected for long and most off all- learning the lessons that one really needs to and be better prepared the next time around 🙂

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!