THE CHANCES I HAVE LOST

Author: SUKANTA MITRA

Travel Dreams Archive, 09 April 2013

THE CHANCES I HAVE LOST

Sometimes advices becomes useful than necessities in your lives, and in some cases these might become a point of interest to culture and recollect and refresh your memories as it has been with me this time after listening to the advice of our beloved Editor to jot down such experiences whenever I lost valuable chances in my life and of course the experience will be travel oriented.

Not only me, but most of us in our daily lives are advancing in life by losing few or lots of things every day, it does not affect or matter unless it hits our material balance of life, be it the idealism, ego , self respect  or character.

Leave it, let us concentrate on the travel and let our minds “luft” like a “ hansa”in the sky and watch this material world from a bit higher view point(not point of view).

The first situation arrived at the Har ki Pauri Ghat of Haridwar, I went to the Har-Ki Pauri Ghat with all of my family members and was waiting for the Sandhya Aarti to be started , in fact we went  there to enjoy this evening only in our one day’s stay at Haridwar. At that point of time I was gifted with an old and used National 35 camera(film camera) with automatic light meter against which the aperture value was to be corrected, if done correctly, the picture could be awesome and SLR like. But to my dismay I inherited the same with a defect in the meter. When I reached the ghat i.e the main area of worship, everywhere the Yagya was taking place filled with lots of smokes ,sound of the chimes and bells, lots of beards and turbans-ample of colours , the whole area was flooded with the sodium vapour lamps emitting yellowish colors. After I took a lot of the photographs of the area and the surroundings, got on the over bridge from where the entire area could be visible in a better way and snaps could be taken in a better way, suddenly power cut took place all the electric lamps were off for a while and the time was not less than 3 minutes, imagine how the entire area was looking with a big full moon on the backdrop of a blue sky. I could not take the shot as was unable to handle that camera with self assumption.

The second opportunity came to me at Darjeeling while I with my other family members was climbing the Mahakaal mandir in the north-western side of the Mall. We were about to reach the temple, the time was around 6.30 AM, the first sun light suddenly came into being from the woods and the leaves surrounding the whole area infiltrating the leaves and the banners spread all around. That was the first day I started handling my Film SLR camera NIKON FM10, I could take the shot properly, as the most of the shots were either over or under exposed, however that unearthly scene is stored there in the grey cells of my brain and will entertain me as long as I leave on this earth.

It was a cold and rainy afternoon at Kalimpong during end October, we reached Morgan House at around 4.30 pm after a hassle created by our driver hired from Siliguri who did not know the location of the Hotel and we were roaming the whole area for the last one and half hour in search of the Morgan House , the most obvious question as would come to ones mind that “why did not you ask any local dweller or shopkeeper about the location” .but believe me, leaving apart the driver, I too was searching for a suitable person to give us a clear direction about the location, though not available due to varying speed of the rainshower with a light storm and better not to remind me about the type of the coldness in the temperature……the rain chased us starting from Siliguri itself.

Have you ever been there , if yes or even no the above details became necessity to narrate the situation……..the way to the morgan house from Kalimpong City is actually climbing a hill through road and by car where after crossing the city hustle bustles , the road goes high along with the slopes in the both the sides, a woody smell will continuously accompany you Whoever has experienced rain and storm in the hills will be knowing the situation, how the hills looked like before-during-after a rain shower, but I did not take any chance to get my cam out , I did not request the driver to stop for a while so that I could take at least a single shot. Just before I quit this portion of situation, trying to narrate a scenery for your visualization………Just after reaching Morgan House  at around 4.30 the speed of the rain slowed down, I was standing in the field of the eastern side of the building , under my shoe covered feet, the carpet like grass of the garden were drenched in rain holding water like sponge, all the surroundings were looking deep green, fingers were shaking in the cold……suddenly a portion of the sky in front of us became clear and a golden metallic coloured plate of rhombus shape , spread nearly 360 degree as much as became visible through the clouds, became vibrant and glowing like you saw in the famous movie called” Macennas Gold”, though the tops were not very clear and further by stunning me a huge sized rainbow appeared in the blank foreground…………………………I was so much overwhelmed, I could not go for the camera, though the same has been shifted in the Hotel room kept inside the baggage, for protecting it from rain drops……I did not forget, still I am carrying the same in my mind and in fact will never forget the scene, though I know very well that the chance will never return to me.

As the Eastern Himalaya tour of the month of the October was devastated by rain previous year, we decided to cover Pelling and Ravangla in the month of November, though forgot to avoid our sheer bad luck.

We stepped out of the car and dropped in the hotel at Pelling when it was raining heavily (again)!!! The rain continued till we were there for the next three days, forgetting about Kanchenjunga, we were planning how to go back, as lots of news of landslide and road closure were reaching us. On that very morning we were about to leave our hotel at the helipad ground, after canceling the scheduled ticket and purchasing the ticket in TATKAL, the clouds of the sky ran away, revealing the almighty, sky touching, silver colored snow capped Kanchenjunga in the backdrop of a never seen like spotless dark blue sky ………..just imagine the situation, our car started its journey carrying all of us our luggage along with my dreams back to Siliguri!!!.

On our way back from Rohtang to Manali we stopped at Marhi at around 3.30 pm in the afternoon, try to decide along with my other family members where to get in for a while ,at least for the shake of taking lunch, as the climate outside was gradually getting out of control with a sound of air flowing in the valley, with a dark black cloud in the sky and few drops of rains just floating in the air like water sprays, our driver, an old driver in the Simla-Manali Route, warned us about the delay already took place due to heavy traffic jam, that the climate will become even worse within a few minutes and better not to waste time and start our journey towards Manali at the earliest . There were hardly  3 to 4 hotels in the overall spot and our one was on a bit higher ground than others. I was mesmerized with the view from the top of the hotel roof top, the whole area was surrounded by snow clad high mountains, the valley is filled up with green grass as far as eye goes, some tourists are wandering here and there with a few numbers of cars parked at large surrounding the eating houses, and the reflection of the black cloud was falling on the whole valley creating an awespiring landscape. Suddenly rain sprays stopped falling and light hexagonal flakes started falling from sky, and it seemed to me like thousands of dragon flies started coming out of their hidden shelters……..a small hole in the dark black cloud allowed a beam of sunrays to fall on the valley touching the dragonflies. Yes it was the first snowfall in front of my eyes and again I have missed to capture the shot as all the batteries of my digital camera were drained out while I was in Rohtang Pass due to heavily cold temperature.

There have been so many situations like this I have faces, the above are only a glimpse of the all.

None of the the mazor and memorable ones, I could forget during the last couple of years, rather all the missed situations have taught me some lessons which have helped me a lot to take some of my favourite shots afterwards, replicating the stories of our lives where we lose something precious today, repent a lot, without knowing that something better is waiting for us in our way to travel………………………Best of luck!!!! Happy clicking.

 

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