Saturday, 29 June 2013

Storing beauty

To what length would one go for storing beauty. By beauty I mean a beautiful sight which one can pass by for a few minutes, a beauty that is literally fleeting for one cannot afford the time and speed, a beauty that is beyond words . . .

Storing beauty for later use


When my friend Gitanjali told me not to miss the Dudhsagar Falls en-route to Goa while on the Chennai Vasco Express, I was elated. She told me that the train would pass by the Falls somewhere around 10 o'clock in the morning. My husband and I took our places near the door at around 9. 15 am. Why you would wonder. If one has to store beauty, one has to have a firm place (before everyone else comes and occupies the narrow entry!). And what did we do? Every sight that the train passed by was splendid. There was even a station called Castlerock which sounded very quaint and English, I thought. The station itself was a page out of misty  and dewy vision. The place was very cool and green and a poet would have strung beautiful verse almost after sighting that wee station. From the station onwards, there were many tiny falls, tunnels and lovely landscapes at regular intervals.



By the time the train pulled out of Castlerock, people steadily started congregating near the doors of the train. One peek outside revealed cameras in many forms - mobiles, digital, SLRs, DSLRs and so on. By then we were rooted to that entrance for almost two hours. Our legs were aching and so were our hands. People were positioned (and so were we), carefully holding on to the rails and balancing so that they wouldn't slip out of the train. Many tried to stand very close to us putting us in peril of losing balance. Some smart charlies also tried to place their hands with cameras on our shoulders.



Finally the much awaited water body appeared in full form and beauty. Cameras clicked, interjections uttered and breaths still . . . Frantically beauty was being stored in memories and cameras. How long can one store beauty, I wondered - in the mind as well as the picture. And how does beauty work within us, I reflected. Can I see water the same way again after Dudhsagar or can I see dudh (milk) in the same manner without going back to those few minutes of witnessing that powerful force falling from a great height. What would people standing beside me remember Dudhsagar long after they have uploaded the pictures on facebook and showed them glowing with pride to their friends and relatives. Would they still be amazed at the Falls when they travel the same route or would they brush past the falls and utter, 'Ah, I saw it the last time I passed by. Nothing more' or would they stand rooted like the first time and exclaim cliched interjections. Would they suffer the pain and challenge patience again. Not quite. Would I? Of course. Over and over the same scene provides different perspectives and each time we are a different being. Right? The Susan of today will not be the one of yesterday or tomorrow.

As I write this post, the beautiful pitter-patter of the rain coerces me to complete this post and hurry to the window. Glad to be writing again after a month.

Love and beauty to you, dear readers. Until the next time - smile.

What have you been doing lately?

Images: The blogger's own


22 comments:

  1. This is so fresh from you experience... I could feel your excitement.

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    1. Oh yes, Janu, we were quite excited and thrilled. Thanks for coming by and making me smile.

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  2. So nice that you're back Susan. Sounds like you inhaled beauty on your vacation. Wonderful. I think it's nice to store beauty in a camera, but what gets stored in our minds is even more important. I suspect it does change us for the better.

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    1. Hello Myrna, so very glad to see you here after a longish time. Hope you've been swell. Shall swing over to your blog soonest. And you have rightly mentioned, it does change us - for better or worse I don't know. Love and light to you.

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  3. The first time I saw Niagara Falls I was zipping up my daughter's poncho. I heard "And this Ladies and Gentlemen is Niagara Falls". I had lost track of where the vessel was and when I looked up I found ourselves surrounded by this magnificent view. I visited again now with grown children. The splendor remains the same, but it is no longer a surprise.
    Glad you are back. Missed your writing.

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    1. I'm happy to read that you missed my words. You cannot imagine how glad this made me especially now since I'm wondering whether I can write as I used to.
      Niagara might have been the great grandmother of the Dudhsagar given its force and magnificence. Hope to see it some day.
      and yes, the splendour remain but the surprise fades. Well phrased :)

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  4. Wow, you captured those from the train! Amazing! And so good to have you back with us in the virtual world :).

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    1. Thanks Rachna. Off late I've been at a loss for topics and wondering about things. Hope I get my verve, albeit in a renewed form.

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  5. Replies
    1. Thanks dear Corinne. "Emotions recollected in tranquility."

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  6. it was a sight for sore eyes.. I still remember standing near the door, sitting on the steps watching the sights go by. Surprisingly the train was near empty and it was sleeper compartment as well :D

    I am one of those who firmly believes "1st you enjoy, then you click/share with others".. certain things are priceless and this train ride to Goa is one of those!

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    1. Thanks for reminding me Aarti about the falls and it's just because of you and Gitanjali that I saw the magnificient Dudhsagar.

      Much love.

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  7. Yeah like u have said about storing beauty...all of us do it whenever we can as if the Wordsworthian way is not enough. Many occasions I am unable to do justice to the moment and njoy beauty with complete freedom...all because I am just too preoccupied about capturing it in my camera and before I realise the moment just passed by while I was fussing with the dials and covers....

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    1. Luckily my husband was clicking and I was taking in the moment, Shivani. Lovely to see you here after a long time. Hope you've been well.

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  8. oh Susan sometime back i had written something similar about storing beauty. Although my post got some 100 views the comment box looks pathetically empty. When u have the time will u stop by with a smiley...
    It has pics too just like ur post. Would love to show it to you.
    http://shivanidiwani64.blogspot.in/2013/03/precious-beauty.html

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    1. I did stop by and also left a comment, dear one. Thanks for guiding me there.

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  9. Susan... I am back! I hope to stay. I am hopeless and freaking out in all areas
    of my life. I spent 2 weeks in Europe with Sage last December. I have yet to upload
    Pics of those lovely places we visited! That's how disorganised I have been! :(
    Your lovely journey is reminding me that I should do something.

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    1. Are my eyes deceiving me? Am I reading the right name? Big hugs my dearest Gaia. How happy I am to see a lovely surprise as this. Fingers crossed that you stay on and sage might be all grown up now! Please do upload pics and write a post one by one on all your destinations. Awaiting.

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