The Twenty-fifth Post: Roadside Rocks


Hello Friends, Patrons and Well-wishers!

Would you believe this is the twenty-fifth – Silver Jubilee –post that I am posting today!

While posting my photo-essays on my blog, all that I was concerned about was the text, the photographs and the layout. I wasn’t counting and came to know this fact accidentally while I was preparing to process this post.

Well, I am thrilled, obviously! Absolutely thrilled!!

For a chap whose obituary, if at all written, and even if written by the most biased author (aka you!) with fantastically vast vocabulary, is most unlikely to find the word ‘perseverance’ used as one of the adjectives for the deceased, sticking to a project for over – months and 25 posts is quite a feat!

So, on this happy occasion I thank all my viewers for their indulgence and I also congratulate myself for my achievement and turn to today’s topic, namely, the roadside rocks.

मित्र मैत्रिणिंनो आणि मायबाप रसिकहो!
कदाचित तुमचा विश्वास बसणार नाही. माझाही बसला नाही. पण हा माझा माझ्य़ा या फोटो-ब्लॉगवरचा चक्क २५वा फोटो निबंध आहे!
मी मोजत नव्हतो. फोटो-निबंध पोस्टतांना माझं सर्व लक्ष केवळ छयाचित्रांची निवड, त्यांची मांडणी आणि त्यांना समर्पक गद्यलेखन यांच्याकडेच असतं. प्रस्तुत निबंधाची जुळवाजुळव करतांना ही ’बाब’ माझ्या ध्यानात आली.
अर्थातच मला आनंद झाला. अतिशय आनंद झाला.
रविंद्र चित्तरंजन कठाळॆ या इसमाला एखादा अतिशय सहृदय सिद्धहस्त चरित्रलेखक अनेक गुण (सद्गुण!) चिकटवू शकेल – आणि कदाचित ते खपूनही जातील – पण त्या गुणांमध्ये ’चिकाटी’ हा सद्गुण चिकटवणॆ केवळ अशक्यप्राय आहे. आतापर्यंतच्या आयुष्यात हाती घेऊन अर्धवट सोडलेल्या कित्येक उपक्रमांचे अवषेश इतस्तत: पसरलेले आहेत. त्यातले एक चतुर्थांश उपक्रम जरी नेट लाऊन पूर्णत्वास नेले असते तर . . .
असो. या विषयावर या प्रसंगी बोलणे नको.
पण एकूण फोटोग्राफीने मला जरा जास्तच सिरियसली घेतलेलं दिसतंय!
तर, अश्या ह्या पार्श्वभूमीवर इथपर्यंत मजल मारणे हे माझ्या दृष्टीने अत्यंत सुखावह आहे.
ह्या सुखद प्रसंगी मी स्वत:ची पाठ थोपटून घेत आहे (याला मराठीत सेल्फ़ मोटीव्हेशन म्हणतात). ही पाठ मी स्वतःच्या वतीने कमी आणि तुम्हा सर्वांच्या वतीने जास्त थोपटून घेत आहे.
तूर्तास येवढे सेलेब्रेशन पुरेसे आहे.
लोभ आहेच. तो उत्तरोत्तर वद्धिंगत व्हावा.
आपणास माझ्या ह्या संकेत स्थळावर वारंवार आमंत्रित करण्याचे प्रयोजन व्हावे, आपलेही तितक्याच अगत्याने तेथे येणे व्हावे, आपणा सर्वांना रोचक, आपणा सर्वांना संतोषकारक असे चित्रप्रदर्शन मजकडून आणखीही दीर्घकाळ व्हावे अशी परमेश्वराजवळ प्रार्थना करतो आणि आजच्या विषयाकडे वळतो.

The Roadside Rocks

In my last post yours truly and company were cruising along the National Highway No. 46 from Vellore to Bengaluru at a comfortable speed and with one eye to the camera’s view finder.

Yours truly clicked the turns and shot ups and downs. We rode the smooth undulations of the black strip happily resting on the lap of the mother earth and we appreciated the super smoothness of the road which made image making possible.

And I put the selected best of the harvest before you for your viewing pleasure. And many of you liked what you saw. I’m thankful to you for your appreciation.

While we were speeding along the highway and I was clicking images of the road ahead, I was also keeping an eye on the sides of the road – remember, it takes only one eye to take a photograph! And I was not disappointed. On either side of the road were hills and rocks. Not continuously, but still with good frequency and I shot them too. The challenge while shooting those roadside rocks was that since they were ‘passing by’ (as opposed to a road ‘approaching’) focussing on them and moving the camera at the speed at which the rocks or the hills appeared to be moving (‘panning’ is the word people in this trade use.) so that the image captured is sharp enough was difficult. First few attempts were disastrous, but then I got the hang of it and the success rate zoomed.

If you compare the roadside view presented in this post with the road view in the precious post (NH 46), you will find that NH46 is more interesting than this set of pictures. The reason, indeed, is simple.  It lies in the very nature of the two subjects. A road is a dynamic entity. It has direction and speed, verging, at times, almost on velocity. One could easily call such a road a vector. It is always running ahead of you. Whatever your speed, it always manages to keep itself a few paces ahead of you and teases you.  “Come touch me!” it says. It knows no rest and is always in a hurry to reach the destination- the other end.

In short, a road, howsoever narrow or broad, howsoever constructed and with whatsoever material, steep or gradual, straight or curved and going from anywhere to anywhere is ALIVE, DYNAMIC.

Not so, alas, with the roadside view. It stays where it is. If it is man-made, its stay may be relatively shorter, and much longer, if made by nature. It may even outlive the road it is passed by.

So, the rocks are static. They have been there for centuries and millennia, almost as they originally were, except the modifications brought about by man to make way for the road (!).

They are all but forgotten, so to say. Many of them do not even have names. Nobody gives them more than a passing glance (literally) – except those lucky ones which appear to block the road. But that too is momentary. Once a way is found around them, and taken, they are forgotten.

They catch your eye when they are away because of their size and shape, quickly come close and pass us in a flash.

This sentence is all wrong. It should read like this: We sight them when they are away, quickly come close, and pass them in a flash. That’s more close to reality.

We take the road along and leave the rocks behind.

Speed and action catches attention, stillness requires the observer to pay attention.

Until we meet next.

  • RCK

PS: Please write your comments in the comment box below. Thanks.


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