The terrific response which the part one of the travelogue generated really overwhelmed me. It confirmed the sentiment that travelogues, loaded with good photos, leave an everlasting impression on all the sections of people, no matter to which nation they belong.
Photographs are like time machine since the flight of imagination, after viewing them, transcends the normal course of time to move either backward or even forward in an unusual way. They record the present moment for the posterity. That’s why the same photograph viewed at a later stage tells a different story to each viewer. That’s one of the reason why I am pretty conscious when I am dealing with camera. I was sad that I did not use a good camera, but in the aftermath, I felt happy that somehow I managed to get real good pictures.
The part two of this travelogue has awesome views of Siddhnath Ki Dari, a place one kilometer away from Shakteshgarh Fort; glimpses of landscape around that place; images of ancient Goddess Durga temple and images of Ganges flowing by the side of Chunar Fort. Although Part II of the travelogue unleashes some personal sentiments, it nevertheless never misses to create an universal appeal.
Like to inform the readers that Siddhanath Ki Dari is a place known for its huge waterfall, which comes alive in rainy season. However, it belonged to a Yogi (saint) named Siddhanath who in ancient times used to meditate here. I shall not forget a hilarious incident which occurred at this place, when my friend and I were held hostage by lots of monkeys. They did no harm to us but left us only when their gang leader came to us, searched our pockets and got in possession of few mangoes which we had kept inside our pockets! The gang leader did that in a very smart fashion without harming us!
I had no time left to have the photographs of Chunar fort, which as per legends was built by the king of Ujjain Maharaja Vikramaditya in 56 B.C. for his brother Bhartihariji- a great yogi who took samadhi inside the fort! The fort later came to be associated with Babar, Humayun, Shershah Suri, Akbar, and finally it came under the rule of Britishers. Warren Hastings, the first Governor-General of Bengal, came to take refuge here for quite some time. It’s a matter of pride for me that my mother’s residence is adjacent to this fort situated on the banks of Ganges.
The Place Intimately Associated With Me During My Childhood…Now It Lies In Tatters….I Remember In My Childhood The Place Was Full Of Lively People! The Owners Left This Place And Now It’s An Abandoned Place!
My Tryst With Vindhya Mountains: An Interaction With Breathtaking Beauty Of Deep Jungles! ( A Photo Story)
Writing is a hugely taxing affair, especially if you are doing it in unfavourable conditions. I always meet tough resistance from so many forces during penning of important posts. That makes it imperative for creative souls to venture into isolated corners away from the maddening world. That not only refreshes them but also tunes their mind to receive new insights. No wonder when writing affair starts turning into a routine affair, instead of being a source of joy, I take a short break and get lost in unheard corners of mother earth. Usually, I visit my village and mother’s original residence since both these places being set against great scenic backdrop offer solace needed by my soul.
However, this time I decided to move into valleys formed by Vindhya Mountains. “The Vindhya Range (Sanskrit: विन्ध्य) is a range of older rounded mountains and hills in the west-central Indian subcontinent, which geographically separates the Indian subcontinent into northern India (the Indo-Gangetic plain) and Southern India.”
I came to visit Shakteshgarh, located in Mirzapur district of Uttar Pradesh, nineteen kilometers away from Chunar, which is mainly known for Swami Adgadanandji’s Aashrama. He is a well known saint in this area, who has penned a commentary on Srimad Bhagvad Geeta known as “Yathartha Geeta”. The localites informed me that a visit during the monsoon period is more appropriate since gorgeous waterfalls falling in these region come alive at that point of time. Anyway, I found that even during the odd period, the places like Siddhanath Ki Dari, one kilometer away from Shakteshgarh, which encaptures the the charm and the seduction of a huge waterfall, appear so breathtaking.
During the end of this very beautiful and memorable journey into awesome valleys, full of mystic appeal, I came to capture beautiful images of Ganges flowing by the side of Chunar fort, adjacent to my mother’s residence in Chunar. Over all, the visit really uplifted my sagging spirit. For my readers, I have captured this beautiful images from not so good camera, yet I feel they would come to realize photographic sense is not dependent on a costly camera! You need mind’s eye and not a very costly camera to click a good image! I hope they also come to realize that India is really so beautiful that we need not to venture outside the nation to trace real beauty. The area I visited was haunted by Naxal terror, yet in the end only divine beauty prevailed in form of ancient temples like Durga Temple and etc.
It’s indicative of dark age when righteousness gets marginalized and the glory of real people gets eclipsed by the gestures of fake people. It’s often too late when truth comes to make its presence felt. Often the picture is quite murkier when truth strikes its authority. Let’s realize that promotion of good values cannot take place if we have nothing substantial to offer people dealing in virtues. The customary gestures are not suffice to ensure the survival of good souls. How come people with bad reputation emerge as kingmaker while the people with clean reputation remain trapped in ironies of life as sufferers ? I am going to narrate two grim episodes which highlight this aspect.
The previous week I took short break from my writing, making myself get lost in the beauty of nature. The Ghats of Ganges, the long stretches of fields occupied with wheat crop ready to be harvested, the touch of cool wave flowing under the huge Peepal tree, the smiles of naughty village kids and the scent of green mangoes which fills inside the nostrils as we pass through the mango-laden branches are some of the fascinating scenes still moving inside the corridors of my mind. However, something unwanted happened which tainted the blissful episodes which occurred in short break.
Some kids who were playing on Ghat close to my place of stay in Chunar-my maternal grandmother’s town famous for its ancient fort built by Maharaja Vikrmaditya the King of Ujjain- somehow slipped into the deep waters of Ganges in an attempt to get hold of the cricket ball which had fallen in the river. It was noon time so the Ghat bore a deserted look. When three of them started crying for help once they found themselves trapped and started drowning it was obvious that their cries failed to evoke response. It was sheer luck that one person appeared on the scene and he dared to jump into the deep waters. He made his best efforts to save all the three kids but in the end all he could manage was to save one child from drowning. Two children went deep inside the waters becoming untraceable. When the news spread like wild fire, the Ghat was filled with sea of people in grip of sorrow. The administration acted in swift manner but all in vain. The high police officials and other senior officials were quick in making their presence felt but other than entering in face saving gestures they were no better than mute spectators.
They were supposed to arrive on the scene with proper net to locate the dead bodies. However, they arrived on the scene without any rescue material. They manged to find a fishing net but it was pretty insufficient to trace the dead bodies. Meanwhile, the evening came closer, making tracing of the bodies a remote possibility. The next day swollen dead bodies of the kids were found floating on the surface of the water. The print media like always reported this incident the way it does, mentioning the lackadaisical role of administration and gathered some interviews so that city section does not remain vacant!! Ironically, the dead bodies when reached to the mortuary, the doctors were found missing. The whole scenario is enough to suggest the role which government machinery comes to play in wake of a tragedy. It acts in same heartless manner the way it acted decades ago. We have new generation in the administration but call it design they prefer to act like their worn out predecessors. They find it safe to be coloured in deceptive traits of their previous officers.
Now let me state the actual reason which made me write this article. I didn’t write it to highlight poor administration which is something so commonplace in India. I was really hurt on noticing that man named Ram Bilas who saved life of one the children drowning did’t get any credit for this heroic gesture. What’s worse, he was accused by the relatives of the drowned children that he didn’t make proper efforts in saving life of other two kids. The reality was that this man made valiant efforts to save all the kids even as he found himself trapped in strong currents. One of the kids came to hold him so tightly that he himself started drowning. Meanwhile, the other two kids lost their grip amidst this dangerous struggle for survival. Both media and administration neither bothered to mention the role of Ram Bilas nor they seemed interested in offering him suitable reward. Is that’s the way to honour the saviour?
Look at the flow of money in IPL. Huge money is being distributed as prize money each day. However, we have no money to give to our real hero Ram Bilas who saved precious human life by putting at stake his own life. It really hurts that our real heroes on most occasions remain unsung heroes. And as I end this write-up I need to highlight another gross misrepresentation on part of media. One of the small scale factories operating in my locality caught fire. That made all the residents of my locality took all possible steps to control the fire. Someone promptly informed both fire brigade and police but like always they arrived when we had already nearly extinguished the fire. Media persons also arrived on the scene to click the perfect images. In fact, some of them were frustrated on not arriving on time to get sensational image of huge flames!!!
Anyway, next day the news items in this regard reported that fire brigade officials after battling with flames for few hours managed to extinguish it totally. The role of localites went altogether missing. Doesn’t it raise doubt about the credibility of media ? After this incident, it became very clear to me that media is far away from the truth in our times. It depicts what sells not what really matters. It’s not interested in truth but only crass sensationalism.