Grays & Greens

As I look out of my window sitting in the most polluted capital in the world with an AQI (Air quality index) of above 1000 (for perspective, at this very moment, Toronto’s AQI is 15 and Beijing’s, considered one of the most polluted cities in the world, is 94), I see the faint silhouette of my neighbouring building which is less than 20 feet away. The dense smog that hangs in the Delhi air, kills not just the visibility but the very spirit of its inhabitants. But all is perhaps not lost! That India is diverse, and changes North to South, East to West is a known fact, but never did I imagine that the change could be so radical! I am talking here about my recent trip to the North East.. to Meghalaya in particular… to picturesque Shillong… to clean Air and an enviable embrace of nature’s greens … to its stark contrast to most of India. I wish I could tell you more about Shillong…or about the North East, but i cannot and maybe, even will not…simply because a regular rant about how picturesque it is will sound incredibly boring and perhaps even grossly inadequate.

The reality that both such places exist in the same country is both, gratifying and disturbing. I find great solace knowing that there are still places that remain where man has chosen not to destroy what God has given to us in abundance… yet, it is distressing to see what is happening to the ones where the same species has shown abundant disrespect towards their priceless gift.

Delhi, and most of India’s larger cities are sadly a living (dying?) proof of this sad truth.

I can only hope now that good sense prevails sooner than later, and that the untouched continues to remain virginal (though there were hints of the smell of burning diesel in Shillong) whilst the tormented lands are gently nursed back to good health and purity.

Its the least we owe to the planet.

I hope you enjoy the images and I sincerely hope that someday, you get the chance to visit this hidden jewel of India.

Copyright: JJ Valaya/ All rights reserved. All images are the sole property of JJ Valaya. No part of this post/publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval systems, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission of JJ Valaya. This applies to all acts of use, in particular such as the reproduction of pictures and text, their performance and demonstration, translation, filming, microfilming, broadcasting, storage and processing in electronic media

Standard

Sky ~ II

Take away the colours of the Sky (and its inhabitants) and the monochromes heave a collective and triumphant sigh before proceeding to create grayscale magic in Whites and Greys albeit with an occasional dalliance with Noir.

Copyright: JJ Valaya/ All rights reserved. All images are the sole property of JJ Valaya. No part of this post/publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval systems, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission of JJ Valaya. This applies to all acts of use, in particular such as the reproduction of pictures and text, their performance and demonstration, translation, filming, microfilming, broadcasting, storage and processing in electronic media

Standard

The Sky below us…

 

Whenever I fly (not metaphorically), one of the most difficult choices I’m faced with each and every time is deciding between the window seat or the aisle seat. The aisle seat enjoys the advantage of easier (and quicker) access to the loo and to frequent walks on long hauls (hate jumping over someone napping in the adjoining flatbed!)…the window seat on the other hand offers an uninterrupted view of a forever evolving canvas through the small rectangular transparent gap right beside it. I eventually take the decision based on how full the flight is, praying silently that its not, so that I can enjoy what I call “Glimpses of God” for at least the duration of the flight.

The sky above, as we see it every single day, is a fairly mundane experience when compared to the dramatic vistas one is treated to if one were to peek into the sky from above. That, my friends, is sheer poetry in motion… it is God’s domain, and man’s opportunity to actually experience what it must feel like if the “Gods were actually looking down upon us”. The sheer volume of it, the colours, the textures, the rays of the sun and several other elements come together to create the perfect awe-inspiring visual; one only needs to look, and take in the wonders that lie before us, to imbibe the magic of nature and feel deep gratitude to be able to behold an intense canvas that no artist in the world can ever create!

I thought I’d share some of the images that I have made from this vantage point; though spread across a few flights, do remember that these images are a mere mortal’s attempt to capture momentary, yet privileged flashes of God’s magic. For when has it ever been possible to cage a spirit?… and specially one that incubates life itself.

PS* Please excuse any marks/scratches on the images as the images are made through the double glass of the aircraft using a smartphone. I have also added a grain to the images to bind them into a cohesive story.

Copyright: JJ Valaya/ All rights reserved. All images are the sole property of JJ Valaya. No part of this post/publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval systems, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission of JJ Valaya. This applies to all acts of use, in particular such as the reproduction of pictures and text, their performance and demonstration, translation, filming, microfilming, broadcasting, storage and processing in electronic media

Standard