Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I, Solitude and The Jog


Everyone loves water. But why do I feel nobody loves water as intensely, as immensely as I do? Why do I feel I have a monopoly over this love?

It has been raining adequately this season. It has been like this for the last few years. Thank you almighty for your mercy.

The Sharavati has overflowed after 12 years. The jog falls are no longer four different falls. They have united to become one water fall. Vast, enormous, colossal and gigantic. The pictures being shown everywhere are breathtaking. I cannot resist my urge to abandon this mundane life and seek refuge in the shadows of nature.

On the 11th of August, I packed my bag and traveled to Jog. The journey was 10 hours long, but I was too excited to feel tired. The journey after Shimoga was a pleasure. Truly, Malnad is beautiful. The road is flanked on both sides by lush green fields. You also find mountains at a distance with tall windmills on them. There are coconut farms, villages, open spaces and water streams. The air is so pure. How true it is that the destination is not very important, but the journey is!

I reached Jog at 5 PM. I could not wait to see the falls.
When I was face to face with the falls, there was a stretch of thick mist that made it impossible to see anything clearly. There were a thousand people waiting to get a glimpse of the falls. There was a slight breeze that carried the mist away with it and the waterfall revealed itself in heavenly splendour. Everyone cheered and clapped in joy………….
And then the mist covered it again and the wait began. Beauty was playing hide and seek.

It was getting dark already. I settled for the night in the youth hostel close by. The next day was going to be one of the most memorable days of my life. You will know what I mean when you see the pictures………..or may be if you visit the place yourself.

It was a Sunday. There were so many people! I stood before the falls for sometime trying to behold the view that was so elusive. The mist refused to melt in spite of the sun. But there seemed to be no conflict. All elements of nature were in perfect harmony. I found myself asking “How?!!”

It was time to begin sight seeing.

The Sharavati valley close by was glorious. The river, that was plunging aggressively from a thousand feet, just a few miles ago, now flowed calmly between the two hills. That’s what you call dangerous innocence.
I saw the power plant that brings light to my home! It was situated at the base of one of the hills.


After this, I was taken to a spot that is one of the most mind blowing places I have ever seen in my life. This was the place, the height from where the river falls fearlessly to an abyss thousand feet below.
This place is replete with rocks that look directly down at the depths below. They form the edges of a vast precipice. They entice you. You know no fear, you move to the edges to see below. The view is so awesome that you cannot resist. You move further to the edge. But you move an inch in the wrong direction, and there is no salvage.

From this place, you get to see a confluence of the three falls: The Raja, the Roarer and the Rocket. On its way down, the water collides with rocks that surface the valley. Each drop upon touching the rock is transformed as if by magic into a cloud of mist. If you are lucky you may see a rainbow, not across the sky but in the valley below. I have captured one.

I was positioned precariously, looking below at the same picture again and again, not being able to get enough of it.
At this moment, my own world seemed so insignificant. My life, my career, my desires, my dreams, my future. Fie upon my narcissism! How can I love myself so immensely when there is so much nature, so much beauty in this world to be savoured? What a waste of time! What a waste of life it is to be consumed in mundane worries!

I would love to jump if only I could fall for ever. For it is not the fall that hurts but the sudden stop.

After spending close to 3 hours, I retuned. By this time, I had found a group of friends.

I had explored the heights. It was now time to descend to the depths. The steps that lead you down are slippery, sometimes steep. As we went down it began raining. This was not rain. This was the effect of the fall of the river. All the water that was transformed by the rocks to splinters and scattered across the space was now descending again. Gravity never seems to fail us.

It started raining in sheets. We were soaked. The winds blew with so much force that the raindrops felt like a hundred needles poking us. But we were determined to reach the bottom. In fact we were enjoying the adventure. The rain was blinding by this time. We could not see the steps below nor each other. We were groping our way down. We reached the river at last, waded through the waters, and settled on a rock.

No other single day in my life has been as fulfilling as satisfying as this day.
It was worth enduring all the struggle that has gone into twenty years of this existence just to spend one day in Jog.

No matter where I go, what I do, I will return to this place…………

May it rain some more……
May it rain like this every year……..

Check out the link
The Jog to see more pictures in their original size..........

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