Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The Trip to the Majestic Niagara

As I was walking down the park, I was looking for various spots to take pictures of Niagara. As I was looking here and there, American Falls caught my attention. In the first place, I felt the Falls was less beautiful than Jog Falls. I was like, “Is this what you call Niagara Falls?”. I was disappointed. I changed my camera modes to Daytime, Large size and Super Fine resolution. I took a lot of photographs. As I proceeded with the hope of justifying my visit, small drops of rain fell on my face and I at once saw up. I was shocked to see bright sunlight and no clouds, and then I was awestruck. I saw the majestic, royal and extremely wide Canadian Falls. My eyes stopped blinking and my mouth was wide open and I was stunned looking at the beauty and the pace of the water falling down 175 feet. As I went near, I felt the action has now begun. I took photos from the sides. I captured the way water flows and finally falls. I captured the movement of water from the point where it falls and it was green color. It must be because of some green vegetation beneath it giving that color. I stood on the top of one of the view points and I got a very good picture of the falls. The width of the horseshoe falls is 2200 feet. When I looked at the horse shoe from a little distance, I had one thought coming in my mind. Five elements of nature have combined together to create a biosphere on the earth, but here, water alone was superseding all the other 4 elements. I felt there was no other force, either natural or divine that could surpass the speed of the water. I took a video of just the falls from the base point to the surface where it actually reaches the bottom. The roaring sound of the falls was a symbol of prowess of the mighty waters. I then headed to “Maid of the Mist”. Blue colored raincoats were given and as I docked the boat, my excitement got doubled. I had only heard of this from everyone and was dreaming when I would be in it. Today was the day. As the boat started moving we approached the American Side. The Bridal Veil is so narrow while American Falls is wide. I got a glimpse of them from a very close point. As the boat approached the Horse shoe falls, I could not stop my camera from taking photos and videos. I felt the need for some container or a Java collection to capture the entire Horseshoe falls so that I could see it whenever I want, in its majestic form. The falls would come out of the container and become as big as it is, much like the way mammoth genie came out from a small magic lamp in Alladin tales. Alas, man has no such instrument to capture Nature in its natural size. The cameras do a satisfactory job. The boat took a U-turn and returned to the point where it started.

I now headed to Journey Behind the Falls point. I took the tickets and raincoats (yellow), and was taken down the elevator (This was the case even with Maid of The Mist). I entered a tunnel with various points to see the falls from the sides. I saw the photos of the erosion, history of Niagara and how various tributaries are formed. Then I reached two places to see the water from the sides. I reached the place, but could not see anything, only could hear the water sound. It was a very loud sound. I could not see anything because of the mist caused by the falls. The point was scary in the sense that it was the right place to feel the power of nature. If one had to see through the mist, one needed “Divya Dristhi”. I felt I was Duryodhana in the battle of Kurukshetra who was unfortunate enough not to see the Divine Form of Lord Krishna. What was visible to him was mist and nothing through it. Here too the entire place was covered with mist and no one knew what is beyond. The sound was very loud. I came out and reached the main point. This was the best part of the trip. The location was apt with the view of the falls never seen elsewhere. It was looking as though there was no land and sky, only water, from top to bottom. I looked side wards up the sky. I saw now, the sunlight, penetrating. The sunlight slowly was removing the mist every time it was being formed. The way the sunlight reached the water made the waters sparkle like diamonds. These green diamonds had the light intensity of another sun. Gold and silver which people have with them is truly of no use. The natural water got natural studded jewellery from another natural source – the sun and this combination was naturally glowing. Like the moonlight lights up the dark sky, the sunlight lit the already bright Niagara making it the most shining natural manifestation of the divine power. There was nothing as sparkling as the falls. This magical effect was possible only because of sunlight. Just like man’s actions are fruitful only with the penetration of divine blessings and showers, this water was looking royal because of penetration of sunlight. I had read that the Seneca Indians who came here saw this, bowed their heads and praised the nature’s might. I too now bowed. I declared to myself that perhaps this would be a small glimpse of Krishna’s Viswaroopa darshana that Arjuna once saw. I was happy to see with natural eyes. Every time the water drops fell on me, I felt as though nature was impressed with me and was blessing me with good luck showers. I felt nature was graceful enough and was thanking me for something inexplicable.

I looked at my watch. It was 1:00 pm. I wanted to stop Time and wait there forever. I never wanted to go back, however I had to go. This article will end, my words will end, my thoughts will end, but what will not end is the experience my body and soul had. I felt like this only when I took a bath in the Holy Ganges.

In the evening, I saw Imax movie. The movie was called, “Niagara: Myths, Miracles and Magic”. The movie highlighted the fact 3 attempts that were made to see if one was alive after falling from the great height. The movie ended with an open ended question - was it just a co-incidence or a miracle that all 3 attempts were successful. I feel certain powers and events are beyond our senses. Just because something is not sensible, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It is just “not sensible” to our 5 senses.

As the sun set around 9 pm, the illumination of the Falls began. I was waiting anxiously and at around 9:30 I saw the illumination. First white color was used. Later red, purple, yellow, green and many others were used. It was a visual treat. My camera was not good enough to capture, although I experimented with so many settings. Around 10:30 pm when I finally had to leave the place, said “Bye” to this natural wonder. One of the tourists there was talking and commenting that once the water dries up or the rocks completely get eroded, the tourists will no longer come and all the business here will go to zero. I thought for a moment. Everything comes to an end, but how something lived as long as it was alive matters the most. Death is certain, but not necessarily the actions we do. The goal of life must be to do something that will continue to live even we die or the universe comes to an end. Many times, presence of just a few people is sufficient in our lives to steer through crisis. Most of the times, however, our actions must define our presence. Niagara’s presence has proved the point that when nature stands beautiful, it is matchless. Hope our actions make us matchless and our life becomes truly invigorating.

Man has conquered many aspects of nature, built towers higher and wider than this, but can anyone beat the majesty of this incarnation of nature? Both Nature’s fury and beauty are beyond adjectives of all languages.