Different cultures, folk tales and their festivals intrigue me. Travelling is no more just a passion, it has become a habit. Exploring is a necessary to keep me alive and breathing. This Photo-Blogging contest by Thomas Cook, really interested me and thus, I make this blog post.
In this blog post, I shall explore the four vital elements – Earth, Water, Fire and Air.
The earth seems strong, ruthless and the mighty, when you are exploring the depths of the largest caves in north eastern India. Within it’s folds.. at times, it is scary. This photograph was taken in Krem Mumluh, a 7 km long cave in Meghalaya. Find more Meghalaya caving photographs here.
Adventure tourism apart, the earth seems soft, benign, caring and religiously significant when it is taken from the banks of the river Ganga and moulded into different Hindu Gods and Goddesses for worship.
Talking about religious significance and river Ganga, we dare not forget the significance of water while praying. Our offers to the Sun God during Chhat or when we pray for our ancestors’ soul, the water of the river Ganges is regarded the holy.
Not just river Ganges, any river forms an integral part of the folk stories woven around in the region. The next photograph is shot in a tribal festival, Tusu.
Cultural tourism apart, how often did you cross a bridge made of iron strings? Let me share a photograph where I was thrilled and scared in equal measures.
Talking about being scared and of fear, one of my weirdest experiences ever was during Gajan/Charak. This is a folk festival where young men conduct plays depicting folk stories based on Hindu mythology. From the late evening, starts the sacrifices and the dangerous games of fire, thorns, piercing different body parts. They believe such act of sacrifice and penance will help them reduce the sin they committed.
Fire is the source of energy that gives us life and helps us grow. Fire – the unbound energy, can cause death and destruction. Fire is feared and revered equally in India.
Wait, I’ll show you another photograph I shot in Ravangla Sikkim during their Kayged festival:
Fire and Wind : The festivities of existence.
Left: Nuns of Missionaries of Charity celebrate Diwali. || Right: Flying lanterns being released praying for departed souls.
Talking about Sikkim, one of the best memories I have of the place is when I was sitting on the edge of a mountain looking at some distant point, not thinking about anything in particular, looking back at my own life. It was a windy and cold afternoon.
The mountain breeze is always relaxing and invigorating filling our body with energy. But when the air is full of colours, it fills our minds with sheer joy and happiness.
While we talk about the air, let me share a photograph, which is not a travel photograph but shot in the room where I stay. Please be informed, it is replicated 4 times and made into a symmetry using Photoshop.
Air: It grows, expands and enjoys the freedom of movement… Ladies and Gentlemen, one of my shots of the smoke.
I hope, you’ve enjoyed seeing this blog post. Please do share it with your friends over the social media and leave for me an honest comment.
I would like to invite for this contest:
1. Rangan Datta
4. Asmita Nandy