Sindhu Sagar : a river and the ocean.
गङ्गे च यमुने चैव गोदावरि सरस्वति ।
नर्मदे सिन्धु कावेरि जलेऽस्मिन् संनिधिं कुरु ॥
I invoke the presence of holy waters from the rivers Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Saraswati, Narmada, Sindhu and Kaveri. Please enter into this water to purify it.
Hindusthan; the unique nation that is known because of a river. A civilisation who lives beyond the eastern side of the River Sindhu came to be known as Hindu. Each bindu ( water droplet) that empties into the ocean stretching from Sindh to Kerala known as Sindhu - Sagar. And the ocean that’s on the southernmost tip became Hind Mahasagar (Ocean). Imagine the impact a river can have on an entire civilisation! We are shaped by the river that fancied the seafarers of Arabia & Rome in ancient times later on whole of Europe. This is a tribute through images and spontaneous words. Documenting the journey of monsoon in coastal region ( Kokan ) & Sahyadri mountain.
The birth of the river is as painful and at the same time as beautiful as a childbirth. Falling from the sky down on the rocks later to descend into the valley. Initially the awkward water finds way out when came together.
But when fully aware of her power she even smoothens the mighty rocks or just crush them underneath her flow. This is all to again meet the ocean from where she originated.
उत्पत्ती : Utpatti ( Birth ) : The force is awakened from the distant waters deep inside the ocean. One drop joins the billions of drops and forms a mighty cloud. Restless winds carries that water form over the ocean. They march towards the mountain walls ready to crash with full force.
Even the ocean is getting angrier fuelled by the gusts of wind. The guarding rocks are standing still like a tower to face the wrath. Ocean tries to cross his boundary. But he knows it’s not possible this time. But his other form is already raining down on the land.
The eagerness to crash on the distant land can be seen in the pregnant clouds. Even the forest is becoming alert. Goosebumps are on every trees and leafs. Birds takes shelter except the 'Chatak'.
He awaits and sings for the first rain to quench his thirst. Peacock is all decked up with his colourful dress.
Whistles are blowing into the woods and even the fog covers the forest and floating into the woods. Thunder strikes down as soon as the procession hits the mountain wall. What we see is one element playing in various forms. The energy is the same with infinite variation. I think this is what they used to call as Maya.
Taking various forms luring us into the woods or scaring when cashing on the cliffs. She is the same just forms are tweaked. So our interpretation changes.
The ocean minus it’s salt is now everywhere in the forest, on every branch, leaves, moss and even in the humid air. The play of the creation has begun in every drop of space and matter.
प्रलय Pralaya : disappearing into the absolute ; Everything cease to exist except the roaring sound on eardrums raining with water drops like Damru of Mahadev. The sky is also no more nor I can think of anything except the sound and the rain. This is what the elemental power. The whole forest is dancing with the wind and downpour . Beyond the act of seeing and hearing heart is beating with the rhythm of nature. Everything becoming alive fully and the water is destroying everything boulder, trees, leaves and so on. Blessed are those who witness the trailer of cosmic drama on a human scale. In every drop of her resides the power of the sun. She is the life giver and destroyer.
स्थिती ( Sthiti ) nurturing : With the strong forces also comes the stability to control them. The forest and the river taught us both. In between birth & death is the actual play of life. Creation springs up from the painful birth in such an exquisite way that we forget the pain itself and the fear of destruction.
Even the driest stone in summer drapes with a colourful carpet in monsoon. Creativity covers every flaws and make the world beautiful. This is where she enchants us and give the meaning to the existence called life. On her both banks thrive the humanity and becomes civilisation.
By crisscrossing the land she sketches the beautiful drawing of a civilisation. We are hardly aware of her power mistaking it to be ours. When she is gentle like a mother we thrive like a pampered baby. She even romances with us like a waterfall drenching us to the core. And if we try to stop her against her will we all disappear in her rage. But towards the end she is like a realised being who disappears into the absolute.
Some drops of the rainwater and groundwater enters and fills the ancient Pushkarni. A sacred pond to provide water to bath Lord Shiva. Each walls are adorned with deities as per the direction and importance shows that sacred existence is in all elements of our daily lives around us. This is the land that worships the source of the water from it's beginning to the end. A sign to respect the elemental powers in their own way.
प्रकृती Prakriti ( Nature ) & माया ( Ilusion) Maya : Creation plays with herself transforming in various form alluring like Mohini and scary like Kaali. She is inside and out of every living and non living beings. And each form cannot slip from her grasp. She is present in the rain drop that falling on the rock and the rock that contains those drops. She is inside the grass blade that is swaying on the wind and also present in the wind that makes the grass blade move. She is in the clouds as vapours so in the giant waterfalls rushing towards the ocean. A drama that is anything but ordinary. Water playing in various forms everywhere destroying the old to create something new.
By her banks developed the cultures, cities and villages. So some people went into the forest in search of knowledge of science and the ultimate. She became the direct and indirect force behind every song and eclectic wisdom. The golden land attained the glory by her touch. This is where every season brought bliss and festivities and every river became Sindhu.
She is the reason of bountiful crops and millions of smiles.
Generations came and gone. Mounments rose and razed down to the ground. Majority forgot their origin but we couldn't wipe her out from our memories, songs, dances. Even in some faraway village of Southern Bharat ( India ) there will be a girl named Sindhu. We still carry her in our heart.
If you want to know the blessings of the water ask a grain of the sand in desert since how long it has been waiting for the rain?
To know the blessings of the ocean just have a look into the river.
From ages unknown waves crashing on the land humbling the stones that is standing like a guard to the landmass. We feel safe yet confronting the fearful power of the nature. Life shaped by the endless play and we derive the inspiration from those clouds of life on our clothes. Experiencing the torrential rain, sea storm but there is a beauty into the dangerous scapes of nature.
विलय (Vilay) dissolving: Surrendering to the mighty forces. Wave after wave the ocean is same yet each wave is different. Rising up above and again being one with the same ocean just like it wasn’t there. Then again a new wave with new force.
The rain that was falling on earth millions of years back is still the same. The water is still same as fresh as like the day it fell down for the first time. Every leaf waving with the wind is fresh just like the other one. All are fully participating into the play of the nature. No one is saying I will give my half rest I will conserve for the future. It’s here and now. Being alive completely by facing the forces, dancing with them and later on getting destroyed so the new will rise again the dance.
Now forces are silent, tired from the constant battle. The water has risen from the air of the forest. Cooling the hills. A sign of the retreat of monsoon. A sign of content earth that is full of the ocean’s blessings to be alive again and starts the game of creation. The river is hidden somewhere deep into the valley floor running her course now silently towards the ocean.
Project Sindhu Sagar : This is a manifestation of our six year’s travelling across the Sahyadri mountain ranges. The aim was to experience how monsoon enters into the land from the ocean travel over coastal region, hills & plains. Being in the creative industry we started to document it with the form of images and videos. No doubt it was very interesting at the same time tough task. Here we are sharing a few images from the project with you.
We decided to represent rain in the form of a river who rises from the ocean and rushing towards the source itself in human form. Representing river’s creativity, fertility & feminine power through the form of a model by using ethnic attire. It was a dream for me as a photographer and writer to create something that represent my land tastefully and artistically. For realising this task who else is better than my companion Raginee who shares the same passion and ardent lover of the ethnic fashion!
Travelling into the remote areas when rain god was unleashing his fury with full force, trekking into the mountains was not an easy feat. Sometime it was more than exhausting. Once we were almost drowned due to the road was flooded by a river in Sindhudurg. In one destination we walked for 12 kms while it was raining very heavy into the forest; hardly anyone was in sight. Once returned back we spent whole night into the dark room. Everything was wet. Even the camera sensor got fungus. For Raginee it was an ordeal to pose in the rains, ocean, waterfall & river. Obviously a part of the project. But it was worth the trouble.What we saw, experienced and created is a memory for lifetime. Now sitting at home when we have time to reflect all those memories plays in front of us like a moving pictures in a theatre.
This is our tribute to the natural forces that we must respect and grow with them. A husband and wife who are on a quest to connect with our roots from the past while living in the present. These are a few images from our extensive archive to represent our vast work done in all those years.
Yogesh : Photography & script
Raginee : Model & stylist
* Explicit permission is required to use any image or text anywhere in any form.