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Rising Sun

For someone who claims to be an early morning person, it was embarrassing for me to not have a single sunrise photograph in my repertoire. It was definitely not for want of trying, yet despite several valiant, concerted efforts the rising sun had eluded me.

Roughly a year back I was in Goa with a colleague on work (no kidding!). He was reluctant to share the hotel room; given my notoriety for getting up at the crack of the dawn (which is usually followed by drawing the curtains off to let the sunlight in), but eventually agreed. We were having an exceptionally strenuous week and the last thing he wanted, after we came back dead tired in the evening, was to be woken up the next day at 5:00 in the morning. I was visiting Goa for the first time. The last time I had seen a sea was when I was in class 8 so when I came to know that we were putting up in a resort by the sea, I insisted that we sleep with the windows open to allow the soothing sound of the sea to pour in. This was all very fine but for the fact that we let a nefarious army of mosquitoes in as well. Given our fatigue levels we could ignore mosquitoes and were indeed snoring in no time and yet the moment the dawn beckoned I was up, all ready to capture the sunrise in all its pristine glory on the borrowed digital camera of my colleague. I rushed out of our cozy room to the beach and waited for the sun to come up. Minutes passed, it had gotten very bright but there was no trace of sun on the horizon. And then suddenly it sprang above our hotel rooms, too bright to be shot. I was disappointed because what I had in mind was a sunrise from the sea. It then occurred to me that Goa is on the western coast of India and so I might get picturesque sunsets, a sunrise is something I would never catch there – at least not from behind the sea. The experience taught me to always check my directions before darting off at dawn with a camera.

The next opportune moment to grab a sunrise came this weekend. We were visiting a small sleepy village in Karnataka – Talakad which is a few kilometers away from Mysore. The place is famous for Cauvery river backwaters. I was determined this time to catch sunrise. (It might not be the same thing as the sun rising at sea but its definitely as breathtaking). I got up early (inconveniencing yet another colleague) and this time managed a few decent snaps too! Enough anecdotes, lets now move on to the obligatory descriptions of the pictures…

The first picture is that of the crescent moon – hang on, wasn’t this all about sunrise? Actually, couldn’t resist clicking the waning moon just moments before the sunrise. The sun gradually rose from behind the river – a gentle glowing orange ball of fire that you can easily capture. Within seconds the docile sun turns into a fierce glowing sphere that you cannot even stare at, leave aside clicking a snap. The last three "sunrise" pictures were taken only seconds apart and yet notice how daunting the sun appears in the last one.

posted: 22.1.04

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