Monday, 5 June 2017


For everything that interests us there is that one aspect that completely mesmerises and captivates. When I consider music, I will have to confess a strong bias towards stringed instruments and Indian classical. As I turn to books, I would be lying if I said anything captivates me more than political thrillers or geopolitical history. And the minute I venture to photography, there are enough and more shots of sunsets and trees that will evidence my prejudice very aptly. Of the two, picking any one  would be a dilemma. But if I was forced to, at this moment, and only at this moment ,maybe my pick would be sunsets. 

The first vivid memory that I have of a beautiful sunset is from a summer holiday in the hills of Kumaon region. We had driven from Nainital to Kausani via Almora. It had been a long drive, and by the time we reached our rest house in Kausani it was evening. Getting out of the car I felt the cool wind hit my young cheeks. To avoid it I turned in the opposite direction. As soon as I did, the view in front of me had me enthralled. The setting sun had spread sweet orange flames across the sky, and the snow clad mountain peaks were reflecting the warmth of these in shades of peach and pink. No shade of these three colours was missing from the canvas and that perfect painting of nature has been etched in my memory ever since. Had I attempted to capture the moment, I don't think I could have done that view any justice. 

After that Mumbai sunsets captivated me. Whether it was Priyadarshini park, Tata Gardens, Worli Sea Face or Hanging Gardens; I have spent many evenings just watching the sun melt away into the sea and spread a blanket of harmony on this city riddled with chaos. Through my teens and early twenties, post a good day it seemed as if the setting sun was creating a delicious orange syrup for me to dip my ice lolly into and enjoy. Every tough day that I ended with the sun, the ball of fire just slipped into its watery bed and sent a message to rest and rejuvenate for  a brighter next day. While I saw many sun rises as well, none of them spoke to me like the sunsets did. 

If I thought it was the Mumbai sunsets that were special, my view changed as soon as I started to travel. Whether it was the plains of Jaipur or Fontainebleau, the mountain tops of Cape Town or Santorini, the cruises of Budapest or Quebec, or my days in my balcony on the Thames; every sunset brought with it new smiles and evoked new emotions. Each sunset, even today, gives my dreams wider wings to soar higher. Every sunset puts a perspective to every struggle I have faced. All sunsets bring forth an enhanced version of nature's beauty all around us. And so did the red and orange sunset  of yesterday; and probably that's the reason at this moment I am partial to sunsets - the red, orange, pink, peach and yellow paintings of nature.