I’m not usually a fan of noir because I feel they alter reality and reality is what I usually want to portray through my images. But this particular one is an exception; because this time my imagination took over reality and I chose to keep it that way. So this is the story of a ‘haunted’ place called Amboli.
Amboli is a beautiful hill station in Maharashtra state of India. It is at the peak of its beauty during the monsoon season, draped by lush green stretch of vegetation and bejewelled by the sparkling and ethereal waterfalls. Even in summer, the cold and soothing air of Amboli spells serenity for the visitors. My family and I travel to Goa often and many times we happen to choose the road which passes through Amboli. I have always loved this place. The last time I was there, it was monsoon, and I had the privilege of experiencing Amboli in its full glory.
Tranquility, serenity are rather distant dreams for a city boy like me. 11pm at my house when I would hear only a few dogs barking or only the constant squeaking of the ceiling fan, were my definitions of serenity. But what I experienced at Amboli was something new. I felt, may be this is what serenity feels like after all. It was serenity to the point of haunting. The air was cold, not biting, but just the right amount. There was no direct sunlight as the sky was crowded with clouds and the visibility was rather low because of the passing clouds. Yes we were right in between the clouds. It was an experience of a life time. I had never breathed air so pure and so clean. It was uplifting and I think even my soul felt a bit cleansed. It was a brief tryst with pure happiness.
Amidst all this a tale was brewing in my mind. As we moved up the ghat of Amboli, we started entering the monsoon clouds which clad the mountain. Suddenly all I could see around me was the colour white. The huge lush green valley that I could see next to me was suddenly history. Everything changed in minutes. What was soothing and beautiful a while ago was now scary. Fellow travelers were a rare. The simple road signs now seemed like invitations from hell. We had a few sightings of human like figures as we crossed the small village Amboli. This was the first time I experienced the thin line between Beauty and Haunting. Through the essay I try to exemplify my thoughts and portray my imagination.
All the pictures are taken in a span of 20 minutes as the passing clouds and the effect lasted only for that much of time. The signage played an important role to thicken the plot of the mysterious tale. By clicking on the pictures you should be able to view it in large format.
Camera: Nikon D7000 with Nikorr 35mm