I would rather be here now -- #2

9/03/2013 07:19:00 PM

We' the travel community have come a long way from being labeled as tourists to evolving in to true travelers. yet there are plenty of misconceptions we are still surrounded with. I have often being titled as someone little too wild and always posting the craziest of the ideas, given my posts are mostly about the places, one can not just get out of the house in a spur of a moment and drive to. they aren't just happy coincidences or usual interactions either. In all honesty the experiences are most often far from usual. Is it that I do deliberately or it just so happens?

"Road less traveled / Traveling Off-beaten Path is a Myth" 

If I look at my blogging history, I starting writing about what I wanted to be (trying which I failed or not ) and Being Original to most recent experiences about Trekking / Hiking, exploring nature. I then moved on to writing about my long cooking sessions yes, (they are all hidden by the way), few photography trips that I began doing that time, and finally Long travels, which is when I anticipated, that I was never a traditional traveler or writer/blogger. I was not writing about Oh-so-happy and fun experiences instead, i was always writing about my thought-process which may or may not have sound exotic.

Most of the time a Travel discussion starts with a neighborhood trip and ends w/ an RTW ( around the world), the other time it is about how many countries one has traveled or want to in future. when one ruminates in such manner, new cities that you have in your bucket lists become just other cities that you traveled to, and one new added country to the list, becomes yet another long path traveled.

"How about starting with an unattainable, insurmountable and that with a few "why"s  thrown in?"

I was 17, I think, when this one belief was installed in my brain by none other than me. A cousin was getting married. it was an arrange marriage. she must have been half a year older to me then. everything went alright, but the thought that beat me up was, she and her mother were constantly conversing or cribbing about what all she got as her wedding gifts from her relatives, and what all her mother-in-law did not let her bring with her when she came to her parents house for the first time after the wedding. I was baffled because if I were in her shoes, I must have been thinking much about what kind of man my so called husband was, with whom I was to spend the rest of my life.

its Ok, if you thought it was a weird example, oh those gifts above were gold jewels and heavy worked traditional saris btw ;). yes. My point is, she wasn't wrong or right in anyway, but how I was interpreting it? that one's thinking is limited to their own world. the world that one has created. You bring in more knowledge, feed more informations, grow your world and bam, you brain would come out of its cocoon and envision something new.

The idea of creating no boundaries for your brain to let it explore the infinity ∞ while traveling is also as aforementioned. You don't learn the usual. You learn something brand new, and you don't close the idea by telling it that "oh no.. you ain't doable at all" instead, You give hope to the impossible. who knows what was once impossible, might now look like a piece of cake.

So those who were asking me, this series I began with same thoughts in mind. as another blogger, I just dont want to only let you to live my experiences ( or other bloggers ) as my own version, or typecast it someway, I want you to set your mind free from pre-assumptions of borders of countries or what most traveled or off-beaten is. I want you to seek more knowledge, and create your own "Why" and if I can help you do that, If I can inspire you to think, my goal as not just a writer or photographer but as an individual is fulfilled.

This photograph series I began to write with only above intention but using visuals. You must agree that Images are a powerful source for ideas and inspirations. I kinda boost that belief in me here by saying hey look, this was just one image that I saw once and for the first time, and the desire to explore that one place, was installed in my mind, I no longer needed to find another reason for this one image was enough, all I need was a plan and all I needed was to let it bake till it looked ready.

photo by - Jim Lo Scalzo

So welcome back to the 2nd Edition of "I would rather be here now" Series. You can read the inaugural post here  - Part #1. The places that I discover in this series are generally those I find, while I am doing my favorite activity on Internet, and that is Google "images" Search. Its true, I can forget days and Night while I am out exploring the web for something new. Its just as good as meditating. So with out much wait, lets see where I am taking you this time. read on.

Salton sea beach CA USA - A Modern Ghost Town

I know you' are remembering my previous post about me & Jellyfish in Palau right now. But I am no way planning to jump in this salt water full with dead tilapia fish, and wont advice you to do this either. but then why am I writing about it.

Just this one image of millions of dead fish floating in the shallow water of Salton sea beach, tells more about history and current state of this place than a explanation essay built with careful usage of a thousand words ever can. Salton Sea was born by accident about a hundred years ago, when the Colorado River breached an irrigation canal and for the next two years the entire volume of the river flowed into the Salton Sink. What become California's largest lake, one of the lowest places on Earth and once a famous tourist attraction is now a major environmental issue.

Must have been a truly exotic place in history of time, and now a deadly tornado in the making. the sea water is actually said to have grown increasingly toxic because of constant inflow of agricultural chemicals and tourism wastes. explains the cause of massive die-offs of fish and birds and town people abandoning their homes and run-off. what remains now is a largest bed of dead fish and a ghostly town. this article has detailed out the history surrounded w/ this place and its current state. which looks scary because the study predicts the rest of the sea water might dry off in another 20 or so years, exposing soil contaminated with arsenic and other cancerous chemicals to strong winds that would blow across much of southern California, creating an environmental calamity.

If the ghosts in the shape of fish, the rotten eggs smell that I carefully avoided to mention earlier, and above details dint frighten you enough, to not visit this place ever, there are still some goodies that i can ball over about this weird, yet gorgeous at odd, place in California. Don't believe me? read this article on national geographic that I just found. or if not, go give it a google image search. the place has produced some of the most stunning images of trailers, flooded ruins, abandoned houses with breathtaking landscapes. I have seen a living ghost town back in India and I have seen a beach spread of dead fish in Pondicherry, but this goes well beyond my imagination and the irony that this is in United states of America, in one of its the most developed state, and in close proximity of One of most famous tourist city of San diego, there can't be a better example of how the nature is vastly ignored.

Japan of my Dream or Akira Kurosawa's

From Men's selfishness and pure ignorance of nature to how he can preserve deepest of his thoughts, here I am giving this post a total shift. This one also features a video instead of my usual one image. because I didn't want to hold off anything here.

I chanced upon watching few movies for photography about a year or two, and Landscape in the Mist, was one that really affected me as a photographer and a person on how I must see things. There were other famous ones. The above however stood out on the grounds not only for how I would preserve things, but also, how i could express myself and my deepest darkest dreams to others in honesty.

Akira Kurusawa's dream is a collection of tales about his actual dreams at different stages of life. I can
not wonder less about how he remembers the very details of those dreams, he must have written it ( If one might
say) but bringing those to world of realism is what astonish me the most. personally I never wrote down 
what I saw in my dreams. if I can remember some then those would be recurring dreams of chase, and at
locations which I always felt I have seen somewhere, but really not in the real actual life. so re-creating 
those dreams in locations that perhaps Mr. Kurusawa might not have seen before, is honestly a puzzle to me.

But that is just one part of the story. I have never been to Japan and If I have seen few images, those looked
no where close to how I saw it in the movie. After watching it all I went on searching for the images of locations 
where the movie was shot ( Gotemba, Shizuoka, Kurosawa Film Studio, Tokyo, Japan | Memambetsu-cho, 
Abashiri, Hokkaido, Midori-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan ) and was in awe of the natural beauty of the 
country. needless to say, I have been dreaming of visiting Japan ever since. 

Mammatus Clouds, Regina Saskatchewan Canada

Mammatus cloud 2

There is no need of words to explanation this one. Have you ever seen clouds like this? OMG.
Ok here is the reality check, we all might have seen these bubble clouds, most of us yes, because they occur everywhere but in varied formations. this region however has seen the most spectacular of them all. Not sure who gave them the name Mammatus explaining 'em as mother's breast, they rather remind me of Chinese lanterns in whites and perhaps a little more in volume of that one scene from the movie tangled.

The Bubble clouds were last recorded in New York city in 2005 and recently in post storm sky of Regina on 26th June 2012. Well, If I can be treated with that view in NYC I wouldn't call myself unlucky no more. Duh I tried my luck on Auroras this april, and most recently the meteors. But I could see none. Perhaps my destiny is to travel and while I am on my way to wilderness, me and regina will cross path and perhaps it would be a gala time for these bubbles too to come out and do a show for me who knows.

Marsh Arabs or Mesopotamian Marshland or Now The Central Marshes of Iraq

The unique wetland of southern Iraq which was destroyed and drained, finally saw a light of hope on the day of July 23, 2013 when It was declared the first National Park of the country. and thats when and only how I came to find this cultural and historical heritage. I mean who would have thought of finding a area of migrant wintering birds and the native habitat, Once called a garden of Eden and home to ancient Sumerians and Babylonian Civilization, in the midst of umm, Sand dunes? Did you even hear about this part of the world ever existed.

I have been researching about National parks a lot lately for my @ImagesToTeach Project ( will be sharing more about it soonand I am looking forward to find more details about inhabitation here, from reading it does look like totally distinct now. perhaps I could visit and explore it sometime soon and share my findings, till then here are few articles all talking but about the sad tragedy.

1- http://ens-newswire.com/2013/08/02/mesopotamian-marshlands-declared-iraqs-first-national-park/

2- http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/news-mourning-marsh-arab-way-life

3- https://www.nwf.org/News-and-Magazines/National-Wildlife/News-and-Views/Archives/2004/Resurrecting-Eden.aspx

Winged Migration - Le Peuple Migrateur

It will break my heart, if I leave you sobbing with sad stories for I am an eternally positive person and dont like to focus on negativity much.

So here I am leaving you with one of my most favorite documentary ever. I would have otherwise put this one in "Watch With Me" series, but this is only appropriate because, It is my wish. I do want to fly all the seven continents of the world, just like these birds.

I wouldn't comment on the making of this documentary since I read comments about using the trained birds, and other negative things. but this Oscar-nominated documentary that provides a hypnotic, bird's-eye view of the grueling semiannual migrations of various avian species as they make their way across vast distances to more moderate climates, is photographically one of the best work that I have ever seen. why i say this, because you can pause and take a screen shot anytime and you'd find a brilliant frame in each of them. The background score is equally beautiful, and plays in my mind all the time.

I have embedded the youtube full movie video that I found, there are no english subtitles. You really don't need to hear what he's saying. You feel it. Do watch it and let me know what and how you felt about it. tell me have you not felt the earth is undisputedly a piece of heaven itself. tell me if you have not felt, the evil lies nowhere else but with in.

See you again next time with yet another story.

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