Photo Details: Canon EOS 1000D
Time of day : 7:45 pm
Exposure: 1 sec
Aperture : 3.63 (f/3.5)
Focal Length : 20 mm
It has been a long drive. Scurrying from Point A to Point B, searching for the elusive Hanging Bridge with the localites giving brilliant responses:
“It doesn’t exist”
“Not in Manipal”
“You mean the Railway Bridge? “
No one says “I don’t know. “
The guys in the car are babbling.
There is the wet kitten, who keeps telling us how cops will catch us, or how the car will break down on the kind of road we need to take, or how we will be so late when we come back, or some assignment that needs to be submitted.
The drunk one is happily singing away, snatches from one song mingled effortlessly with another.
The control freak, shrieking instruction after useless instruction: Take a left, ask the shopkeeper, ask that guy with a phone, ask that woman, stop the car, start the car, take a u- turn, fly over the trees, etc etc.
The technology-besotted is busy with his device.
The driver is gritting his teeth, his girl trying to calm him down.
And then, we reach this place. I ask him to stop and I step out and pull out my gear. The others trickle out and suddenly, there is calm.
The beauty of the evening makes for the perfect distraction. A pacifier. The dusk, the trees, the color of the sky, the rickety wooden bridge; they all draw us in. Every one falls silent and takes it all in.
The expanse of still water and the solitary boat administer a silent rebuke. We stand, we feel the breeze, we marvel at the colors and the streak of light passing through the roads, striated, due to the palm trees lining it. We come together, then disband, each person to his personal space.
A Brief Respite. Manipal never fails.