One of the most magical sights — at least for me — is the confluence of Rivers Indus and Zanskar. The two rivers have very distinct colors, whether you are looking down from the mountain road that hugs the mountain on its side, or right from the beach. And I am not the first one to stop and take photos at this spot. It is a tourist haunt, and perhaps that is why it was a challenge to find new perspectives and give my spin on this spot.
When I looked at the confluence, I felt greatness comes from giving oneself to something more significant. Zanskar, a mighty river in its own right, might be short-lived, but it offers itself to help River Indus achieve its destiny as one of the greatest rivers on the planet. Zanskar journey is short, about 70 miles but it carries more punch and gives Indus its oomph. Both of them start a trickle from melting glaciers in the mountains upstream. And yet In few hundred miles, no one will remember Zanskar.
This is as true for the rivers as it is for life and business. Long after we are successful, forgotten are our teachers, parents and every mentor who helped us become more prominent than the sum of all parts. Ironically, I was thinking of how Instagram is like Zanskar and Facebook like the Indus — but then I shuddered at the idea of comparing Indus to Facebook. I might need a holy bath just for that thought.
Whenever I end up in a place, which is new to me, I always let my heart and eyes guide me. My heart was telling me to get down to the water level and capture the last seconds of Zanskar, it’s bright cyan colored waters, where they merge into the murky green of Indus. I was not sure if I would succeed or not, but that was my image quest.
Of course, just because you want to make a photo doesn’t mean you get to do it. The sun wasn’t cooperative. The wind was kicking up a veritable sandstorm. Regardless, I soldiered on — radically reduced to hiding behind the car was brought to the edge of the water to make sure that the tripod wasn’t shaking.
My mood was made worse by the sight of plastic bottles bobbing up and down, and I wonder why do people do that. It is like if I came into their home and took a crap on their expensive rug. What gives us the right to destroy such pristine beauty. That sight put me in a mood, and even five soldiers taking selfies didn’t do anything to lift my spirits.
Ernest Hemingway Herman Melville wrote in Moby Dick, “Yes, as everyone knows, meditation and water are wedded forever.” The meditation of confluence remains elusive.
Photo made with Leica M-A. Focal length 50mm. Aperture f2. Exposure time: 1/500th of a second.