The Optimistic Rare Celestial event Super Blood Blue Moon Eclipse 31st January 2018

When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator

– Mahatma Gandhi

30th January 2018 was observed for 70th year of the great leader Mahatma Gandhi. And yesterday 31st January 2018 we witnessed a rare celestial event Super Blood Blue moon with full lunar eclipse. The combination of three phenomenon Blood Moon, Super Blue moon and Lunar eclipse took place 150 years ago and next will take place after 170years of now.

Before sharing my behind the shot story, let me brief you about some basics information of this celestial event.

Supermoon occurs when the moon get closest to earth which makes it looks 14% bigger and 30% brighter than usual.

Bluemoon is second full moon of the month. It’s also a rare event.

Both of these event concide with Lunar eclipse which made this a rarest and lifetime event. Photograhers and astrologers was super excited and waiting for it from very long. I was also one of those photograhers. 

Okay ! So the story begins….

I was planning for it since the last supermoon of 2017 happened in December. I was regularly posting about this event on my social media handles so I can spread awareness for this phenomenon and can get the company of others to witness it. Last week, suddenly I was asked to travel for some official work which was urgent. So I have to drop my plans to witness and shoot the moon in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. As I used to borrow lenses to shoot events in Bhopal, I was bit upset that I won’t be able to shoot this rarest phenomenon because work tour. Also, traveling to Panna, totally a new city for me, so no chances to get the telephoto lens. On 29th January, I arrived Panna. While entering the vehicle crossed Ken river which is a lifeline of Panna Tiger Reserve. Vehicle kept going and it entered the sanctuary, the road with many turns made my first experience beautiful. These visual full of nature and purity calmed my mind and made me happy. 

Panna is still disconnected from railways. There is no industries and no factories, traffic is also less. Which makes Panna free from all kind of Air pollution. City is full of herritage buildings, ancient temples and famous of Diamond mines. 

As I am the field visit for my office work which is based on a project ‘Digital Democracy: Removing digital devide from rural areas of Madhya Pradesh’. For execution of the project, local teams were alloted laptop, printer, smartphone and a point shoot camera (fixed lens setup). I was training the co ordinators for the effective documentation of this project digitally. During photography session, I got to know that this point shoot camera Nikon Coolpix B500 model has pretty good zoom i.e, is 40X . That was the moment, I got excited. Though I was not sure how the camera will react and work in night time as it’s a point and shoot model with small sensor. But the thought ‘something is better than nothing’ hit my mind and excitement level was maintained with another urdu phrase ‘कुछ न मिलेगा तो तजुर्बा मिलेगा‘ which translates ‘If you get nothing, but you will get experience‘.

On 31st after finishing my work, I asked for the permission from local project coordinator to use the camera, and he agreed. 

Air quality of Panna is already healthy and clean, to increase the chances of more clarity, I hiked up to a near by hill. As the camera sensor is poor as compared to DSLR’s sensor. I decided not to take any chances for quality and I climed up to take the shot. I enjoyed the sunset and was eagerly waiting for moon to show up. As per my research moon rise timing was 5:45pm. Moon starts appearing in the blurr at horizon with a narrow band. Time was 6:05pm when I spotted it. Camera was unable to focus the moon. Gradually, Moon started appearing and it was already red. If you have witnessed it, I am damn sure you were also awestruck of these magical moments. This camera keep struggle to focus. I was more happier to witness the blood moon by my naked eyes. I kept camera aside and started staring the sky. I thought it’s not worth wasting time on camera as I assumed its poor sensor won’t allow me  to capture it. After an hour when complete lunar eclipse was about to end, a fine curvy edge of moon started reflecting a brightest band. Suddenly I realised the importance of this brightness. 7 years ago when I was practicing photography with a basic point and shoot, I dealt with such dark situations hell lot of times. Camera focus on the brightest part in the frame, and I took out my camera, mounted it on my tripod and start focusing on the edge. Camera hinted a green signal and finally focused the moon. Without spending a microsecond I tapped the click and took 4-5 shot. I reviewed the images, 2 shots was free from button blurr. I was amazed and so statisfied with the shots at the moment. 

I witnessed the rest of the eclipse for next one hour and packed my bag and tripod and ran back to my hotel to process and upload the image to my social media accounts @travellust.nomad on Instagram 

During this entire process, I learned the power of being optimistic and positivity. :

Here is the final shot 👇👇👇 check it.

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#GoRurban – Initiative to bridge the gap between RURAL and URBAN India.

Aside

Don’t forget where you came from, especially if you don’t even know where you are going. – Sara Marie Hogg 

Year 2017 is about to end, while evaluating personal growth and looking back to the memories I shall share some experiences that I had in the journeys of this year.

Hiking to a hill for a bird eye view of the valleys, trekking around the forest, swimming in a river, cooking and community eating, traditional dancing on folk songs, roller coaster ride in tractor trolley, counting shooting stars, skygazing, witnessing beautiful sunrise and sunsets  and many more such activities. Feeling Nostalgia !

On 26th may to 30th may 2017 an experimental camp named Go Rurban with a tag line ‘Disconnect to Connect‘ is conducted by Ekta Parishad and ANSH Happiness Society in a forest village Bhimkoti which falls under Budhni Block of Sehore District in central India. I will share more about Bhimkoti and it’s geographical details in this article, but first let me introduce about Go Rurban. A youth camp with the objective to know about the life in rural environment. The basic idea is to explore the shortcomings and highlight both of the rural and urban lifestyle. It is only through this exploration that we can build a bridge between both the ends and can actually be the combination of rural and urban, RURBAN.

A youth group of 22 participants from 7 different regions of India were selected through a screening process and sent to Bhimkoti. The village is located in a Budhni surrounded by jungles, a small river and mountains. A perfect scenary for nature lovers.

We all started our journey from Habibganj railway station at 7am. Train halted for 2 mins amidst forests for break testing at Chokha which is few kilometres before Midghat station. We all deborded within 2 minutes and trekked with our backpacks parallel to railway track and then started to follow a narrow trail leaded towards Bhimkoti. 3 villagers were waiting at choka for our group, greeted us with smile and started to walk on trail. After 30min of trekking in the forest we reach the village. Being just 70kms far from BHOPAL the capital city of Madhya Pradesh, Bhimkoti is still untouched with so called ‘Development’. Yes trust me ironically, even electricity haven’t reached yet in this village so forget the rest of the facilities.

I was asked to document the camp by Aneesh Bhai (Ekta Parishad) and Mohsin (ANSH Happiness Society) these two are the minds behind this amazing concept.

Camp was designed such a way that both locals and participants can learn and teach from each other. Few govt. Officials, social workers and experts were invited regularly for a session to create a dialogue between participants, locals and govt. authorities to facilitate the local issues for better development of the village. Gandhian leader Mr. P.V. Rajagopal also visited and stayed for night during the camp to listen the experiences of participants and also met and communicated with villagers.

I don’t know what I have taught them but what I have learned from these villagers is precious. For me Go Rurban is a wonderful educational tool and the camp was an eye opener to me and my fellow participants too.

Important points from my observations.

  • In Bhimkoti they don’t put locks on doors, it shows the level of trust and confidence among the community which lacks in our cities.
  • Mutual respect within the community. For nature and animals as well they share a lovely bond.
  • The feeling of sharing resources with known and unknown which clearly shows they are content with warm heart which is very rare in our urban lifestyle.
  • The level of hospitality, “aathithi devo bhawa” is legit in rural lifestyle.
  • Instead of having all the modern facilities like electricity, transportation, internet, technology and gadgets, infrastructure etc. We still complain, cry and feel upset for the things we don’t have, but it rural it’s opposite.
  • In urban lifestyle we are highly literate, no doubt but in rural lifestyle they are highly educated in real sense (not talking academically).
  • They accept everyone who come their way, are we?

On the name of development we are intentionally and unintentionally ruining their homes, livelihoods and culture. It’s a high time to stop displacement of tribal, farmers and producers from their land and forests.  Because they don’t need us but we need them. 

On a concluding note Go Rurban is wonderful and touching education for me and I can’t explain and share everything in this small article because it’s too tough for me to summarize my daily experiences of the camp. It is just a glance. 

Today the second Go Rurban camp is starting and another batch of participants left to explore a village named Basangawa in Tikamgarh Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh. I am looking forward to listen their perspectives and experiences.

 

Adventures are the best TEACHER | Ladakh-Himalaya |

‘Traveling – It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.’

Ibn Battuta said it right. If you don’t agree , try it once 🙂

Traveling is an adventure and adventure makes you calm, stronger and wise. Well that’s not quoted by Ibn Battuta but if you’ve been through any adventure then you can agree with me. 😉 High Five !


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