Thursday, December 18, 2008

Little Fluffy Cotton Candies...

Since we were kids, we always wanted to fly. Fly high above, to see how the earth looks from above and to swim in the clouds. We were taught about different varieties of clouds such as the Cumulus, Stratus, Nimbus and Cirrus. I guess there were lots more but I can re-collect these for now. We used to draw neat diagrams in our Geography workbooks when there were anything related to clouds and I even read the book 'Around the World in 80 Days' always thinking when I will get a chance to fly and go places as Phileas Fogg did.

Hailing from a regular middle class family, I never got an opportunity to fly until I completed my graduation. But still at my early 20's then, for me the clouds meant blotches and patches of cotton puffs floating high up defying the laws of gravity.

Cotton Candies or Clouds

The lessons taught in science that clouds are just aggregates of water vapor would sound so fictitious and un-real. It just meant sufficient cotton candies were sprinkled at a higher altitude to gratify all my buddies and school friends when I was a kid.

Ear plugs please. If you have heard of an English electronic music group, The Orb, the above piece is one of their most popular one, composed in 1990. Its again 'Little Fluffy Clouds'.

Later on as time passed, travel became a regular part of my life and I flew miles and miles and saw some of the best panoramas sitting by my flight's window seat. Flying above the Nordic nations during the dying winter season at an early hour when the sun is dressed in its robe of sybaritic lavishness, had offered me some of the best sights of the earth close to the North Pole. Other than that every other city within my country and outside, that I have traveled to offers something special to see when the flight is about to land. For example, when the flight hovered over Paris city before landing at mid-night, the entire city looks like a black bed sheet with small dots of yellow lights. In this ocean of regularity, suddenly you can see a taller and brighter yellow light and my fellow passenger, a native Paris'ian says, 'Hey that's the Eiffel Tower'.

I always opted for a window seat rather than an aisle seat. It's simple the way it works if you wish to get your choicest seat when traveling in economy class. Either stand in the queue first when collecting the boarding pass or have your frequent flying card ready. For me it worked both ways.

But have you ever thought of taking pics when you are traveling miles above the earth's surface. Try it and it's really a different experience altogether.

Flights of imagination


Some neat tips on how to make your compositions and how to take pics from your plane's window is in a blog here.

Now my mind still keeps racing to my school days when we used to make simple experiments for creating clouds. All one needs are a clear plastic jar, a small metal tray full of ice cubes, and some hot water. Fill the plastic jar till its half full with hot water. On the top lid of the jar, place the metal tray full of ice cubes. After a while one can see the cloud-like formation. What happens is really simple, the air and water vapor inside the jar near to the base of the tray are cooled and temperature falls to a level such that, the air and water vapor condense into water droplets. In a very similar format the clouds are formed in the atmosphere, air rises, cools, and water vapor present in the air condenses into clouds.

Was it too much of gyan? Ah ha, just can't imagine losing interest in the clouds. Even these days, have climbed hills and went out of treks in the early mornings before the city life sets in just to catch the clouds in my lenses. Some days it's luck and some days it's plain disappointment. Whatever be the case, old habits don't die fast and easy. Isn't it.

Keep reading and remain connected.

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At 9:07 PM, Anonymous Amrita said...

This post reminds me that I need to take some time out and visit a park so I can get in some fresh air and cloud watching. Thanks Tanay!

At 9:54 PM, Blogger RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

Nice one. Good pictures and good text!

At 4:34 AM, Blogger Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

brilliant pics. You know, i used to think in the same way (and sometimes still do!) that clouds are peices of cotton candy floating away in the sky....really nostalgic post. Thanks for reminding me! :) Even i love the window seat, you know...ah, the clouds are soo beautiful. hard to beleive they are made of just water vapour, as youhave said. great post!


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