Mar Nicholovos turns nature photographer while on holiday in India

Written By: on Oct 11th, 2010 and filed under Columns, Features, Opinions.

Letha (a Facebook friend) goes poetic when she quotes John Keats: “A thing of beauty is a joy for ever.” “WOW..amazing snap shots!! A real treat for the beholder’s eyes!” was how she put it. She goes further in another comment saying: “It (photos) should be enjoyed at the moment, preserved and also shared. The photographer is definitely enjoying the scene at the moment and making a conscious effort to snapshot it (out of joy or passion) and share his joy with others…My point is when a photographer takes a snap shot, he decides to preserve it in the form of a photo only because he enjoyed the moment….

This was in response to another post from Fr Philip Mathew who appreciating the Bishop’s work as “Great photos” remarked about an article by a Catholic liturgist arguing against photography in church precisely for this reason: by focusing on preserving snapshots for future enjoyment, we never really enjoy the moment as it is happening, and so it’s never as enjoyable or memorable as it could’ve been anyway.

It was a truly splendid and sincere effort by the metropolitan who while sacrificing the beauty of the moment yet came up with laudable pictures which are shared with all and many getting the opportunity to view how the famed peaks look like.

Debu Prem from Bangalore comments: Thank you for taking us to Sikkim and other places, it was really wonderful, so beautiful…, I’m sure weve (we have) enjoyed more……… in such short time.

Sunrise on the Kanchenjunga is another marvel which he seems to have made a sincere attempt but failed. 34 photos were added to the album. “One of the star attractions of Darjeeling is watching sun rise over Kanchenjunga. I was trying to capture it in camera and as you can see, miserably failed. It is an experience you cannot express it in words or through camera so I do not dare to say anything…”

Another friend Decon Gheevarghese John jocularly commented of drilling oil in the high altitudes. “…just kidding…it’s beautiful…and capturing the moment on camera allows us to enjoy the beauty as well…” he writes.

Mar Nicholovos replied saying drilling reminds him of having to go to Alaska (largest US state by area) before people destroys it, while another friend Ruthamma Chacko thanked Thirumeni for posting interesting pictures and for his hard work.

Lachung seems much to the metropolitans liking since he snapped the maximum number with 116 pictures. The road to Lachung is placed as another album with 28 photos. “These are random shots taken on the road to Lachung from Gangtok. Being in the Himalayas all the places are great scenic views,” he opines.

There is a picture separately of a simple meal taken at a small restaurant on way to Lachung. “Most of it was from Yak, Yak butter, Yak yogurt (Moru curry) and Yak meat. I skipped the meat and enjoyed the rest. Yak yogurt has a very strong taste,” he reminisces.

About Lachung he wrote: “remeber (remember) this is happening in Himalayas and not downtown NYC (New York City) Elizabeth Varghese liked his posting when he wrote about an interesting trip riding on a yak. But there is no picture of the ride in the album. An amazed Elizabeth writes: Ooooo! Now its a parishuda Yak to which Nicholovo’s commented: hope it is not eaten…!

Though at Pelling, the metropolitan didn’t indulge in any trekking, the place forms as the base where trekkers and adventurers undertake the strenuous and arduous treks, but he has managed to capture the land around Pelling in all its entirety.

Known for its virgin territory, the area is bathed with alpine vegetation and numerous waterfalls lining the hillside. He has captured 33 photos of the shimmering waves and icy waters of the Seven Sisters Water Fall in North Sikkim. The state famed for its waterfalls with one present in very other corner of the road. Here the water falls through seven steps and hence the name and is compared to the famed Seven Sisters waterfall consisting of seven separate streams in Geirangerfjord, Norway. There is also posting of Rimbi Falls and Kanchenjunga Falls totaling about 42 photos.

Another attribute is his liking towards monasteries. Buddhist monasteries like Enchay, Pemyangtse and Rumatek Monastery in Gangtok were also visited. He describes 12 photos of the Enchey Monastery as belonging to the Nyingma order of Vajrayana Buddhism.

Relaxing from the bustle of Big Apple, the bishop seems to have done some home work with his postings when he writes that Enchey was established in 1909 above Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim in the Northeastern Indian state. It belongs to the Nyingma order of Vajrayana Buddhism. The monastery built around the then small hamlet of Gangtok became a religious centre later.

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