Saturday, October 13, 2007

Sunrise at Dimna Lake

Nine bikes - one ride in the darkness, through narrow winding roads, braving potholes and speed breakers, to watch sunrise at Dimna Lake.

I'd been to Dimna Lake twice before. The first time, I slipped and fell in, and my mp3 player died on me. The second time, I spent an entire day inside it, and rediscovered the joy of being at ease in water, letting it take over my body. This time was different again.

There were nine bikes and sixteen riders. I was riding behind Ninja, which was good, because I'd ridden with him before, and I didn't worry as much as I would have with someone unknown. Though my biggest anxiety, I have to admit, was that I would fall asleep on the bike; we'd gone out for dinner the night before, and I'd slept at three, to wake up at four.

We started off at four-thirty, with the aim of making it to Dimna by sunrise. The whole ride took less than half an hour, even with stoppages, so the more experienced among us were dissatisfied. But for a novice rider like me, it was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life.

Out of the b-school, and off through the mostly empty roads of The 'City' to Mango Bridge. And then riding through the darkness of the winding roads, surrounded by trees on both sides, and the looming deeper black of hills half-seen, with only the blurred red lights of the bikes ahead to keep you company. There was wind, and cold, but I didn't feel it much, because of the sheer exhilaration of travelling at high speed in a bike through the darkness.

Dimna at dawn is an amazing sight. The lake and the surrounding hills are grey, and fog hangs heavy on top of the water. It curls around the trees on the surrounding hills, and makes them look like graveyards with tall grave-stones. When we reached, the light was just starting to flow in, and the grey lightened by the minute. There was a black irregular shadow on the water, under the fog, but I couldn't figure out what it was, and then someone enlightened me - it was the reflection of the hills above, black against the lightening sky.

We walked on to the dam, and I reminisced about my disastrous fall into the lake. The world was lightening slowly, but we wondered if we would see a proper sunrise, because of the fog. The sky was a multi-coloured haze, the red at the horizon fading into grey. It was beautiful. The fog was lifting slowly. Wisps of it were travelling about the water. Watching the phenomenon was a skin-crawling experience, because it looked like a purposeful battalion of newly-dead souls, passing over to the other side.

People kept taking pictures of everything, trying to capture the moment, the beauty of the place, but it was quite impossible, of course. And as an aside, I think they were so busy trying to capture the moment that they lost out on the actual enjoyment of it.

There were people practising yoga on benches by the path. We asked one of them to take a group pic. And just as the photo-taking session ended, Shivi looked up and said, "Ah, there's the sun. Finally!" And indeed, there it was, a pale orange thing wreathed in fog. But it slowly came up, and the orange deepened, until it looked like a blood red coin hanging in the sky. It was reflected in the water, too, twice over, so that there were three suns.

A few minutes of watching the sun and clicking pictures, and it was time to go back. The ride back home was faster, and scarier - more traffic, more people, more pot-holes. It didn't bring the same level of exhilaration as the night ride, but I'd enjoyed myself so thorougly that it didn't matter; I was content.

Here's a pic of the people who went, minus me and a classmate, because we were the ones clicking.

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naween said...

over? just like that? no final comments or observations? no last words?? hawww!!

Jade said...

Hehe.. I kinda got sick of the post, since it didn't really do justice to the whole experience. :)

Sreejith said...

agree with naween. the end was kind of abrupt. expected a few more superlatives for the sunrise scene :) Must have been really fun though.. i can relate.

Jade said...

There. Hope you're happy, both of you. :)