Just as I thought that the photographs I had taken at Angkor were good enough, I began to see blemishes in them. I felt that I should have taken some in landscape mode whilst those were in the portrait mode. Whereas clarity in some was undesirable, some were very dark. Owing to East-west orientation of the Temples, some pictures could never be free of oblique shadows, I thought. There were so many problems with almost all the pictures taken on my first trip. Fine, I will be going there again, in any case, I thought.
I began writing the sequences that I had thought to follow. But just as I began penning things down, it occurred to me that I had better gone into some historical issues as well, although my general line of direction was inclined towards art, architecture & engineering. Without a little and relevant historical inputs, my effort shall not be complete, i surmised. But just as I began searching for historical inputs, all hell let loose. History was after all not as simple as had been made out to be when we were choosing our streams over 50 years ago. History is much too tedious for silly science students; the likes of me. Much more than solid mechanics and finite element analysis and earthquake engineering. There are wheels within the wheels within, in history.
Just as I thought, I was only stuck with history, the intricacies of temple architecture began to appear as my Achilles Heel. Not only that, how did they feed 3000 of those pachyderms, the art of sculpting, material sciences, tools & plants especially at that stage in time nearly a thousand years ago… I thought I had bitten more than I could chew.
But just as I thought I was getting consumed in the mire of all these unfathomable aspects, help began to appear on the horizon. A distant relative, a famous retired Professor of History working on Jain religious monuments introduced me to another professor located in my city of residence who helped me with books and a comprehensive briefing on the Indian kings, their passion for building temples and other finer aspects related to temple building. My younger child, who is developing into a Photographer of some repute by The God’s Kind Grace, briefed me about art of taking photographs with the DSLRs. I intrinsically dislike anything digital; old school, you see. Let something be simple; please. Rudyard Kipling was not an unwise poet, after all.
And just as I thought I was overshooting, intrigues began to unravel one by one by themselves, just as those had begun to sprout. I began to get even with my woes.
Veritably, I thought… strange are His ways….
Strange ways, indeed. Just as a certain Merry Decker, almost definite of a Gold Medal at the olympics slips and falls down on the tracks sulking and blaming others. No Gold, Silver or even a Bronze to the almost sure shot champion. And on the other extreme, just as a certain Ben Johnson casting a final glance back before breasting the tape raises his forefinger, a la a cricket umpire, in a statement that he was the undisputed champion, a few moments later, he is stripped of Gold. His ways.
I bow my head in total submission. Lord, You are There…