As a child, I was once leafing through the glossy pages of what resembled a coffee table book. My eyes fell on the picture of a “huge waterfall” and I couldn’t stop gazing at the Niagara Falls.
After a tiring day at college, I sat down to unwind with a black and white movie being aired on HBO. The first few minutes of Niagara seemed interesting and I continued watching. Shot from the Canadian side (for obvious reasons), the movie cleverly intertwined the beauty of the Falls with the plot.
What would it be like to watch the Falls from close quarters…?
We enter the Niagara Falls New York State Park and a few miles inside from here, visitors queue up to reach the Niagara Falls. Before that, we head to watch a feature film on Niagara and its legends of adventure. Every frame in the movie beautifully captures the splendour of the Niagara.
Nothing had however prepared me for that sweeping moment, as I stand facing the grandeur – stunned, speechless and awe stuck. Niagara..! The winds whispered, as though reiterating my presence. As I stood against the railings in the cruise boat, which took us closer to various points, a bevy of emotions began to unfold in a poetic somersault. The sight of Maid of the Mist brought forth with it a certain mystic appeal, an unmistakable presence of Lelawala, the maid-turned-legend.Swoooosh..! The trance-like state is suddenly broken by the showers, that sends you in a joyous shriek.
Bridal Veils Falls is true to its name and I don’t mean just the veil. There is a certain coyness in the sheer gush which strangely enough, also brings with it an overpowering mix of power and pride!
Cave of the winds is an entry point below the falls from where you can climb two levels of a small bridge to get a closer view. Here (again), it’s a replay of emotions. At the first level, you get drenched in the majestic gush. Water sprints across your eyes, making it impossible to move towards the second level. Stretch your arms instead, and you do not miss feeling the splendour and the melancholy. Don’t know what made me turn around for a moment, but glad I did. There was a colourful treat waiting – a rainbow so huge and vivid that I could easily split the V-I- B-G-Y-O-R in the spectrum. I let out a loud gasp, accompanied by child-like joy — unbridled, true and so pure. A joy surpassing even the spectacular lights and fireworks by the night.
In these few wonderful hours, I experience nothing short of emotional high-jinks, invariably matching the serenading rush of water. As I bid adieu, it all climaxes into a quiet moment when I stay transfixed. And humble.