Enchanting Misty Mornings In Kochi
Text: Lt Col D Purushothaman Pillay (Retd)
Over generations we all have developed mental templates of climatic expectations from different geographic realms, like for instance, snow in the extreme altitudes, mist in the mountain folds and mirages on the desert horizons. Therefore, it is hard to believe one’s eyes when one sees Kochi of today blanketed in a thick shroud of unprecedented dawn-fog. These pictures of a foggy Kochi were clicked over a few early mornings in November. The gloomy grey, low-lying cloud of smog that hung in the air, gave an unaccustomed cold wintry look to the vista. What one witnessed is a November sunrise-view, that is characteristic of a cooler India, north of the Tropic of Cancer. One is normally used to witnessing misty mornings up in the mountains after a certain altitude, hence when Kochi, which is a town that is located at sea-level experiences this unfamiliar phenomenon, it is both intriguing and enchanting. This sight instantly reminded me of the poignant words of the talented Turkish author and playwright Mehmet Murat Ildan, which said “You can walk in a dream while you are awake: just walk in the misty morning....”. It felt like walking in a dream.
Fogs are influenced by multitude of factors, some are natural, like for instance the topography, temperature, vegetation, weather, geographic location, wind conditions, proximity to water-bodies etc and some others are man-made factors that include, setting up of factories, disappearance of farmlands, increase in road networks, atmospheric pollution due to a surge in automobiles on highways, construction with concrete and urbanization. I feel in the context of modern day Kochi, it must primarily be the two man-made reasons, of rapid industrialization, coupled with the increase in the vehicular population, that must have contributed in a big way to the prevalence of the blurry haze that was on view. Besides this the global impact of glacial-melt, rising atmospheric temperatures and the resultant climate change must also be having a very important role to play in this new development in our geography.
Notwithstanding the worrisome factors elaborated above, it must however be admitted that it is very beautiful to see this unfamiliar yet alluring sight of a thick misty blanket of unexpected grey enveloping this beloved town, shrouding it in an air of mystique. I particularly love the sight of the tips of the tall high-rises dotting the city skyline, emerging out of a snowy cloud of milky-white wispy vapors.
Charming Kochi looks delightfully gorgeous draped in its new misty veil!!