The long weekend had begun with some customary practices by the MA traffic police. Having succumbed to the exorbitant speeding ticket, on the eight hour drive to Niagara, we were forced to keep to the speed limits on the temptingly empty roads. Upon reaching Niagara, flocked by a gazillion tourist, we too bore the brunt of long lines for the various ‘attractions’ on this man-intruded fury of nature.
My last visit to this place was almost a year ago, when we had foolishly settled for the go-to bus guided tour, a cheaper alternative provided by the enterprising Chinese immigrants. Sadly all I remembered about that journey was the annoying two hour wait in the claustrophobic bus for micturition; while Niagara from the last weekend had other surprises in store.
A zillion non-resident aliens and immigrants from India were swarming Niagara and its ambience. I was subtly reminded of the Russel Peter’s show, where he cued quite comically that the earth will soon be taken over by the multiplying Indian and Chinese population. I was further victim to the foreign feeling of the very hypocritical desi mentality, to irk at a junta of our own, conveniently ignoring the fact that the feeling is mutual. The sari, salwar-kameez clad, every second face in the crowd and streets laden with pani puri stalls, tediously made me feel at home, a feeling I didn’t want to have!
However, the picturesque falls with its roaring green waters, made this tryst with nature very special, away from other hiccups. I had thoroughly enjoyed the cave of the winds an innovative tourism gimmick when one pays to get wet in the Niagara. Various other conventional sojourns followed along the trolley ride, circumscribed within two miles of the majestic cascades. And not to forget, the tiresome trip was intermittently treated to some cliché dhaaba food.
As we prepared to leave this land woven out from rocks, forests and nothingness, a few facts about why the falls stand where they are took me off-guard. Man had controlled the gripping land slides to prevent further erosion of these imposing falls. Though carefully preserved as myths and notes of history, it made me wonder how is it that we humans had evolved to control the whims of nature and when is it that we have to give it up?