When you hear “Grand Canyon”, the word ‘Grand’ stands out. And true to its name, the grandness leaves you breathless. The grandness engulfs the mystery looming around the formation of such a masterpiece of the Nature. 

I have visited the canyons thrice during my stay in Phoenix, Arizona. Each time I stood speechless at the newness that it exhibited, experienced the trance, felt the goose bumps. Each time I saw it or even when I close my eyes to cherish the memories, my retina burnt with its grand image. 

I stood speechless before the mighty canyon trying to savor the magnificent beauty. The beauty that inexorably drives you to enact things shown in Bollywood movies that seem so stupid at other times but seem appropriate before the  canyon- fall on your feet and kiss the ground or shout out loud to hear the echo. The canyon holds its beauty with grace, not flaunting it but adding to the divinity by its innocence and ignorance. 

Clicking flashes, chattering people and exuberantly playing children –the park from where tourists see the canyon is always bustling with crowd and life. The canyon stands still with deadly silence, a part of the noisy world but immersed in deadly silence. The silence of canyon and the bustling at park- the two opposite worlds collide and get engulfed in the vastness of the canyon separating the two. 

I get a goose bump when I think of the noisy event which gave rise to the masterpiece. The most accepted but equally debate theory looming behind the formation of canyon is that the massive Colorado River carved these canyons. Looking at the stillness of the canyon, it seems improbable that the journey of formation of this silence was a deafening noisy event.  The thought of the mighty river carving the canyon….the thought of river’s sheer might horripilate me. Chopper ride takes tourists over the river. It is big but still smaller than what it was before. The river carves its masterpiece and shrinks to tom-tom its creation.  

Grand, really ‘Grand’—the first words that comes to the mind at the view of the canyon. And if it was not enough the booklets from the information centre add to the “WOW!”—It will tell you that it stretches 277 miles across northern Arizona. At places it is about 1600 meters deep. It stands taller, bigger and sombre than anything witnessed by humankind.

The canyon was discovered in 1826 and from that time mankind has tried to understand it’s mystery and capture it’s beauty. More than 600 lives have been lost, most of them being photographers trying to seize its beauty at different angles on the photographic film. The canyon seems unaware of such losses.

A dead stillness and silence characterizes it. For me the fact that people and animals inhabited the Canyon seems like a lie. The movie shown at the I-Max theatre nearby tells facts that seem so deceptive. It has been the home and hope of many ancient Indian tribes. They lived and thrived in the Canyons by the Colorado river. The Clovis and Folsum 10,000 years ago, and the Puebloan around 1275 AD. Today, the Havasupai still live in Grand Canyon. The Navajo Indians and Hualapai Nations own land in the Canyon. And Hopi and Zuni are two sacred sites inside the Canyons today.. 

The silence of Canyon tells stories. It is pregnant with sagas told and untold. The canyon has witnessed history. It has seen death and rise of civilization. It has witnessed geographical marvels, geographical turmoil and miracles. It has stood for more than five million years, stoic and unmoved by the vagaries of time.

It has its feet planted in noisy river and it stands tall reaching the dead stillness of sky…..A part of the world, but stoic and unaware of it…a yogic in the stage of nirvana.

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