Thursday, June 14, 2018

A Bhasmasur Named Illegal Construction!





“We don't seem to be able to check crime, so why not legalize it and then tax it out of business?”... Will Rogers.

William Penn Adair "Will" Rogers was a stage and motion picture actor, vaudeville performer, American cowboy, humorist, newspaper columnist, and social commentator from Oklahoma.  William though at best of sarcastic way has hit the nail on the head of not just present but every past (and may be future) govt’s in our country & for those who are die hard govt fan (there are always of ever  govt) for them as they must have missed a news which does made head line but forgotten soon! In April 18, at Kasauli, in State of Himachal Pradesh, a place which is famous for its scenic mountain ranges & known as tourist’s paradise, one hideous crime happened in day light. A lady assistant town planning officer named Ms Shail Bala has been shot dead by a hotel owner. And her only fault was she was there to demolish the illegal construction done by the said hotel owner & that too by the order of Supreme Court & yes she didn’t accepted the bribe by this hotel owner to turn a blind eye towards the Supreme Court orders  as well towards the said illegal construction! That’s it, seems the assistant town planner was real fool as why she has to bother about what a black coat wearing judge sitting some hundred miles away in Delhi was going to do even if she wouldn’t have taken any action on this hotel? Rather she should have happily accepted bribe which would have been not only saved her life but her summer vacations could have been wonderful in some Dubai or Singapore type destination! Instead the fool entered in to argument & tried to show honesty & got a bullet in return & now what? Govt wasn’t ready even to arrest the killer hotelier & claimed he fled away but again some judge in Supreme Court got the news of this incidence & on his persistence (read Supreme Court’s) somehow police caught the shooter in a city from nearby State & now the case will start. Hope there will be some witnesses who will stood by what they saw & the truth & someday the killer will get due punishment for his crime!

Now many people will say, what’s the link between the heading of this write-up as well the quote I started with & the incidence above! Like in some movie super star Shaharukh Khan has said , “Bade bade shaharome aise chote chote hadse hote rahte hai” i.e. in big cities such small mishaps keeps happening & here even the city is small so why make so much fuss about it? Well, the town kasauli may be small & there might be just one life lost (sorry Shail Bala, you have taken birth in a country where value of one life really nobody cares, that’s why I said just one life) but the message it has sent around which will reach to ever small & big town along with the Metro cities in the country is so loud & clear that only the blind’s won’t be able to see it & the deaf’s won’t hear it; unfortunately from “Galli to Delhi” every govt is full of both i.e. blind & deaf! And the message is for every that person in the system called govt who thinks they works for so called law (yes Shail Bala proved that there are such fools around yet) & for those persons too, who loves to be other side(read wrong side) of the law! And the message for the first category i.e. so called law protectors means officers & law abiding citizens is, please never put your neck in the matters of illegal constructions, stay out of it or the very same neck can get hurt even cut! And any way it’s just matter of few months as in every State of this country there are more illegal constructions than legal ones is a fact & every govt (whatever political party they may be of) eventually regularize all the so called illegal constructions ignoring Hon Court’s views about the same. So why risk your life for demolishing something which is going to be legal by the govt itself of which you are a servant, is the indirect message sent to all so called law abiding govt servants by this shooting!

And the message for the latter category i.e. for all the persons which are on wrong side of the law (well now days it’s really difficult to define which is right side of the law) is, don’t worry, keep doing what you are doing i.e. not following any law while you build your hotels, dhabas, buildings, factories or whatever you want to build. Just go & make money by what you build, no need to take any tension of any guidelines by any govt department, may it be Urban Development, Pollution Control Board, Revenue, City Survey, Electricity (I still love the term MSEB), Police & even so called Supreme Court! Just don’t bother about any environment or nature conservation types things, as do mind it’s not green color of the nature but the green currency in your pocket is going to make you happy, so just don’t bother about anything & yes shoot the person who is objecting to your noble (not illegal) cause behind whatever you have constructing as that’s what they deserve; as how can they be so cruel towards a person like you with has so noble intentions of just feeding your family & creating employment! So why does it matters if in doing so you end up breaking some stupid norms of construction set by some planning authorities & courts & violate the same! And then going by the precedence about our  “mai baap’’ govt’s soft corner towards the so called illegal construction you have done, just relax, right from some local elected corporator to Hon CM to even opposition party leaders, all are with you & keen to relieve you from the tension that you have build something illegal! So these all will be making every effort to regularize your construction till that time you can use all the tricks you got to keep some foolish, honest officer like Shail Bala away from your construction. Have you not seen the hit movie, “Lage Raho Munnabhai”, where the builder Boman Irani puts a wallet full of currency & a gun on table in-front of a Municipal officer who was not sanctioning his plans of anew project & asks him, “ye wallet & ye bullet, boal kya leke sign karega?” Means either choose bullet from the gun or take money a (as bribe), in either way you have to sanction the plans! Needless to say in the movie the officer was shown wise so he chooses wallet & clears the plan, seems Shail Bala hasn’t seen the movie or she too could have chosen wisely in Kasauli & saved me from writing this piece!

Well, well, I am extremely sorry for all above words but please do mind I have written it just like Will Rogers i.e. sarcastically as the entire situation sucks, especially when you look around not as a developer or engineer but even as a common man! As I came across one more news & it’s about PCMC (Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation) standing committee i.e. a body of elected members which decides development fate of the city, has take a decision that in eight suburbs of PCMC no new constructions will be allowed because PCMC is unable to supply water for booming constructions in these areas! Simply great move as logically yes, any sane person will say if you are not able to give infrastructure as basic like water then why allow constructions here in first place! But what we are neglecting is this is not judiciously taken decision but just passing the buck of responsibility of providing infrastructure. Because this  development is not something PCMC or for that instance any planning authority hasn’t dreamed about, this is their job & they knew about the upcoming developments right when they sanctioned DP i.e. development plan of the city! So if you have painted something yellow on a DP (read marked as residential zone) then whose job it is to provide infrastructure like water, drainage, roads to this yellow patch? And what about the developers who has bought lands in these areas only after confirming that they are in residential zones! And more than that its only in these areas where infrastructure is yet fully developed lands are bit cheaper & most home buyers can get a home in their budget & if you are not allowing any new constructions in a hasty decision taken over night then what alternative than going to build illegal structures is left with the people? And this is not something unique as history of our urban planning is full of such jokes where first you strangle someone to death & when the guy retaliate as defense to survive you call it attack on system & name him outlaw which is illegal construction in the law of court!

By no way I am justifying illegal constructions & in no case attack on a govt officer performing his duty can be considered as right yet why people tend to go extreme has other side of coin too! There is a famous dialogue in Hindi cinema, “insan gunahgar nahi hota, halat use majbur kar dete hai!” Means nobody is criminal by birth but it’s the situation which forces him to become one & indeed there are exceptions to every law, illegal constructions also have such personalities & many of them. There are some people which are born criminals & who go on building illegal constructions just making it their core business but then the very same system named govt allows such criminals to survive & grow is equally true! And looking at such people’s prosperity as well with  a sanctioning system which is ever changing as well nearly impossible to follow many other people follows track of illegality is a fact which we can’t turn a blind eye on! And why the person who shot Shail Bala, have we not witnessed attacks on the encroachment squads by the mob that has been on duty of demolishing in the cities in our very State? And in many such cases the elected members have been found provoking the mob to attack on the officers on duty, so what action has been taken on such elected members, is the question I will ask! Agreed many will ask no illegal constructions or encroachment happens over night so what the concerned officers were doing at such time yet one wrong deed getting permitted doesn’t ever makes it right is a fact! Only thing is the Shail Bala case must have been opened eyes of many such officers who allowed the killer illegal construction named demon (just like  Bhasmasur form our mythology) to grow so big in their respective jurisdictions. As now this illegal constructions demon has become so big & courageous that it doesn’t mind using bullet if wallet therapy fails, on the protector of the law itself! The solution to kill the demon named illegal constructions is not just to find & punish the murderer of Shail Bala, which eventually will happen. But solution lies in making a system which clearly defines what is legal & what is illegal & decides it fast as well gives permissions in fastest possible time if you are doing legal construction. And once something is declared as illegal then also within no time & without any mercy demolishes the so called illegality.

High time for every person around to check our attitude towards right & wrong, as finely what is govt but a reflection of our own faces collectively! It’s always easier to blame govt for any wrong thing happening around but we conveniently forget that we are that govt in first place! Today one assistant town planning officer has given her life to stop illegal construction in some remote place named Kasauli in State of Himachal Pradesh but tomorrow it can be anybody from your own family in your very own so called safe city & that tomorrow is not very far away is all I will like to put forward!

-- 
Sanjay Deshpande 
Sanjeevani Dev.

Please view my sharing about real estate in Pune at U-Tube link below..



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Sunday, June 10, 2018

JEE, CET, NEET Vs Happiness!





“Believe me, my journey has not been a simple journey of progress. There have been many ups and downs, and it is the choices that I made at each of those times that have helped shape what I have achieved”... Satya Nadella.

The boy from Hyderabad is an Indian American business executive. He is the current Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft, succeeding Steve Ballmer in 2014. With salary $84.30 million per year & net worth of $ 1.34 billion, Nadella attended the Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet before receiving a bachelor's in electrical engineering from the Manipal Institute of Technology (then part of Mangalore University), in 1988  Nadella subsequently traveled to the U.S. to study for a M.S. in computer science at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, receiving his degree in 1990. Later, he received an MBA from the University of Chicago. No wonder it’s the dream stories like Nadealla & Sundar Pichaii of Goggle which has made the month of June more awaited for terms like JEE, CET & NEET than Monsoon for the country which was known for its agricultural heritage few decades back! There are still few poor souls who are ignorant about these terminologies well for them, JEE; CET & NEET are the short forms of entrance exams which are gateway for the studies abroad as well for branches of engineering & medical. These exams are now a day’s conducted at Central (country) level across the country & if you qualify them then only you can think of becoming Nadella! Obvious that more than the students their parents are more stressed as in our country main aim (goal of living) of every generations is not about self thinking but to secure our next generations future  & for that they are ready to ruin theirs as well their kids present! No more now kids awaits for 10th or 12th standard’s results, they are still important but they are of no use to get you a ticket for or so called elite courses. The moment JEE’s results are announced news papers are filled with the full page advertisements of toppers which are claimed to be from more than one number of coaching classes & parents rush to stand in queue for these classes! We the Indian parents are really unique specie, first we make the our son/daughter ride on wave of competition & make them try like its last exam of their life & when they couldn’t succeed then we are worried about them for falling down from the very same horse & run to the counselors to pull them out from the depression created by not performing to expectations (don’t ask whose expectations)!

I don’t mean that there should not be competition neither I am against of any parent thinking about bright future of their kid, I am also no exception to that but are we really prepared for this grind is what I will like to ask & what cost we are paying just to make our son score something big in such entrance exam, is what I will surely ask to all the aspiring parents! Whether the pattern of this exam is right or wrong isn’t my jurisdiction as our generation has seen only one exam type thing & that was Board’s exam, at 10th & 12th, that was all which was supposed to be the qualifying criteria for higher education but with every branch & institute having their own entrance exam, somewhere we are killing the students appearing for the same is what I feel. Agreed many will say this is one way creating many opportunities for the students instead going by just one exam but then one can always take second chance, just the way it used to be in our times for 12th!  My point is, why some branches of education should be monopoly of just few minds, don’t you think it’s high time that our country’s rulers should think on this aspect of education! And if every better brain goes to some branch of engineering or medical because it milks more money than other branches which we call as successful career then are we not killing improvement of other branches like pure science or arts? Because of all so called JEE, NEET, CET qualifiers goes to abroad, engineering or medical (99% of them do go) then have we thought what is left for all other branches in the country & what will be future of those branches as education as career? Its only the good brains in a particular branch is what makes that branch flourish further ahead & we are neglecting this very fact of development of the knowledge tree by focusing all our so called vision around just two or three branches of the tree named knowledge! I won’t blame the parents or students as, “what you do with a commerce degree or arts or science degree?”, is the question often asked when any student decides to go for these branches. And I think this question shows failure of our rulers on the front of education; because a society is made up of every branch of knowledge & not just by engineering & medical! Just the way a fertile land (read soil) won't remain fertile if only cash crops like Sugarcane or Grapes are sowed but you need all types of crops to retain the fertility of the land, same way it’s for education or going ahead say the culture of the society! Imagine what will happen if there are only engineers & doctors around then who will grow crops, who will teach us languages, who will keep our accounts & who will make us understand philosophy of the life?

I think need of the time is we as a parent must understand ultimately in any education it’s the knowledge which important & then comes the application of the knowledge to make the surrounding better world as that’s what success means! Indeed in the process salary package does count but if you know how to use you knowledge then salary does follow despite what branch you are in! At the same time make our kids know that competition is must but equally important is understanding our own capacities as well liking as one day you will have a million dollar salary package with the degree under your belt but you won’t be the happiest person around, sure that day you will realize even million dollars cant make you happy but that day it will be too late!

Sharing something I wrote to my niece after her NEET results as I think I want the kids around happy & not just successful & that’s duty of every parent around…

--------------------
8 6 18

dear rutul,

Congrats for doing good in 12th exam & NEET, anyways I never believed in one qualifying exams outcome defining you or any kid! By the way you might be surprised by receiving a letter from me but I like to share my views with kids as I write to  rohit, rohan as well my nephew & niece too much often! I have been helping your mom & dad about your BDs as well mbbs admission via some of my friends & let me tell you I am not writing you about becoming a doctor & how important it is to chose medical or any such line as I feel some paths are destined & all we can do is just push ourselves to our limits to give our best. It’s not important what field you chose but what you do after you have chosen any field is what defines you. Rutul I am diehard fan of cartoon movies rather animation movies & super heroes as they give me immense motivation. When all these kids were small, I use to take all of them together to every disney or pixar movies & still I do, surely will take you & aryan some time! Do you know what these movies like Zutopia or Good Dinosaur or even Avengers teaches me, that all you need is a good heart & sincere effort to succeed! 

And what our parents wants from us but we succeed on the path which we have chosen. Fortunately you genre doesn’t have to struggle the way you parents have required to do to find a footing in first place to stand & that’s no fault of yours as each generation has different challenges. Your generations challenge is you have options which we weren’t having & that’s what makes your job more difficult than ours! As your kaka all I will say is understand what you are & what you can do & don’t underestimate your own self as today you may chose an easy option just out of fear that difficult option you won’t be able to live by but few years ahead when you look back then you will realize you could have easily done what you feared as difficult! And remember one thing you can’t do with whatever power you have, that is you can’t change your past! Rutul, I have seen some life & do you know most people have failed not because they didn’t have capacity to perform but just because they didn’t have confidence in themselves that they can do it! 

So do think on the lines that how you can get best out of you & obvious the more hard the polishing machine the better shine a metal gets. Here polish machine & to be polished metal both resides in you only, that’s the best fun of life! Go ahead chose without fear & then you will realize life is wonderful & what more your parents can be expecting from you than you doing best in whatever you are doing! 

I will be sending you few letters I have written to rohan, as I write them on every birthday, do read them & then you will know all parents are same, so are all kids & we were also no exception for our parents only thing was we were lucky to have less options & we feared more to our parents than to challenges! All the best...

sanjay kaka

---------------------
    Sanjay Deshpande 
Sanjeevani Dev.

Please view my sharing about real estate in Pune at U-Tube link below..



Please do visit my blogs to know about our philosophy at Sanjeevani !
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Thursday, June 7, 2018

A Mirage Named Affordable Homes!








“Everything needs to work at the same time. But what keeps society vibrant permanently are jobs, industry, business, and stuff like that. It pays for everything else. If you just build affordable housing, and those people don't have jobs, it'll no longer be affordable soon. So you really have to build around the business community”… Jamie Dimon.

Jamie Dimon is an American business executive. He is chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, the largest of the big four American banks, and previously served on the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Well no wonder with such an exposure to entire business fraternity Jamie has hit the nail in head of the subject which is dear (or at least it’s painted as dear) to our rulers i.e. Affordable Housing! Well, you open any new paper & when you are done with the scams as well accidents or mishaps then the news which catch your attention is about affordable housing. Agreed “roti, kapada aur makan” is tag line of our beloved country since my childhood & that’s nearly four decades back yet the “makan” seems to be a haunting term for every ruler (read govt) of this country. I wonder with the kind of frenzy in making affordable home right from “galli to dilli” means central govt in Delhi which is our countries’ capitol to PMC?PCMC & PMRDA which is “galli” means local govt, everybody seems to have only one agenda & that is affordable homes! And our State govt (I like to mention as “Mai Baap” govt) is also not behind in participating in this race to make affordable homes but only problem is nobody knows how to make a home affordable, despite so much of hohllah & efforts! Recently I read two headlines in news paper about affordable homes, one says the home sizes are shrinking to make them affordable & another was increasing upper price bar for eligibility home loans at lower interest rate of affordable homes by Reserve Bank! Incidentally there is a very famous & apt quote I remember here, “It’s not the first step but direction of that step decides where you will reach at the end of your journey”!  Well, here it’s not just first step but entire race is in wrong direction rather opposite direction is the reason we are not being able to reach the destination named affordable homes!

Many won’t agree with my statement as, what about so called “Pantapradhan Awas Yojana” by virtue of which every first flat buyer will get Rs 2 lac subsidy in his /her home price? Then look at the efforts State govt is taking to make every sq inch of land residential (NA is the key word) which eventually will make more raw material for homes available? (well, don’t mind if that’s is damaging environments as well reducing tree covers, as homes are more important than trees, isn’t it?) As well look at the development plans of cities which are being made with provisions of loads of TDR as well paid FSI types things to increase land potential, so more homes can be build on the every piece of land. And how can you forget four times FSI type provisions under name of TOD (Transportation oriented development) to make things like Metro & BRT feasible? And yes how can we forget the generosity of the govt to regularize all the possible illegal construction keeping in mind that these are poor & innocent people’s homes actually! I said, regularize possible illegal homes because there is a very bad element named High Court here in this State & it doubts very intention of the govt itself behind regularizing the so called illegal homes! Had it not been so then our govt would have erased the term “illegal” form the Development Control rules, making homes affordable for all in overnight, anyways that’s different topic! Though some fools may keep shouting about burden of civic infrastructure & encroaching every other so called environmental treasures like rivers, lakes, hills & green belts in this noble thought process of govt but look at the larger perspective; we can’t expect our citizens to reside on lakes, hills & trees, that’s what our forefathers were used to do but we are developed society & here home to every single living human being is his birth right, isn’t it?

So now it should be clear to all that our rulers means  govt seriously, dedicatedly wants that a home should be affordable to every home buyer but don’t ask why even with all this die hard efforts by the govt, homes are not being affordable to the people or else why they will be still buying flats in illegal constructions & why the cancer named slum is growing everyday in every city? As asking such question will mark you as enemy of the State & in case if you are a developer by yourself then you are more in trouble as with all these schemes, facilities & policies, as per the govt its now job of the developer only to make the affordable homes & deliver it to the needy ones! Well, now please neglect the facts like there is no control on land prices when you as a developer buy the land for making these affordable homes. Also don’t make fuss about the near impossible to follow norms like parking provisions or side margins as well ever changing urban development policies which can make your building’s design over costly, that’s not govt’s concern! And then any day you can get stop work if your project is near by a nallah or near any hill as govt wants to protect environment also while you are supposed to build affordable homes! And yes please don’t expect govt (read PMC, PMRDA, PCMC, MSEDCL, Revenue & what not) to give you any discount in any of their premiums or taxes as govt is not saying that you give these homes free of cost to the citizens, rather are you not making money by selling these affordable homes, is what govt will ask you as a developer!

Well, one more thing, while you are supposed to build affordable homes then you don’t expect that you will get finance from the govt or Nationalized Banks at cheaper rate of interest as yours is the most risky industry, is what bankers will tell you, so don’t expect finance at cheaper rate! So while you build affordable homes, you only have to carry all the risk, don’t ask how, as the govt hasn’t told you to become a builder in first place! Yes, govt (read RBI) will reduce the rate of interests on housing loans to the buyers of affordable homes as well increase the price bar of these homes but to make them available in that price is your job & not govt’s, mind it! And at the same time it’s not govt’s job to cut down on taxes like GST & lower other life style’s expenses apart from buying home. Also its not govt’s job to supply things like water, drainage, roads, street lights as well public transport to the people living in these affordable homes. Neither govt guaranties affordable education & public health along with the affordable homes for the residents of these homes; this all you as a developer has to manage! You can either collect the necessary money for these things from the home buyer (don’t mind if home doesn’t remain affordable in this process) or just tell them don’t buy flat in your project as there is a law (read act) named RERA which needs you to be transparent also while you build affordable homes!

And most important govt won’t assure security of jobs or strong financial balance sheet of their respective business for the buyers of these affordable homes. As how can you expect govt to assure some IT or auto industry guy about not getting “pink slip” on any fine morning! That security (suraksha kawach) is privilege only if you are a govt servant as like the govt hasn’t asked your builder to become a builder, the very govt hasn’t asked you to join private industry; you could have joined govt service or flew out of the country for being paid in USD! You opted to work in a private industry or thought of starting your own business here in this State then you should take care of your home loan installments, why govt would care for your job security or business status! Doesn’t govt have taken enough efforts to make affordable homes possible already for you, now what more you want? Should the govt should pay your “Big Basket” or “Grofers” bill for grocery also under the name of affordable housing!

I think to make affordable homes we should first define the term “affordable” as just calling some homes affordable by reducing its sizes of rooms or specifications we won’t be ever able to make affordable homes! As Jamie Dimon said it’s a holistic approach towards the entire societies wellbeing is what going to make home affordable & the sooner we will acknowledge this that will be the first step in right direction towards which is like a mirage right now named as affordable home!
-----
 Sanjay Deshpande 
Sanjeevani Dev.

Please view my sharing about real estate in Pune at U-Tube link below..



Please do visit my blogs to know about our philosophy at Sanjeevani !
 (Click the links below)


http://jivnachadrushtikon.blogspot.in/

Social Side of Sanjeevani ! (Click link below)

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For any of your complaints about city, log in at link below

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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Being Forest by Myself !!









“The steel blue of the fern-fringed pool where the water rests a little before cascading over rock and shingle to draw breath again in another pool more beautiful than the one just left - the flash of the gaily colored kingfisher as he breaks the surface of the water, shedding a shower of diamonds from his wings as he rises with a chirp of delight, a silver minnow held firmly in his vermilion bill - the belling of the sambhar and the clear tuneful call of the chital apprising the jungle folk that the tiger, whose pugmarks show wet on the sand where a few minutes before he crossed the river, is out in search of his dinner”… Jim Corbet, Man-Eaters of Kumaon.

I think whenever I start sharing my experiences about wild then this name i.e. Jim Corbet’s quotes comes to my rescue to give me a startup push, just the way in my childhood the Fiat ( I beg pardon) popularly known as Premier Padmini car used to make its engine start by a push! Indeed there have been other great wild life writers but the way Corbet has explored Indian jungles & penned them down; I haven’t found anybody to match him! It’s not just tigers Corbet writes but he write with equal zest about trees, hills, springs, birds & even the locals around the forests & that’s why it makes him a true wild lifer. Those who recognize Corbet as “man eater’s hunter”, I pity them as Corbet never loved shooting tigers by gun, it’s just to save some human’s life, he said I killed those tigers; in reality the man was a living jungle by himself! And no wonder when I started to pen down my recent trip from the land of Sal i.e. none other than Kanha, once again its Corbet whose words I started with! See the way he describes forest around a tiger, indeed tiger is there but it’s just in last line, the entire paragraph tells us about the world of tiger which we call habitat & every aspect of that habitat is equally interesting as well important for the tiger! Had I not read Corbet in my childhood, I wonder whether I have understood the beauty of jungle the way I do now! And when its jungle nothing beats Kanha, keeping due respect to Tadoba which is now pride of country’s tiger sightings, yet the ever green Sal has fascinated me the day I first saw them . There is something magical about kanha’s Sal forests, the road keeps on taking turns through the Sal trees walls on both sides, suddenly there are huge meadows surrounded by hills. And it’s not just tiger but the barsingas which are equally majestic, roaming on the canvas of grass lands bordered by green walls of Sal trees. Whatever the season may be yet the beauty is ever enchanting of kana forest & that’s why when it was gap of two years it seemed like ages to visit here!

Of-late I wasn’t been in kanha in mid May which indeed is a good season for tiger sightings yet even just to be within the Sal trees is most exciting for me. As my Innova started towards kanha from Nagpur airport, the first thing I noticed is the widening of the road. Its mammoth work which is going on & it will cut the distance by two hours to kanha from Nagpur, which sure is good news for the travelers to kanha. My only concern is the entire patch goes through forest, right from Deolapar which is last Tahasil in Maharashtra to Seoni i.e. first district in MP. Once up on a time this entire land was forest acting like a corridor where tigers must be roaming right from kanha to pench to tadoba, though our so called growth has now cut off this corridor yet there is still lots of wild life left around the road. And knowing our countrymen’s attitude for speed (when get a good patch of road) then all I am worried about road kills on this road! By me the entire road passing through the forest must be barricaded so as not to allow animals on road as there seems to have arrangement of underpass at frequent intervals, yet in a country where grown-up men cross the road from anywhere at their will & wish how can we blame wild animals for doing same! And then there still is issue of safety of reptiles as well smaller animals like jackals & porcupine, which can come through such barriers.

And while I was travelling to kanha, suddenly the dry weather becomes cloudy & black clouds started pouring all way along. This is the last thing you want as a photographer though rains are most essential for any forest yet the selfish photographer in me was upset with the weather, I must admit! I really don’t know about weather effect on tiger sighting but the poor light sure makes photography difficult & then entire wild animal’s body clock moves on sun, so there must be some change with sudden darkness around is what I feel. Though there have been sightings of the tiger in full rains yet the upset photographer within was concerned. But fortunately in kanha, the sky was still clear & it was humid hot outside the park.

My first safari was in Sarahi zone, for those who are not familiar to kanha, there are four zones in core part of kanha forest, kisli, kanha, mukki & sarahi. This has been made to avoid flow of tourists in one zone as well it’s a huge forest & you can’t cover even one zone in single safari. Then there is buffer zone too, which is in between the villages on fringe & the core forest. As per my information the major tiger sighting was going in kanha, kisli & mukki & I have got sarahi zone for first ride. With so many outings in forest now I know one thing if you are going to hit a jackpot then you hit it (read good sighting of tiger), despite any zone or timing! Yet it’s always advisable to have information of the sightings as well situation of water especially in summer as if there is no water in any particular part of a forest its obvious that there will be no major animals in that part! Sarhai as I have been told wasn’t having much water & tiger sightings are not that common though forest of sarahi is much unexplored & if you see a tiger in sarahi then its best chance that you get to see it for good length of the time. So the safari started & here is what I came across & posted in bits on FB, sharing the same to describe in words my exposure with a male tiger…

Undisputed King!
First ride at kanha after a gap of two years & its mid May, you are all geared up & though guide says Sarahi zone doesn’t have much sighting yet when you get to see a tiger in sarahi you see it in best way; & gypsy start rolling on hilly roads, you cross one up & a huge male tiger is walking leisurely ahead, marking his territory! For a split second it moves away from road & the gypsy goes past him giving you head shots, you can’t believe your luck, its dhamangaon male aka yuvraj, a very less photographed tiger, guide tells you, but you are engrossed in his massive yet graceful strides even the way he sits!! The knaha trip has started with bang, more to follow!..
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One more of the undisputed King!

To get head on snaps of a young male tiger right looking in your eyes is a dream of every wild life photographer & I too am no exception to it! And when the male is Yuvraj aka Dhamnagoan male from Kanha the joy gets multiplied, I really wonder when a tiger looking at you head on in camera, what he must be thinking about us, may be nothing, just a blank stare yet those piercing eyes locks in yours, asking you, "what are you doing in my way?"! At the same time important is your position as if you can position your gypsy a bit lower side & at perfect distance to get eye level with the tiger then that’s best, which happened here with me & the tiger is on walk so you too have to keep in motion not to allow him too close to your gypsy, as no point in cause of anger to such huge tiger :)

Generous Kanha!

Kanha has never sent me back without tiger sighting & indeed kanha Sal’s has a lot more to offer than just tigers yet to see a tiger in kanha is always a special experience! May be just like the water of Himalayas tastes sweeter, so is sighting of tiger in kanha & this time the Dhamangaon male aka Yuvaraj obliged me with probably every angle you can click a tiger, really Sarahi zone rocks when it plays the tune! Here is one more pose or say mood of him.

Sarahi Sighting!

There is something special when you get to see a tiger in sarahi zone & sighting of yuvraj aka dhmangaon male confirmed it! Less numbers of vehicle isn’t the only thing but as this zone is less explored & tiger if comes on road gives you his full time, making you able to observe him at length! Here in this sighting yuvraj gave us every possible pose & he was least concerned about us, in his own mood! Here is one more from series...

Moods of the King!

One more from series of Yuvraj aka dhamnagoan male from Sarahi zone, Kanha! Tiger is ever alert, those ears listens smallest of sound around & those piercing eyes rarely miss anything! Tiered, panting due to May heat & sitting in the shadow from a long walk which was in search of kill as well territory marking, he seems relaxing but even the camera clicks he can hear which were on like a machine -gun fire! This one I liked most.. as so calm & in control he looked!.  ------

Don't angry Me!


The yuvraj aka dhamngaon male series continues; when I first saw him on road he was walking ahead obvious we were eager to get some head shots & for that we needed to go past him which is not allowed by forest law & it’s right as well the road was so narrow that with the size of tiger he is its nearly impossible. So we waited patiently keeping our gypsy at safe distance & watch him mark his territory on trees with jet of spray! He must have walked long so with luck on our side he stopped at a clearing on way & got down from the road, giving us space to go ahead of him & then again we could keep looking at this majestic king which obliged us with every possible pose. Here he is showing his canines as if he is angry at us but no, he was just tiered with May sun & yawning :)

Size does matter!

Many a times with head on shots of a tiger you don’t get to know his size yet if you go by likes on FB you will find every photographer dreams for head on shot of tiger. But to know the real size as well identify the tiger it’s important to get his side profile as it shows the lengths as well the pattern of stripes. Here the yuvaraj aka dhamnagon male gave us his full massive side profile while turning away from the road & he was empty stomach, so imagine what he will look like with full meal in!

My Home!

Off late I have realizes to zoom in on a tiger & get his solo snaps is ok but real pleasure & fun is in understanding its habitat, the forest in which he moves the way we move in our home! The tiger is most at ease in bamboos thickset as well woody terrain. I remember some ten years back the kanha meadows i.e. grass lands were the best sighting place for tiger but somehow recent sightings isn’t that frequent in meadows, may be kanha tigers are no more fond of grass land, just joking! But tigers prefer shaded areas with water body nearby where they can chill themselves out especially in summers of central India! Here is one home shot of yuavraj aka dhamangaon male where finely he is heading for water & possibly a kill around the water!



Well, as by now you must have got the essence, the very first ride has hit the gold for me & again I am not saying it’s all about tiger sighting, yet in a forest as big like kanha a male tiger sighting whose territory can be nearly fifty to seventy sq kms, you get to see him at length is indeed luck! As I have shared earlier also, every time I go to forest with a wish list & to see a full grown male tiger & capture his moods was a long pending agenda & I knew it’s not easy because as I mentioned to see a male tiger in itself is something rare & then to be able to have his time at length only except when sitting at water-hole, is very rare. As a male tiger when not sleeping or relaxing in water is on constant move & to cover as well protect his huge territory is a big job. This kanha trip made me able to watch a young & huge male tiger’s behavior at close & needless to say was a treat to that selfish, greedy photographer in me too!

And then two more things made this trip more memorable as that way every moment I spend in forest I relive again & again yet some of them are more precious! Sighting of sloth bear is one such as it has very erratic nature & you never know where it will head next or what it will do. Those who are veteran wild lifers only knows how rare & lucky one can be to get opportunity to see  sloth bear at leisure & in this kanha trip I got that opportunity four times. Many a people found sloth bear sighting as a very causal thing as they don’t know about the shyness as well it’s being endangered species! Hardly three or four decades back sloth bear was a common sight in most Indian forests even nearby hills of any town but as all other species habitats got demolished by we the human this big animals also is finding hard to get a home & result is now its existence remains mostly only in protected forests. Though at night it’s been seen hanging around near villages in buffers of the protected forests, rarely it gives opportunity to photograph in day light. In my nearly twenty years of visiting to kanha just once I could click a sloth bear in clear & this time I got to click it four times, now you can imagine the luck! This is how I described the scene…

“It has rained heavily last night & the air was damp in the morning as the earth was breathing steam due to absorbed rain water. The Sal trees were silent with no breeze & gypsy started taking turns through the silence around, the sun has yet to come up full & on the damp road ahead we saw a black rock rolling, the guide whispered , "sir bhalu chal raha hai aage"! In my many recent trips to kanha, I have never seen sloth bear in clear & the excitement was more than seeing a tiger! Bears are very unpredictable in behavior & that's why their sighting is always exiting!, though I was eager to click him by side or front, yet the entire frame from back with the bear amidst green wall was mesmerizing! And this trip I saw slot bear in kanha for four times & very clear, another bonus by kanha! Sharing first post of sloth bear…

This time sloth bear also gave every possible pose to us except standing. The best thing was to watch it drinking water as it sucks water & don’t use tongue like most other animals to gulp it. As well it displayed the way it digs the earth mounds for search of termite & making unpredictable moves all the times!

I have taken a full day safari also in kanha as well in tadoba this time. But let me share you it doesn’t necessarily guaranties tiger sighting in full day safari as we could see just one tiger in full day at tadoba but that doesn’t meant there are no tigers in tadoba, it means we were just unlucky as well in hot summer of tadoba as well kanha, the noon times are of no actions with every animal taking shelter in cooler places or shadows. In kanha most of water holes (read, accessible by gypsy) are under open sky i.e. providing no protection from harsh sun, so tiger avoids them only except very thirsty, so waiting is the only thing you can do & for that it needs lots of patience as well persistence to bare the heat! Though you may not be able to sight a tiger yet to get fourteen hours strait inside forest & you can witness many moments which otherwise you would have missed on the run for getting a glimpse of tiger! And these moments not necessary be involving big animals as jungle is always live & happening however silent & dead it may look on surface. On one such harsh hot May noon I saw a jackal under a tree standing upright on a small mound & howling as there was a tiger nearby where its puppies (don’t know what’s called to jackals’ new born), it was so fascinating as I have never witnessed jackal’s alarm call & the entire scene was like from a Disney animation movie! Or even you can stop to see the dance in air the paradise fly catcher does. Trust me you will forget everything watching this snow white long tailed bird in action & then try observing its habitat & click him on the background of those green bamboo leafs!

And then come the best part of full day safari as in summer real action starts late noon i.e. after 4 pm. While we were geared up for some sighting ahead, the weather was real hot & humid, the tigers were bound to hit the water holes soon & suddenly the wind started howling not just blowing, dark clouds covered the sun & tall Sal were started swaying on the tune of the wind! Our driver said, “sir toofan aanewala hai” i.e. there seems a storm coming & soon the wind was blowing at fearful speed, we hurried out of Sal as to avoid any tree falling on us & stood in open patch of ground. For next hour I realized what it must be for the forest guards as well labors who get caught in open in such storm as sitting in an enclosed concrete home, sipping tea & clicking snaps of heavy rains outside is easy but to face that rains with thunderbolt of lightning crashing all around with trees falling with nothing in between you & this wild nature, it’s a nightmare! But then that too was an experience which I won’t forget & it has made me to respect people working in forest more!

It’s funny the entire time in jungle as if you ask how was your day in jungle, then most people can replay in two or three sentence, if they haven't seen a tiger then the reply will be, ‘’Kuch dikha nahi yaar, bakwas hai ye forest”. But if they have seen a tiger then they will go on & on, telling how lucky they were & how cleverly they (not guide or driver) located the tiger & followed him. That’s all, but in actual even one ride in forest you can keep speaking or writing about but what is most important for me is like we saw CD’s of some events & rejoice those moments, when I am back in my concrete jungle I review those moments with Sals’ in my mind again & again. As I may be back in this so called modern world of ours but I have left behind a piece of mine which is everywhere in the forest, right at water hole to on the top of a Sal tree to got tagged with a termite house, making me feel yes I too am forest by myself! I think it’s this feel which is why one should go to forest & try to look rather live it by the words of Corbet as then only you realize life is not just being successful but its understanding the meaning of being successful & who better teacher than forest can be there for this self understanding! 

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Sanjay Deshpande 
Sanjeevani Dev.

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