Thursday, October 27, 2011

Forest, Camera, Action!

Sadly, it's much easier to create a desert than a forest... James Lovelock

Come any holiday & my feet's pull me towards the forest & Kanha is one of those places which you can visit every day of year & yet it wont stop surprising you on every day. Such is the canvas of forest over there. Not just the animal sighting but the exposure to such vast form of nature make you introvert & you start looking at yourself from new dimension. Provided you are open enough to the nature! Many things you start seeing, feeling & understanding which you haven't noticed earlier though they may be happening right under your nose! Come winter & the entire forest gets a different fresh look at Kanha,sight of which makes you forget the chilling cold! The Barsingas ( type of dear) with pink & velvet luster horns & birds flaunting their exotic colors & wild flowers & butterflies all over & even the spiders joining the party!

The entire display makes you awe about the verity nature can offer & how limited our exposure to the same is. The forest is alive with activities all around &you regret that you can be at one place only at one time & miss so many things! Like at night a look at sky & you feel like you are on different planet! Such is the scene in the sky as the sky is full of stars free from city lights disturbance as well no smoke emitting from the vehicles or industries. The air is cool but so pure that our lungs are not used to it & its carrying nice fragrance of the vegetation around. Then I realize how I was missing all these in city life! The morning ride to forest starts at 6 am in morning when you can see the moon still shining in clear sky & if you are real forest lover then to be as first entrant you need to be at in queue at gate before 5.30am. So you have to wake up by 4.30 am have a cup of nice hot tea with morning breeze & then you realize  tat to give you the morning tea at this hour some one has to wake up by 3.30am & they are the local boys serving in your hotel. Just have a look at what they wear in such cold winter mornings & you will be ashamed of your full fledged winter attire!  Also think about the forest guards who are patrolling this vast expand all over the year in extreme  weather where temperature can vary from - 5 degree to 45 degrees! These thoughts never entered in our minds in our commercial world where we think everything is business!

Earlier Kanha entry was some 700/- per trip & cameras were charged extra,now they have made it 1700/- per trip per vehicle & then you think how many people can afford this! As two rounds including the Gypsy tariff can cost you nearly 8000/-! Stay & food charges to add on over this! Now imagine what even 3 day trip can cost you! Here I realized how lucky I am that I get a chance to experience this nature's treasure so often! And then think how many around us can have the exposure of the forest & what we are doing about it? Rather govt should seriously think about making the forests open at reasonable costs to every one as per their affordability. Especially to the school kids of rural as well urban poor as from this class some day forest protectors are going to be rise! Unfortunately no one is trying on this front.

I had got a new lense  for my camera & was eager to shoot the jungle moments but I have forgot that just buying a good camera doesn't make you a good photographer & when I review the results of some snaps in display I got upset. And then I realize I was forgetting the joy of experiencing the forest moments in zest of taking photographs! In our daily life also we make such mistakes, forget the joy in enjoying the moments  of small thing around & worry about things which are not in our control! No doubt capturing the wild life in camera is best hobby but if you are missing to enjoy the forest in this process then something is going wrong! A lot is happening around us in forest & not every moment can be captured through any man made lence,this I learned in forest. We were obviously looking for sighting of tiger & out of our eight rounds we couldn't see any in first seven rounds! But then there was so much to watch & feel which other wise we would have lost in tiger chase. Sound of birds, drongo mimicking other birds or group of parakits playing in sun light on top of a dry tree or the rising sun shading the sky in all shades of red & orange, so many things are happening around. A jungle is never dead ,its full of activities. In the silence also many things are happening like a spider waiting for insect getting caught in its web or an eagle waiting over a branch of tree for the prey without even flickering of his feathers. You redefine the definition of silence in forest &  it teaches you to be patient for right time. This is the biggest thing we can learn from forest as there  nothing is before or ahead of time, everything has its right timing & one has to know his right time! One has to wait patiently in silence & let the director Nature unfold the script in front of you, is the best way to watch the jungle. And yet when I saw a tigress coming out of thickset foliage & walk like a professional model walking on ramp , for a moment I forgot to click the snaps! Such is the impact of watching a tiger in open forest. Even to watch the faces of tourists who are lucky enough to share this scene is also a treat!

Forest is a form of nature & as the wise men have said no better teacher than nature for the one who wants to learn. each time I enter in forest like a school boy who is ignorant about the future & get out with bag full of new things. Also the knowledge about such places is to be made more public as right now its restricted to just a fraction of society & that's not going to make people aware about the importance of forests. Rather places like Kanha should be declared as World heritage sites! And for that every one has to take efforts on their respective fronts. Though by just declaring World heritage site isn't going to make difference . Its our attitude towards forests needs to be changed & given them the importance they deserve as then only our future can be with shade of green!

Here are some of the moments...

Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.

Envo-Power Committee, Credai, Pune

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