Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A School called Forest!

Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience. ...Ralph Waldo Emerson
It's May, peak of Central India's summer & probably the best time to visit forests here, if you are ready to bare the heat & wants to see the animals! As trees are surely not at their best but the water is scarce at these times, may it be for man or animals & most of them are on constant search of the same! And here is where lays your best chance to see the maximum of wild life!
Many a times I have faced this question from my friends, what’s there in Jungles that I visit them so often & yet don’t get bore? I too have asked this to myself many a times & the answer lies within the forest only! As the quote says it teaches so many things provided you go there & with open mind. In my recent trip to Kanha, Pench & Nagzira, though just one round at later two, here are few of the experiences & each of them was like attending separate class of life!
Class one.
There is a story behind every shot in forest!
While moving through the meadows of Kanha saw a blue jay circling over a dry tree & just out of curiosity what its doing on a dry tree we stopped the gipsy & as soon she felt our presence she flied away. Got more curious & aimed my lenses to the tree & saw the reason, she has her newborn in the nest made in a hole of that dry tree. Ignoring the alarm calls in distance & guides urge for chance of tiger sight I decided to wait to get the feeding snap as to see the blue jay with its blue display wings on is something far more interesting! But the protective mother was not ready to guide us to her newborn's location as she was unknown to the fact that we already knew the location of the nest, so she kept waiting on a near by tree for us to move away from there. The wait game started & after 30 minutes with all dilse sorry for the disturbance we caused in her feeding, the caring mother in her won over the security factor & she flew towards the waiting new born to feed & I got my shot!
*The jungle taught me to wait & be patient till the right moment comes!
Class 2
Forest is full of Surprises!
Here is one more, in Pench we were waiting on other side of a dry back water ground & there were alarm calls of chitals on other side. Each animal even the birds makes a peculiar sound when they see Tiger or any predator, which is called as alarm call & that’s the best way to locate the hunter as or else you cant see any thing by just your eyes so dense & camouflaging is the color of Tiger! As there wasn’t anything to do but wait to see the Tiger unless he comes in open I was just focusing my camera on a stork standing near a dike & just when I was clicking it suddenly the tiger leaped up in the frame from the dike! I & the stork were both equally surprised with this sudden appearance of the King of the forest!
*The jungle taught me to be ready for the surprises in the life which sometimes may be sweet & some times sour as there was equal possibility that instead the Tiger coming in frame the stork itself could have flown away before I click leaving the empty canvas of back water in the frame!
Class 3
Surprise is the word in forest!
As a routine I Was waiting to see the tiger as usual with the alarm calls from chital & monkeys & suddenly near the gipsy in which we were waiting there was a fallen dry tree which got alive with some moment, first I thought its regular flame back wood pecker but wow they were pair of gray pigmy woodpecker with male displaying orange cap! These are very rare not because of just les in numbers but because they are very small ,hardly 6 inches in size & perfectly blending colors with the tree bark.
*Once again forest has surprised me with the unexpected & taught me a lesson that while chasing big targets never miss the opportunity to enjoy smaller joys! They are far more important!
Class 4
We were following pug marks of a male tiger in Kanha & suddenly saw its glimpse in the bushes as he left the road & entered in a dry nallah along. There was a crossing to the nallah so we speed up & decided to wait at the crossing in the hope of we can have a good shot there but he wasn’t interested & left the nallah & started walking from opposite bank of the nallah from the bushes. Again we knew this track also was leading to a road which runs directly across to his path so we went ahead & kept waiting where the jungle path meets the road. There was alarm call at the opening of the jungle path from which the tiger was walking; few were of monkey on right hand side where we had been waiting & one from peacock on left hand side of our gipsy. Relying on surety of monkey call we decided to move right & kept looking where the monkeys were calling & in the mean time tiger crossed from where the peacock was calling & all we could see is just back side of him while crossing the road!
*The jungle has taught me one more lesson that even surest of our sources can fail & never ignore any information how ever irrelevant it may look on face!

So many such classes are on when you are in forest & attend them with open mind. It’s like going to a free school where no teacher will force anything on you yet you have to remember that you are there to learn & the process is ever going. Here right from the monkey to the trees all are your teachers & you have to watch them with open eyes & ears as they can’t speak in your language but yet they speak with you in so many ways & teach you to see your own life in different perception. The best thing forest teaches you is, to have patience till the right moment. As in forest nothing happens just for the sake of it. Every thing every act of animal or plant has a purpose & timing. How important is this knowledge as in our daily life also it’s the impatience which is the cause of all our troubles. We get impatient when we don’t get our morning news paper in time & even when any big job isn’t being done in time by the staff or collogues! It has become tendency of our modern times, being impatient for every thing & which is root of all the uneasiness rather I will call it as unhappiness which is growing around in the society. And here is where visiting forests makes the difference as it’s only here you learn to enjoy waiting & be patient! What you bring along from the forest is this patience & joy of waiting which you can use in your daily routine to combat with your uneasiness generated from day to day problems around.
Another aspect is most of us are continuously busy in chasing some targets in present times & all the time we can think nothing other but the target we are chasing. Like I experienced in chasing Tiger in forest, nothing wrong in aiming big but we should not lose interest or ignore the smaller joys of life coming in our way while we are running after our target. What every course like Art of Living tries to teach us is the same which forest actually displays in front of us & in a beautiful way! Not just the tiger but every small animal, insect, flower, tree & bird can give you the equal amount of joy in watching them move & just flow with the nature. All one has to do is feel it & learn from it how to be in tune with nature.

May be here lies the answer of why I go to forest again & again as for me its like new experience every day  just like I used to go the school to learn something new & get exited with the knowledge! And best part is this school has no end to any course & one can keep visiting it ever & the teachers wont say enough of teaching! So go ahead & enjoy the fun of learning with forests!

Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.

Envo-Power Committee, Credai, Pune

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