All those ppl who went to Amboli in September 2005, will know the awe that overcomes a person once u step in Amboli. The climate, the sight, the sheer presence of a place so new yet so familiar. All u nature lovers will know.Its exhilerating! The place in the Monsoon is even better. Parikshit point- leeches! Mahadeogarh point- the sloth bear trail.. n much more! Shirgaonkar point- waterfall n nature -the works! The experience has been unforgettable! 4 SNAKES!!! - in order of occurence: the vine snake, the Bedom's Cat Snake, the wolf snake, and .... ladies n gentlemen- brace yourselves- Trimeresurus malabaricus - the Malabar Pit Viper!!!!!!!!!!! n to think that it was right behind me when i was drinking tea!! Imagine the adrenaline rush!!! A flutter and bustle for cameras, evryone grasping for one... the Instructors keeping the campers at a safe distance.. (im not being diplomatic- its quite necessary with a snake like that one around!!!) so there is posing and photography session for 20 minutes... after which the snake is transferred into a jar with holes- which took 15 frantic minutes to search for!! then, its colouration is displayed and explained, my mouth refuses to shut!. the sheer shock that the snake had been exactly behind me on a shrub -the drizzle making it even more authentic!!! thank god for the fact that it was a juvenile bcoz adults are mindblowingly longer than most Vipers.To think that this snake could make a group of 42 ppl keep so quite that it was eerie... is amazing!!! to think that it could make ME keep shut!!- wow!!! talkative is my 2nd name!!and this guy has such a mind boggling effect- i guess the camp bcame special 2me that instant.!! and then... Amboli really is gr8!! especially with 41 leech bites to show off!! - seriously- my feet bled thru the 3 kerchiefs i tied 2 each of them!!! thats called "blood presssure" hehe... but this camp- had it all- Nature, Birds, - we waited for the so called Dwarf kingfisher which akash still hasnt managed 2 convince us about!!! n then, the leeches- that made 5 ppl back out Parikshit chi trail- Cowards- they missed it!!!Then, the Hiranyakeshi temple and the cave, wowee!!! even the intro trail during which we had the intro session in a mandir thanks to gorgeous rainfall !!! incessant!!!! vinya went crazy after the lime n almost went off the "hill". cartoon!! the mad rush for Solkadhi- Christ!!!!!!!! we were looking like starved hooligans!!! the cat that had charmed Amogh so much!!! cute kid n cute kitty!! The musical afternoons- with Bhuvan's guitar and us singing!!! we did that so dedicatedly! -is that even a word???The absolutely annoying antiques of Rahul Bhusari- his fantastic Pj's.... mostly on me!!! deepak raag- yeah rite! and the time when we were eating fresh hot kanda bhajji in the cold rain.... wow! then the frisbee championship at Nangartaas. - the water spouts- in our face! the group photo- with all the volunteers n instructors running to the camera!! - Rahul bhusari cheated btw- jumped first!!!! so then, this camp had it all- Nature, adventure, psychos, thrill, awe, speechless moments, sighting moments, friendships...that have lasted thruout! evrything.... there's lots more ive been wise enuf not to mention!! hehe... ;-)but it all comes down to this- Amboli rocked and so did the campers!!! n so did that mindblowing Malabar Pit Viper!!!!!! so... hope there are more ppl to appreciate the beauty of the place next monsoon!!! go on- we gotta c a blue mormon on the 1st trail!!!!! yeah!this place is pure magic, just pure magic... incomparable. so when u headed there?... gimme a call- il b packed n ready 2 leave! AMBOLI ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!- A J.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
its been almost 5days now...im learning- to come to terms with the fact that Boss... is no more.. im learning.. to accept that things have to happen ...and nature will punish u if u make a mistake.though a sting ray attack is the last thing i was expecting... it makes no difference what i was expecting now... coz Boss maybe physically gone.but he's taught me so much, ive grown up watching him at work..with his crocodiles and snakes... kangaroos... koalas..evrything from mammals to birds to his field of expertise and mine- reptiles. he'd feed charlies n murray n acco n agro... and he'd make it seem like its a such a piece of cake... so easy..so...effortless. but we know- those of us who know how much effort and hard work n top of the list-risk- how much risk there is in shooting a film like this ... to educate the world about animals... he dedicate dhis life to Wildlife Conservation... and ended up dying for it as well... Boss wud've said... Crikey!!! the ray got me mate!!!he made us all realise how much we feel for the same mission n how he needs us to help him take his mission ahead n make it succeed.Boss ... i duno how i cud make this sound grateful enough but... the truth is, evrything i know today-about reptiles- uve contributed to 70% of it Boss... i dont know who will teach me now Boss.... but i hope to learn on my own.. even if it takes time.. il do it.il reach there n one fine day- ul b proud of me... n much proud- of urself. for havin got across so well...n so thoroughly...all the hard work u put in Boss. all the times when u got bit by a snake.. n u still went on with the show- for our sake Boss, all those times when u almost got ur arm ripped off by a croc....while feeding it maybe or while rescuing it, n still laughed n jumped....for our sake, that time when the kangaroo kicked u in the stomach n u almost doubled over... but did u quit?no! Boss... then, why will i? why will i quit? dats not what u taught me is it? u didnt teach me to quit when im at the peak of my learning... u taught me to fight. go ahead...n if ppl curse u or criticize u-take it in ur stride n jst walk on as if u dont care who rules the world... coz all that matters is that ur confident ur doin the right thing n that u rule ur own world.u alwayssaid- danger danger dnager! - u always said that no matter what happens, the reason u were put on this planet, ur mission....is to save wildlife. - thats what u taught us too Boss. n thats why Boss- ur never gona b gone- yeah il miss u like crazzzzzy all my life, but il know Boss- that ur with me... in my efforts as well... to my it for the mission that we all embarked upon n promised to take it beyond a certain level. il know Boss... that if i feel low-ul rise ...in me.. n il get that enthusiasm back.... ul rock frm within Boss... always! i love u Boss... for being my north star for being my guiding light. for being my Teacher. n managing to develop in me- this passion- for our mission...n thats why Steve- ur the Boss!!!!! n u will always be... even f lightning falls in the pacific or even if a ship sinks in the desert, or if the himalayas turn upside down! ul still b-the one n only- Boss!!!!!! love u Boss... n here's wishin...u a quick break... ur on vacation... the moment im back to being me- ur back to Boss... thank u soooooo much for evry inch of knowledge uve given me... u rock forever Stevie...!!!!- with the truest of all feelings- a tribute to the Master- Steve Irwin-Boss!
well. um..this one's about-read the title na!?!! hehe...neway- so this ..as in last thursday, i.e.-7th sept.2006, was VTP-session2. we were actually supposed to begin our decided syllabus... but since not all the volunteers cud make it, we discussed the recent visit of some volunteers and instructors to Ranthambore National Park- in june. this was a project,supposed 2last till the end of september..but unfortunately, after their batch, no one else was allowed... mainly coz the forest department knows full well, that nething wrong seen-is going to b reported...n that puts them in terrible trouble!so thats why they reluctantly allowed these guys to stay their 15days. they lived in chowkis, exactly how the forest guards live there... not in a camp site as we usually do, so no facilities..lets say- hardly ne ... so there were so many incidents told to us..narrated... very well. they sighted a Ratel- which has been recorded there after 20years!- it sounds like a snake i know- thats what i thought too... n so i naturally jumped at the sound of "Ratel"...but turns out its a reallly rare mammal... completely nocturnal...kinda looks like a skunk but different. we were told of how cattle grazing was becoming such a huge problem in the core area... and loggin ... n since cattle grazing takes place where Tiger movements have been spotted, that gives the Tigers away... hence its money galore for those disgusting poachers... u c the problems r all inter linked... one gives rise to the other and so.. the National Park is now facing a lot of threat. there r superstitious villagers who visit the temple on the fort... bcoz since their childhood they've taught that -that very god protects them-so they all cum in bunches of 50 n 60...n not only liter the Park, but they pose such a big threat to the wildlife in the Park.there were originally 16 villages in the Park... n thanks a lot to Sir Fateh Singh Rathore... 12 of them have been re-located. but the 4 that still remain refuse to budge. they say that they don't mind moving... but they r given absolutely no incentives... to move. the government doesnt fulfill ne of their demands... the size of land, electricity... nothing. then why shud they move? they have a point yes. but then the same forest department that complains of excess civilisation within the Park, shud c to it that those ppl, once re-located r given the necessary amenities... its pure common sense.. but no!!! who will work! why work when u can pretend u r n keep all the money ur getting? who will want to take pains and make some effort??? when Sir Fateh Singh Rathore... stepped forward, Ranthambore bcame a National Park...n now, after 35 years of being field director of the Park, now that he's retired, when he's still willing to step fwd n help out, no one is letting him- can u believe the stupidity??!!? u know why they wont let him help? n take charge? bcoz- its simple- he's gona report evrything! he's gona report all the shit thats goin on in there that im aware of, the volunteers r, wildlife organisations r, but the Forest Department- n the prestigious Government of India- mind u- they r also completely aware of all the illegal trades that r takin place within the Park... but they r doing nothing. out of own free will by the way- not bcoz they cant, but bocz they simply wont.i think they deserve to b thrown out of the country and transferred to russia or siberia or afghanistan maybe... where they can b kept in some ... secret prison... specially for wildlife prisoners... its a far fetched thought i know... but may work!!!!!!!!its jst that these guys have gota learn man- that they're doing a really important job, n messin it up n sellin it for money is disgusting n pathetic. n when u sell the country's wildlife for money, u suck- according to me. we were discussin how the forest department is inefficient n how we need so much more man power- n woman power too haaan!!!- to get things under control! to bring the country at a stage where awareness is priority number one. n mehnat- number 2. there were kraits,cobras, n non venomous snakies too... but for the first time man- its wasnt the snakes that i was all geared up about.. it was the condition of Wildlife... as Boss said- u gota b an allrounder... even in Wildlife- not jst Reptiles... evrything. u gota hv passion for all of em... n i didnt need to b told... it was already there na... so the passion jst went higher n higher... n reached this stage now-where its jst bcum my life...along with a certain Grizzly Bear.... all in all... this session completely went in us being educated on the differences betvn reserves, national parks, sanctuaries, bla bla.... we were told how much we are gona have to put into this... the effort, the time, the passion. all of it. n no matter what. one thing that cannot disappear is- the unity. -thats what i feel... coz if that goes away, n if im protesting against sum xyz guy for sum xyz thing he did... then who'l support me? so unity- bigggg factor.n for the first time i realised that jst being pasionate makes only 90% of the deal. the rest is all on the strength... to convince, to work, to oppose the wrong, to stand up 4wats right,even if ur alone-which ive been doin since birth i think!!!! so...for me, its reall imp. that i go on with what im doin... coz ive seen sooooooooo many examples .... when the person begins a profession in which he/she has no interest what so evr... ive seen these ppl regret their decision all their life!!! n i NEVER want 2 regret not doin sumthng... that my frend- is one reason ive done sooooo many things... i dont wana tell my kids when im 40... that...im sorry- i duno wat ur talkin bout- nevr dun it b4!.... i wana b able to say a mighty lot bout evrything under the sun!!!!!!!n besides.... i wana b able to feel satisfied... at the end... that- yes!!! i did evrything i wanted to.. n did it well... n i did the right things in life... i wana b able 2 tell myself that... ki-yaar- yeah. u did it... n u rocked! now ur..well.. uve finished all ur missions n fulfilled evry promise u made to urself... so.. now u got nothing to regret or left incomplete... i wana b able to say proudly- i was, am , n will always be the maddest, most insane person there was! wavering fromt he topic..though... that was about it... we did a lot of wildlife talk... and whos goin where ...n amboli...n all.. n then there was that green keelback skin- Macropisthodon plumbicolour- or the grass snake. reminds me...i need to start with taxo now.. n skins too... !anyway...as of now. i think im fine doin what i am... so, till VTP session 3- when we begin the cut out syllabus... i take leave... saying this- u may b doin nothing in ur life, if ur unsatisfied- rediscover urself... n mayb ul find ur cut out to do sumthng no one else can do... n u can- very well!!!!- jst general encouragement yaar.... haha!... i used 2 tell myself that in the 6th standard.neway... so... bye byesssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! keep slitherin.... lotsa love- AJ.n hey!!!! remember- pls.... CONSERVE WILDLIFE- IF U CAN'T DONT KILL IT AT LEAST-LIKE THOSE PATHETIC FOOLS AT ... DAMN.THATS IT! FOCUS PPL!
29th september 2006- ive waited for this day more than ive waited to see shah rukh khan!!! n when it finally came, i was beside myself with evry practical emotion there is... i was packed, ready to leave for reporting at 9:30pm. got there..mom n avanti came to drop me.. n as luck wud have it...roads packed coza processions-navratri!!-god knows why?!?!? neway- then, we reached.. n got to know the car had a flat. boom! so i reported, put my luggage in, n got the driver of our bus to fix the flat... then skippin the unnecessary stuff... we got on the bus, evryone waiting to get there as fast as ever... yapping,singing,playing,hitting,laughing like a bunch of madmen... we passed time till 3am..then almost evryone was asleep... devendra n i were listening to music... n talkin... then i was on the fone for about 7minutes ;-) then resuming talking...we slept at 4:45am... woke up at 6am... n when we were about 2minutes frm our hotel in Amboli... we stopped, n b4 evryone knew.. devya n i were out faster than u can say "A".snake!!!!!- n a guy with a boulder who wud've dropped it ne second.. thanks to devya, who made a head catch n got the dude outta danger... n guess what- in our wildestest of dreams... NOONE had even imagined ki we'd get a CORAL SNAKE- on r 1st day...even when trails hadnt begun!!! wat a start!!!!aftr that, all the pattin n praising... we cudnt stop grinning... id lost control over my jaw...grin grin n grin! thats it! n then finally it decided- to stop grinnin(externally)... then we went to r assigned rooms- co-incidence again- that this year again- the same roomies- in the same room!!! room 202- again!!!then the intro trail- where we saw a lot! -botanically!!! n other wise- a helluva lota butterflies!-the blue mormon, red helen, common mormon, the moths!!! those gorgeous moths-with unbelievable camouflage!!! n really dashing colours! thats oliander hawk moth, then the lunar moth... all of em- so mysteriously pretty... then jst when evryone's like all-yeh!! its not raining... mr.rain god decides- who's boss- so downpour!!!...n helter skelter...xcept 4me as usual... love to get wet dnt i...especially on a trail-rockin!!!!!then back to hotel sailee... n then lunch... then a li'l break... next trail- to mahadevgarh point... where we did a lot of experimental photography...with the torch beam!!! ;-) what masti my god!!! n then that documentary-bout the roadkills- touching... and...eye opening... in many ways!!! then back, dinner, night trail!!!!!- where... the gecko decided to drop in....i aint gona go into details of when what n how... but in brief... il give us a list of which 9snakes we had the privilege of seeing...firstly- the Stiped Coral Snake-xtremely venomous-with NO anti-venom!then- 1sub-adult Vine Snake,1 full grown Vine, n then the chhota sa juvenile Vine that i caught.... ( ;-) )then- the Malabar Pit Viper- venomous again-mindblowingly diffrnt frm last timesthen came - the Travancore Wolf Snake-that was the most shocking thing ever!!! i had dreamt of gettin a wolf the earlier night!!! jesus-shock is the word!aftr that- Bamboo Pit Viper- with a clearly beautiful yellow tinge...and the 2 cute Shieldtails- one Pied-Bellied n the other- the Bombay Shieldtail.so this is the Snake record... apart frm which- a zillion moths n butterflies... skinks, Scolopendra- wierd but hell venomous... 3 in all- n bird life- wo baby!- Malabar Grey Hornbill- 2!!! sighting!!! leeches- that absolutely refused to get onto me this time!!! hated that part!!! :-( but neway...9 snakes made up for it! botanically- what variation!!! Devendra was like telling us the name of every freaking plant,flower...watevr!!!! i was goin bananas!!! remembring all that!but yeah... nothing!!! NOTHING in this world can match this place- the variety, the wilderness... n the fact that- it makes u 4get evry lil thing that evr upset u... n makes u a new person!!!- recharges me evrytime!!! hence- not 2nd home..but the ONLY home!cud never find sumplace bettr than Amboli... the photos say it all... n as for cmin back here... in Pune- it means- ki... there gona b a next time... 2go back!!! optimism- keeps u alive at times like this... n let june cum...il b off again!!! i wud've given a more detailed report on the trails n stuff... but that cums next..not in this account. this one's simply about how much im in love- with Amboli... n ... a bear!!!yeah i know u dont see bears there.. but havent u hevr heard of imaginative power???? ;-) neway- thats all for now... hope u got a slight idea wat its about... cheers to Home man!!!! n cheers to evryone 4makin this such a memorable camp... gna last us a life time! so thats it from AJ... see ya round sumtime then... ciao!all 4 one-AMBOLI- CRIKEY!!!!!- love is indeed life!!!
Hu Jintao- the freak from China.. is building a dam on the Brahmaputra river, n in the process blocking 300 billion cubic metres of water that is otherwise the lifeline of most of North east India. the Indian guys say that by tapping the tributeries of the Brahmaputra, we will b get back about 150-200BCM(billion cubic metres) of water. which will obviously go into irrigation n other daily necessities. then where do u think we'll get water for the arunachal forest -rain forest i know it gets a lot of rain- but the river runs thru sum parts that dont... n those parts r critical....overall this dam thingy is a threat not just to the forest but to the people too. how can u possible cover up 300 BCM of water lost???? talks r in progress they say damn fools!!!! talk bout how they dont know what a biodiversity hotspot is! A HOTSPOT IS NOT A PRIVILAGE FOR A COUNTRY. n we have 2!!!!!!! the western ghats n the eastern himalayas. out of 25 biodiversity hotspots in the whole world, India has TWO!!! dont u get the point ?!?!?!we are not doing the chinese ppl a favour, we're throwing our wildlife down hell. a dry hell. they'l survive no doubt, but this so called LITTLE change is gonna have such a humungous effect!!! they dont realise that.... its a hotspot for crying out loud!!!!!! its a bloody hotspot!!!!!! n ur not supposed to b making it a boiling spot!!!! its diversity is gona b half gone by the time this dam comes up! endemism will increase, species count will fall, evrything will change. and u cannot subject the wildlife-the vegetation also- to these manmade changes for selfish reasons! u cannot divert 300 FREAKING BCM OF WATER FOR THE BLOODY COUNTRY WITH THE HIGHEST POPULATION IN THE WORLD!!!!!!!!! its not sense!!!!!!!! at all !!!!! i bet 92% of the ppl that saw this on the news last nite dont have a friggin clue what its gona do.... oh! china! oh! river! oh diversion!!! but -dammit think of what thats doing to a forest which is NOW getting some recognition...not as a tourism spot, but as a research base for ppl like me!!!!! what am i gona write on now?!?!?! how i saw a dam construction instead of a dense evergreen forest?!!??!!? thats how my research paper will look!!! n sorry- but i do not..n WILL not take such crap! its high time the chinese Jintao n the Indian government start taking the country's wildlife seriously. Boss i need u now the most! to cum n tell them what they're doing... putting our ,mission down, n killing what could b the future of a thriving rain forest!!!!!! its A BLOODY HOTSPOT U FOOLS!!!!! i know no one reading this will b related to the dam in ne way...just a ray of hope.... lingering somewhere.at times like this...wildlife warriors- we need to rise! we really do!!!!! n osrry- but if u aint rising- i aint falling to ur level- i will rise alone if i have to... but il do this! get the point across!!! the end!!!!- for lack of further expressive words- b4 i start more slang- bye bye!!!!! there exists a Make A Wish Foundation - id like to create a - Make A Difference Foundation!!!!!