Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The silences of Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary

We were overjoyed to see Paresh sir back from the elephant operation to Cotigao. It’s an altogether different experience to rove in Cotigao with Paresh sir. We had visited Cotigao number of times before but never got a chance to see it with Paresh sir & this was the moment for which we were all waiting for.
After a session of informal discussion, we all settled ourselves into his jeep which marched towards Bela Lake. It was the onset of sundown and surely, best time for wildlife sighting. The jeep being open, we constantly conversed with the wind which was moving opposite to us as we went forward. Since me, Omkar & Arnold were standing; we had to dodge down to miss the branches that had descended down from the canopy surrounding the trail. The vehicle stopped at the lake, unloading the villagers whom we had given lift till the spot.
We went little further for some birdwatching. We spotted Heartspotted Woodpecker, Racket Tailed Drongo, Tree Pie, Starlings etc. We all came back to the lake. Paresh sir told us to sit quietly and wait for the black birds to show up as he wanted to photograph them. We adjusted ourselves on the plinth while Arnold and Paresh sir adjusted themselves into a nearby hide pointing their DSLR cameras to the lake. The lake looked still and so as we.
A Pond Heron landed in the lake. We were not thrilled to see this otherwise often seen bird, even in urban settlements. None of us uttered a word, not even a sheer whisper was exchanged. I was trying to resonate with the silence of jungle. It started to dominate us as we began to accept its authority over us. They say that jungle has its own laws, and so as it has its own voices.
Time passed rapidly fading the skies to darker and darker shades of black. Suddenly, two Orange Headed Thrushes showed up at the lake, joining the Pond Herons. The Black Birds were yet to show up and by this time, we were completely adjusted to the silence of the jungle. Time passed but the scene at the lake did not change.
I felt some motion to my back towards right on the road. It was Prakash, the forest guard, who was walking rapidly with a face beaming a smile of some great achievement. ‘Sir, Leopard!’ Those two words had hit me hard & my impulses took a leap like that of the mighty beast that was sitting right on the road, in a carefree manner. I had flare visions of the leopard that had crossed our car at Khandepar, a month back. We all got up and saw in the direction in which Prakash was pointing his finger & it all appeared crystal clear. A leopard right in the middle of the road on an open patch just few meters away from us. The yellow colour of the dried grass looked dull in contrast to the shades of yellow that this beast wore on his body. We were excited like hell.
Paresh sir told us to climb the watchtower. He was expecting the leopard to come straight to the lake but it proved him wrong. Instead of turning to left and walking towards us, he went straight and vanished out of the view point. Paresh sir and Arnold went in the hide again, me and Omkar settled ourselves in the open part of the jeep while everybody else waited on the watch tower with binoculars struck to their eyes.
Paresh sir signaled us to listen to the hissing sound of leaves on the other side of the lake. It was dark by now and hearing was the only vision. We waited, waited and just waited but nothing happened. We could only hear some sounds of leaves hissing which disturbed the silences. Suddenly a Lapwing gave a cry from the left side of the lake. Paresh sir suddenly got us & told us to get back in the jeep. He told Prakash to drive to the acacia plantation from where the sound had come. We drove to the spot; thinking that Lapwing had raised alarm because of leopard was roaming around that area, but it was futile enough and we decided to return back.
While returning, Arnold had switched his headgear. We were passing Bela lake when me and Arnold saw four eyes gleaming in response to the LED flash that his headgear threw around. I tapped the window glass where Paresh sir was sitting & told him that there is something waiting for us. He instructed Prakash to take the car towards left, leaving the trail and we entered the dried mouth of the lake. The headlights of the jeep flashed infront and we saw two leopards, one male and another female!
They stared at us for disturbing them. I could feel the time stood still for some seconds, allowing everybody amongst us to freeze this moment in our mind. I felt like giving a roar to celebrate this time of my life. This drama took place for few seconds after which both of them faded into the dark forests of Cotigao, making it silent as it was before.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Chaddi Pehnake Phool Khila Hai.......

As you begin a new today of your life, you never know what can take you back to sweet memories of your past and you might end up spending your day thinking about those nostalgic times of your life. I often get such nostalgic attacks in the middle of vacations when I have nothing else to do than wandering along with the reminiscences.

Your attack may be kicked as simple as this- you open a supplement that comes with your local daily newspaper to read an article about Gulzaar. While reading, you come to know that the song that accompanied the childhood of our generation, “Jungle Jungle Pata Chala Hai”, title song of famous animation series Jungle Book, was penned by this living legend and is composed by Vishal Bhardwaj, the genius Indian filmmaker. Same thing happened with me and this reason was enough to take me back to the sweet childhood days of mine and it all appeared as if it had happened just yesterday.

Me sitting infront of TV enjoying the adventures of Mowgli with Sher Khan, Bagheera etc. & sipping the Sunday morning tea with chapattis rolled and dipped inside it, both done simultaneously to get better taste of both the activities. These images are crystal clear in my mind and have not vanished though the childhood has eroded around to make me an adult.

I get up and connect my computer to internet in and download the title song of jungle book. Finding it was not very difficult since only one keyword “Chaddi” was enough to get me the desired results, and wow! 

“Jungle Jungle Pata Chala Hai, baat chali hai

Chaddi Pehnake Phool Khila Hai Phool Khila Hai”

I set this song as ringtone for my cell phone and listen to it the whole day. This song does not only bring the sweet memories of past to life, but also some attributes within our personality that get lost in the due course of time like innocence, the no-worry attitude, serenity, inquisitiveness etc.

On the same evening, I stood at the gallery at my aunt’s place watching the Santa Clause vehicle passing by the road. The adult in me could just smile looking the children on the road running madly behind him to get that one gift packet but the child in me had an etch to run behind the Santa Clause just like I used to do back in my childhood. We as an adult are too rigid and are often scared of breaking rules set by the society unlike the child mentality. I would prefer anytime being a innocent child rather than being responsible adult, would you?

Friday, September 5, 2008


Well…sorry for not uploading any thing about a month but couldn’t find some free time to sit back and write down the trek description in a lucid way. I tried writing about the my last trek to a village in Sattari with Parag Sir, Pankaj, Nitin and Omkar but the write ups were not somehow upto the mark. Frankly speaking, there was not much to write about this trek because neither did we walk much distance nor did we spotted something different than some dragonflies. So I thought of just uploading some photos of the trek. Sorry again but enjoy the photographic journey.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Trekking along the track-epilogue

The birds cooed the morning alarm and I was awake from last nights sleep disturbed from time to time by the passing trains which we could here in the temple. Also the flies and other insects had equally contributed in causing disturbance to our sleep. One of them bit my lower lip and it was swollen from one side which I kept chewing throughout the journey.
We were ready now to move to the final destination but rains which abruptly came stopped us from moving out of the temple. But finally we started walking in the rain so that we could reach early. We were back on the tracks now and we got used to walking in the cement beams stepping hard and harder on them.
Along with the trek, also we were busy in photographing the beauty surrounding us. It was about 8:45 when we halted for a cup of tea. All along our journey, we had been watching Dudh Sagar in different angles and now we came to the “Dudh sagar view point” where we stood face to face with it. Adjacent to the view point, there was a small hut for the Railway guards to take rest. We halted there and started preparing the tea. Everything was in powdered form, even milk. You have to be minimized on such travels. Everybody was hungry since we had not done the breakfast. While Nitesh sir prepared the tea, I passed the cakes to everybody around. The tea tested fresh and the rains which showed up while we were having tea made it tastier.
Now it was matter of few meters to reach to Dudhsagar. We passed many people who had come there as tourists. They were shouting, howling and yeah, even drinking. Most of them had come down from Maharashtra. We quietly walked further as these sighting were common in every eco-tourist spot.
Following Parag sir, we took a right diversion from the track and jumped into small streams which lead to another mini waterfall. The nature was at its best colorful display. There was so much to photograph but all my excitement came down when Rohan passed me the camera saying that it ran out of charge. But just watching this sight was nirvana for us. We saw nest of Malabar Whistling Thrush in which young ones were awaiting their mother with some food. This sight was just amazing. After having finished roaming around that place, we marched forward to waterfall. And here it was at last, a mighty waterfall with a gushing sound of water flowing with huge speed and force. The sight was something to be marveled at but the tourists who had come there spoiled the whole scene. Shouting, howling, smoking and whatever! We couldn’t stand there any more so we moved further to wait for the train which would take us back to Collem. I won’t describe the waiting part now because it was three hours long. Waiting for a transport medium is fun when you are out in such treks. I have done it many times; the longest one was of four hours at Karanzol. I can blog about it separately.

The train which came was not a passenger train but it was a goods carrier. We adjusted ourselves into the narrow space on the left engine bogie and it was fun returning back, especially our ears blasted when the train blew the whistle.
This trek was in a sense a teaching experience since this was my first night out camp. It taught me exactly how trekker should be equipped and with what he should be equipped when going out for such treks. All thanks to Parag sir! After we reached Collem, we were off to our busy schedules once again. But if you have such refreshing weekends, it’s worth living those hectic time tables.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Trekking along the track-the prologue!

At about 4:30 we started walking towards Dudhsagar waterfalls from Collem Railway stop. 5 of us along with a Russell’s viper which was to be rescued in the forest began our journey by walking on the railway tracks. I was too excited about this trek because it was an overnight camping which I had not done before. Bypassing railways disturbed the silence of the environment which was otherwise filled with bird songs.

Rain had just whispered through the forest which was the right time to spot Odonates. We spotted Pantala, a migratory specie and Malabar Torrent Dart which is found near the streams. Even the butterflies were in good number and we enjoyed watching them too along with Parag Rangnekar, author of “Butterflies of Goa.” While Omkar and Nitesh sir were busy photographing Forest Glory, Odonate specie, it started raining. So we all had to hide the cameras from getting wet. While it’s raining, nature is at it’s height of beauty, but the bad part of it is we can’t photograph it.

Dudhsagar is approx 12 kms from Collem. It was already 5:30 and was difficult, rather impossible for us to reach there before it’s dark. While stopping to take some rest, we decided to release the viper into the forest. One thing I liked about him is that he never turned aggressive, which is it’s common tendency when disturbed. Rohan and Omkar handled him for a while so that I could manage to get some photographs. The evening was turning dark and the clouds in the sky had made the light condition still poorer for a quality snap so I decided to use the flash. He finally disappeared into the greens without even hissing. A true noble guy!

The bird sightings were also satisfying as a pair of Imperial Pigeon showed up and later entertained us with their song. We also spotted Bronze Drongo perched on a tree; a bit far than 12x optical zoom. Now it was total dark and rains were moderate and the actual fun started. The height of it was walking along the tunnel in the dark with our torches lit. We were yet to reach Sonavale, a village on the way to Dudhsagar which was our destination for a halt at the night.

The signal light perfectly lit the railway track with a combination of red and blue and I was wise enough to capture this scene in the camera. We reached Sonavale and followed the mud slope which ended to the village temple of God Dudhsagar. Parag sir and Nitesh sir went down to a house to ask for the permission to sleep in the temple. The village people were very kind and they even let us to use their Choolah to cook our dinner. We had Maggi Noodles for the dinner, one of the things I hated to eat but had to eat because there was no other choice. Nature trails even teach you life adjustments you see!
Somehow I finished a bowl full of maggi noodles and switched over to bread and jam. The stomach wasn’t full yet, but the mind was overfilled with a sense of joy because this was something new for a city teen like me. The night went long and dark and we were off to sleep. Though the legs were aching, joy of mind didn’t let me feel the pain. All of us were excited over the next day’s plan and the trek was supposed to be more fruitful than what it had been till now. The lights went of and eyes got closed for a new morning.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Timepass blog!

Well it's already 12:15 a.m. and I am still postponig my Linux work session to prepare myself to write some programs on Monday practicals at College Lab. I donno why I more like writing C programs in VI Editor on Unix rather than doing it on Linux terminal. Telnetting is fun.
The "Birds and More" exhibition was put up at Chowgule College. Response was not that good but well. Umaji Chowgule visited it and was very impressed. Also, Mr.Vishram Gupte, the co-ordinator of Sangat, NGO working in te field of psychological counselling who won an international award for their work too visited the exhibition. Well, that's all for tonigh(midnight) and finally I have decided to cncel my Linux session and now I shall go to sleep as tommorow I will be visiting Payatalee again.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Ever since my days at Chowgule College have started, I have rarely blogged. There was lot stuff pending to be updated right from my day 2 at Karanzol camp to our latest (2 weeks back!) visit to Payatalee with Parag Rangnekar. Well, you can read the Payatalee thing on Rohan’s blog. He has written in detail, practically! Well, some more ideas I held up in my mind for blogging but kept postponing it further. The deadline has stretched and the backlog is still counting.
Well, you can blame Chowgule time-table for that matter for keeping us a tedious schedule from 8 to 5. Except Physics practical and the schedule, everything is good here. The campus environment is like that of some foreign university. It’s great to be a Chowgule TIGER, but sometimes I miss being an ENGICO!
Well no regrets!
OK, let me reveal my reason of this lazy blogging! I have joined Computer Science and that would be my major at third year. Most of the software people are lazy in their free time and don’t feel like doing anything which makes sense either to them or others. I can’t be an exception to such an attribute of Geekism. Other reason might be that I haven’t still adjusted to college life, that to in Chowgule College, which is miles different than what it as for us at GVM’s.
So reader, henceforth, along with my trek blogs, I would keep you updated with the news on the campus and some geek funda!
Sorry for not making it up, and hahh! The Karanzol Camp blog series is discontinued.
Note:-As I had mentioned earlier in my “Green Blogging” post, one of the laziest lad in our group, Rohan, has started a blog. Well, he is no more laziest now, I am leading the wagon!-)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The stroll through the fields!

The evening was fresh and the zephyr was silently making its way through the huge trees nearby the camp sites. Everybody was set out for a evening stroll through the fields of Karanzol nearby from the camp site. We had just finished with Pankaj Lad’s lecture on the bio-diversity of Mhadei. I was still in the hangover of the lecture delivered by Rajendra Kerkar (Bhai) on the cultural aspects and ancient traditions that our ancestors followed towards conservation of the environment. Bhai, while delivering the lectures on Goan culture, travels from Pernem to Canacona and adds references from the surrounding villages of Maharashtra and Karnataka which have a similar culture.
The three groups namely Sahyadri, Srishti and Devrai guided by the volunteers of VEAB, set out for the trail. Our group, Sahyadri, leaded by Arnold and Sangam of VEAB, parted from the rest two groups to go in another direction. The trail began with identifying the trees, which I was not much interested initially. As Arnold and Sangam started adding importance of each sighted tree, I became keen to know more.We stopped to see a pair of Ashy Wood Swallow sitting on the electric wire above the fields. Soon the Bee-eaters appeared from behind performing beautiful aerobics. I have always enjoyed watching Bee-eaters, especially their beak which looks sharp and gives him a powerful appearance. There was so much to photograph but I was carrying a small Nikon Coolpix borrowed from uncle since Rohan had taken the nature club’s camera to Pune. I cursed Rohan for taking the camera.
Leaving the tar road behind, we entered the fields. Far from the world of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, farmers here had put lumps of cow dung in the field at regular intervals. This is an ancient method for fertilizing the soil. During the rains, these lumps of cow dung get mixed with the soil thereby making it fertile and ready for farming. Sun was slowly setting down turning the blue skies to orange. We stopped near a huge “Devil’s tree” or “Devcharanchey Zaad” or “Saatveen”. Orchid flowers hung from the which had just bloomed to life.
We decided to return back to camp site as the evening was already turning dark. Before calling it a day, every group had to present a report of the trail which was followed by a dinner and than a long sleep till 5 a.m. in the next morning. Was it really a long one?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Karanzol...i was there back again!

“Where is exactly the camp site at Karanzol?” I ask one of the VEAB members while I find a place to stand in a bus already flooded with people and us with our bags. Karanzol is not new to me. I have been here before once, when I had gone to Pishtyachi Kond. Karanzol is located in Sattari at the foothills of Sahyadri Mountain ranges and on the fringes of Mhadei wildlife sanctuary.
I was here for a 3 day pre-monsoon nature orientation camp organized by Vivekananda Environmental Awareness Brigade, a NGO working for past 6 years in the field of environmental conservation. This group is leaded by Mr. Rajendra Kerkar, a leading environmental activist from Goa. The following posts will be describing my experiences of these three days.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A sight worth TON!!!

We were just about to step on the entrance to Devil’s Canyon in Bhagavan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary when we heard a strong hissing sound from the bushes just 5-10 steps away from us. I initially thought that it must be Langoors but the hidden animal was not arboreal. Ajit & I remained motionless for a second while Saish slowly descended down to see that what it was. He first announced that it was a deer, than Sambar. The herd was rushing on the climb and I could see the horns moving in a rush. At first, I thought it must be a herd of local cattle that must have been in forest for grazing. But I was proved wrong soon by the two faces that exchanged their looks with me. Their horn was glued to white mane and they were in black and brown colour. My heart gave a jerk when I came to know that it was a herd of Indian Gaur, the state animal of Goa.
I didn’t romanticize this sighting because I went 2-3 steps back in fear of this hefty animal, weighing almost a ton. We three remained stunned and watched their pageant silently till they vanished into the forest.
It was one of the moments in my life that I would never forget like my first sight of a Sambar running with a huge speed, Asian Paradise Flycatcher’s aerobic movements with its handsome tail, the jump of Giant Squirrel, the python in hibernation and the community of Pied Hornbills. For past one and half year, whatever sweet memories wildlife has offered to me are the ones that I shall cherish throughout my journey. This sighting was an addition to it, and we returned back from BMWS.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

It never lets you down!

Almost at 5:15 in the evening when sun was about to set, Ankur, Saish and me reached Pachamee sweating in our black nirvana t-shirts and khaki cargos. This visit of ours had no special intention except introducing this place to Ankur. I didn’t expect any bird to show up at this hour of the day. We straightway walked to the small stream, and sat on the giant black rocks for some rest. Malabar Whistling Thrush kept singing in his soothing tone which perfectly served as background music for the surrounding scene. Saish noted the variety of plant species in the surrounding along with Ankur while I preferred resting some more. He waved his hand, telling us to walk back to the lake as he finished his work. He started walking back to the lake on a mud trail, running parallel to a narrow water stream. Ankur & me stopped near a branch of tree bearing a nest. He had his Sony Cyber shot camera and focused on the nest. HIs orange LED lit which lit the nest and gave it an orange ambience.

We hurried to catch up with Saish while he was busy recording a fern plant. The dried leaves below one level from where we standing, suddenly hissed, disturbing the silence. I could see a long tail going deep into those leaves but couldn’t identify it. The movement below the leaves stopped as we stopped. It didn’t move until Saish jumped down to see exactly what it was. The creature suddenly climbed the tree in a breathtaking speed while we three remained motionless. It was a monitor lizard, which I had presumed to be a snake. It was rather thin and pale skinned, compared to the two monitor lizards which I had seen on the front page of Sanctuary Asia magazine, hugging each other. It stopped for a while above my head level on the bark and again climbed and vanished into the branches. I had never seen a monitor lizard with a close look before. This scheduled animal is fighting for its survival in Goa as it is killed for its skin which is used for making a traditional folk instrument named “Ghumat”. Its blood is also consumed, believing that it has some medicinal properties.

We reached the lake when the sun was ready to set, darkening the water of the lake. We than went to the temple which stood beside the lake where a huge ant-hill is worshipped. It is believed that a King Cobra lives in this ant-hill and the villagers offer their prayers to him. Killing any creature in this area is considered as a sin here.

We moved out at about 6:30 as Ankur had to reach early. He was amazed by the beauty of this place. I and Saish were overjoyed with sighting a monitor lizard along with vivid varieties of butterflies and moths. This visit too, didn’t turn into a disappointing one. Anytime you visit here, it reveals some or the other drama behind its green curtains that I have enjoyed ever since my first visit. It has some magic sprinkled on my mind and still continues to grow.

Pachamee has a special place in my heart because unlike other things in my life, it never lets you down, rather it gives me energy to rise up and fight back.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Trekking down to Waghure-Sacorda Day 2

I don’t what exactly happened at 5:15 in the cold early mornings of Sacorda that made four of us wake up at the same time. Nobody’ exhibited a tiredness of last night’s incomplete sleep on their face. Everybody sprung into action the moment we got up and finished the morning duties as fast as one could to leave as early as possible. For breakfast, Aniket’s mother served us rice flakes cooked with potato. Finishing it with a cup of tea, we marched on our way heading towards Waghure.
Rohan was sprinting while I and Saish found it hard to keep up with Rohan. Aniket was busy looking out for birds that showed up early mornings in the lush green fields which ran parallel to the roads through an Olympus binocular. I struggled hard to get some enough light to capture some early morning photographs while walking but the images came blurred. Sacorda is associated with mining activity and hence, every other house here owned a truck. Some of them even had two. The trucks rested outside the houses making the small road even narrower and comfortable for walking only. Slowly, we left the village and followed a narrow trail which further led us to open grassland. Aniket, being a resident of Sacorda, told us every bit of information that he had gathered about the places which we met on our trail. A White Throated Thrush was sighted on the way followed by Plum Headed Parakeet and a Chest-nut headed bee eater.

The open grassland was slowly shrinking into a forest now. We could see some traces of bison which they had left behind on the dew wet land. We halted near a small water body to decide which side to go as it had left us with three options to choose. Finally it was decided to go further by crossing the water body first, and than trek the remaining two.

“We’ll have to cross a mud field to reach the other side” said Aniket as we saw a small piece of green field ahead on our way. We had experienced walking into the mud once back at Carambolim lake when our group escorted B.Ed trainees for bird watching. We took our slippers into our hands and stepped into the mud. I was finding it difficult to balance my body and the camera which hung from my neck. We reached the other side where we saw a small lake where we washed our legs. The forest was getting thick enough to frighten me. We halted near a huge tree on Aniket’s signal for us to stop. He fingered the stem of the tree which was scratched by a bear. I raised my head to see right upto the tree top in fruitless search of sighting a bear, but it was not there. Aniket gave me a shock by declaring that he didn’t know the further road. Saish and Rohan decided to still walk forward with which I was not comfortable with, but in democracy, majority wins. I quietly started walking behind them. Somehow I could sense something run past by me from my back, but it was the fear which made me to feel so.

You can’t predict where an aimless wandering would take you with it. The trail which we were walking started broadening and we could clearly see now a small hill with dried yellow grass contrasting with hard black rocks. We climbed it up and settled ourselves on top of it. The view was magnificent. The mountains still hid themselves under the veils of fog revealing only the top portion of it.

They appeared to be floating in the mid of the skies. We held out the binoculars and glued them to our eyes in search of a flight, disturbed stillness of the leaves or a pair of wings flying across the blue skies. Our search fetched us fruits within no time when we saw a Racket Tailed Drongo flying across the nearby mountains with its long tail dancing to the rhythm of his wings. It’s my favorite black colored bird because of the bluish tinge he possesses over his black body. In the meantime, a Tree Pie sat on a leafless tree right in front of us, but it was too far to be captured on our 12x optical zoom lens and had to opt for the digital zoom. None of us was ready to walk further leaving this hill which revealed us the beauty of Waghure with a top view. Saish, as usual, started hunting for snakes around the hill while I enjoyed observing a pair of Grey Hornbill.

"Massive Python” Saish yelled coming out from a cave with a narrow opening. We thought he was playing a prank, as he always did. But his face revealed excitation similar to that of a small child who was happy after finding his lost toy. While Saish was dancing with joy, Rohan put his head in the narrow opening of the cave and he too, came out overjoyed. There had to be something! Me & Aniket did the formality of conforming the presence of a 3 meter long Indian Rock Python who was resting in the cave after enjoying a meal, may be a rabbit or so. His body was puffed and it rested like a noble guy. We clicked its photographs, but offering him this Page 3 status did not affect his solitude and nobility. Satisfied with the trip, we descended down the hill for our return journey. We halted on the same water body where we had stopped while entering the forest to drink some water. A pair of Ruby Throated Bulbul showed up while we were busy drinking water. While I adjusted the camera, the yellow wings vanished into the greenery. It was an end to another worth blogging trip. The satisfaction of Python sighting was overflowing from our face. We clapped for Aniket for the whole arrangement. We reached his house and ran near the fresh water spring in his plantations for a bath. After two hours of bath and aqua-fun, we returned for lunch and headed towards the bus stop to catch the return bus

Note:- A Marathi version of this post was published in Daily Gomantak’s supplement named “Muktapeeth” on 28th April 2008.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Half past midnight

It’s almost mid-night now and I find myself caught up in the middle of its darkness. I get up from the sofa and come out in my bedroom and stand near the table. It’s almost messed up, just like my mind. I pick up a book by Anil P and just flip the pages, trying hard to fix my eyes on one of the many pages. I give up after doing this act for some time and again pass a zero kind of look on the table. Three novels are lying there, waiting me to open up them and read. But I can’t dare to even touch those pages. Besides them, my assignments and exercises are in a waiting for completion. But I just ignore those meaningless paper sheets, just as I ignore my confused thoughts, because in such situations, both don’t make sense either.
Strolling over dried fields of my mind, I sit down to write up something. Thoughts come and go, but I am unable to put them up in order. Unknowingly, my writing slowly turns into scribbling some figures, abstract yet meaningless.
I am in a state of confused mind but not an empty one. Random flashes of seemingly unrelated thoughts strike the walls and disappear into the disturbed cosmos. The feeling grows intense and I am about to scream into silences. The lights go off, both in my room and my mind. I lie down on my bed where the sleep takes me under its blankets.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Reading Chetan Bhagat’s ‘One Night @ Call Centre’

It was almost 12:30 a.m. when I finished reading the novel ‘One Night @ the Call Centre’ by Chetan Bhagat. From the title page, it hooked me up till it’s last page of it. Well, i had a complete package of pleasure while reading it. the story of the day goes somewhat like this:

Ajay sir, Saish & Rohan left for Ponda & I waited till the book exhibition opened. I bought Vyaktee Ani Vallee by P.L. Deshpande and ‘One Night @ Call Centre’ or ON@CC by Chetan Bhagat. While I was in the bus travelling back to Ponda from Panaji, I had finished reading two chapters for PL’s book with delighted pleasure as always. Somehow I was not intending to finish up Chetan’s novel because I didn’t want a triangulation of 3 epics of three generations in my mind. I had already started reading “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand, which is in its past 50th Anniversary edition, on the other hand I had fresh copies of the books which I bought at the exhibition in the morning. Reluctantly I switched to ON@CC, may be just to have the current youth essence which other two books did not offer in some manner.
I’ve read Chetan’s “Five Point Someone’s” translated version in Marathi. It too hooked me up till the end. Chetan is an IIT + IIM graduate which add to his tariff (at least for me) as a writer. I have never met him; neither have I sent him an e-mail (I may) nor have I visited his official website. But still, I met him through his first person characters in his books. I quite figured out how he must be while reading his second book. He must be vey naughty guy in his college days and I hope he still continues being one. There are quite few similarities in both of his novels. A peculiar way of writing, sprinkles of intelligent jokes (of the level what you can expect from a naughty engineer, that to an IITian one) and 4-5 excerpts off the scene, but still related to the story. Secondly, the language that he uses is so youthful and has a kind of geeky flavor to it which makes people like me go mad while reading it over and over again.
I am not a kind of guy who would love our English text books for what they offered like some of my classmates and just crack my English paper off with every bit of correct & meaningful grammar. In short I am not a lingual pundit but still I take this critic’s job to analyze this author, not because I want to be a critic (it sucks anyway!), but for the heart to heart relationship that is set up between me & the author.
He has not penned down a hell lot of bestseller novels, but I am making my so called THESIS on the basis of the two books which he has published so far. His books are in narrative style of the first person type category, though in both the books, he is not the first person. His first person characters or FPC’s are obsessed with their life style (in Chetan’s words…hmm I’ll say FUCKED UP!) They are intelligent but not smart and assertive and rather hate themselves for not being one, while there’s another guy who is smart, active and sprinting (hiding away his personal problems) of a sort of “I don’t give it a damn/fuck” attitude. The FPC indirectly wants to be like this other guy. But FPC’s in his book enjoy a special thing that is not enjoyed by any other character and that is a love affair with a ‘not so beautiful’ kind of girl and has enjoyed love with her in mental and physical realms too. Well, let’s not make it more adult gossip here! The love affair thing is solely enjoyed by the FPC. The story kicks off describing each character in a lucid way and in a funky language, and they are caught up in a dead end moment and they overcome it somehow using the every resource available to its fullest (must be IIM funda) and end with a happy ending.
This is what I can sum up on my literature abilities about his two books, but this pattern is not a stereotype of both of them as they are presented in a quite diverse ways since both the books narrate a story with diversities. But on a macroscopic level, it commonly represents the youth.
Another interesting thing about his books is his sense of humor. He must have done M.Tech in it. His jokes are intelligent, perfectly timed and are not at all sub-standard. A perfect engineer + management level humor added with a naughty flavor, he keeps his book alive every now and than with breathes of his jokes. The following one was too funny not to share:
The situation is that Shyam (FPC from ON@CC) is pissed off about the Xerox machine’s paper jam in his desk. He explains it like this

“The copier in our supplies is not a machine. It’s a person with psychotic soul & a grumpy attitude towards life. Whenever you copy more than two sheets, there’s a paper jam. After that, the machine teases you: it gives you systematic instructions on how to un-jam it --- open cover, remove tray, pull leaver. Now if it knows this much, why doesn’t it fix itself?”

I burst into silent laughter when I read the above part. There is lot more such but I think you should enjoy them with the flow. Also his philosophies about girl’s behavior have solved many mysteries in my life that I encountered whenever I dealt with a girl. Believe me, they are true! (I mean philosophies, not the girls)
Anyways, it was already 2 a.m. and I was not at all feeling sleepy while writing this post. But still my *inner voice* told me to stop here. In the whole day, I had gained a continuous pleasure of reading such a fantastic book which made me to make this whole write-up dedicated to it. Otherwise I rarely criticize, or even appreciate anything socially.
I’ll say, read both of his books. They’ll drive you crazier and you will not even fall asleep while waiting for a *phone call from God*.
Happy Midnights!!!!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

a photgraphic journey.....

The earlier post was not enough to arrange all the photographs that i had clicked at Mhadei forest. Here they are

a wonderful type of mushroom (don't expect me to know the name)...must be jungle dish TV

Well, yet another mushroom!

"Pishtyachee Kond"
Petkulee, (yeah i know the name!)

Gopal Kerkar, the man who acompanied us throughout those memorable 40 kms walk

Crossing the boundaries…..

At about 6:30 a.m. Manikrao knocked on the door & me & Saish woke up suddenly. The surrounding was still cold and we were under our blankets in the staff quarters of Bhironda Forest Dept. The RFO of Bhironda Soil & Water Conservation Dept, Mr. Prakash Salelkar had agreed to use his room for a night stay for both of us. Mr. Prakash Salelkar is a dedicated forest officer and holds experience of 28 years of service to forest department. His passion and dedication to wild life and his duty separates him from rest of the forest officers. He is eco-friendly, rest are economy friendly.
The day before, we had a very nice time talking to this young lad in his late fifties. He told us several stories about the overall forest movement in Goa, how the things go on government level, the corruption etc. I may need a special blog to write about Prakash sir and his all round abilities in his duty as a ranger.
Saish passed me ‘Britannia Cream Treat’ biscuits while Manikrao, the staff in charge, served both of us with black tea. Ganesh, who was told to drop us on Bhironda bus stop by Salelkar sir, arrived at the office. We sat back his bike and marched to Bhironda stop. The morning was still cool. We reached the bus stop and caught a Kadamba bus which would drop us to Karanzol. The bus was almost empty except 2-3 passengers, conductor and off course, the driver.
My mind started running along the roads. The villages here were not as rickety as what I had expected. We crossed Khadakee, which is on the periphery on what can be called like a pseudo city. The further road was surrounded by cashew plantations from both the sides. We reached our last stop in a remote village called Karanzol where Gopal Kerkar, another staff member of Bhironda forest dept. was waiting for us to accompany us till the last spot of the trek. There is no road beyond Karanzol. The bus stopped near the temple of local deity “Devi Brahmini” which stood erect along a huge pimpal tree. An idol carved from rock is kept at the foot of the Pimpal tree. I asked Gopal, “Konachi murtee hee?” (Whose idol is this?). He nodded. Probably, he didn’t know the answer to my question. He changed the topic & askd me, “Khaisoon Eelat tumhee?” (from where have you come here?) I answered Ponda. Meanwhile, the little kids going to the primary school gathered around me & Saish. They were curiously watching the camera which was hanging from my neck. I gathered them and clicked their photo.
I held the Olympus binocular & asked one of the boys, “Baghtalai?” (do you want to see through?). He nodded & carefully took the binocular into his hands. He was fascinated when he placed them on his eyes. He passed it to every other kid present there. They were happy to see the mountains which stood tall and far from them, appeared over a walking distance. For a moment, they must have thought that the far off world has come near to them, but in reality, they lie on a far corner.
The bus started on its return journey. The base point for our trek was on a 15 minutes of walk from Karanzol. Gopal suggested us to catch the bus again so that we can reach the base point early. The bus dropped us on the base point. On the way, I spotted a peacock in the fields which ran parallel to the roads, sitting on a dry grass dump. I could not capture it from the bus. Saish said, “We missed a good shot.” I nodded. Wild life photography is all about such “missed” shots. The day before, we both missed a wild boar on our way from Shantinagar to Dhavali forest department office in Ponda. It’s a thing of fraction of second, and you miss a wild moment to capture in your camera.
The bus dropped us to the base point. Three of us started walking. Gopal was warning us about the three hours of continuous walk form the forest, but later appreciated our walking skill. ’Attitude makes it possible.’ I have experienced this several times that attitude overpowers the tiredness. We commuted a continuous walk of approx twenty kilometers (one way) with two halts to drink some water.
On our way, we spotted “Shama” and could photograph it too from a closer distance.The jungle was silent except for bird calls and the sound of flowing river “Mhadei.” After a long “attitude” walk of three hours, we reached our final point of the trek in Krishnapur. Krishnapur lies in Karnataka. We reached the temple of local deity named “Shree Pishteyshwar." Behind the temple, Mahdei flows over the rocks. This place is known as “Pishtyachee Kond.”
'Kond' refers to `kund' in Marathi which means a deep water reserve where water getssaturated. The place is undoubtedly beautiful & is worth watching hundred times.Specially, the manner in which the rocks have eroded stuns you for a moment.They look like steps carved out from giant rocks which descend down to water.
"Nobody ever fishes here, though they are plenty" Gopal adds upwhile sitting on a rock.ven swimming in this `kond' is considered to bea sin, he said. Many people flock here with their jeeps to see this place. Thereis a rough road to this place from the base point which only a jeep cansustain. After halting for half an hour near the `kond', we decided to start ourreturn journey. The return journey was bit tiring. Stomach was almost full ofhunger. Me & Saish, had only 2 cream biscuits each during the breakfast. On ourway, Gopal plucked some 4-5 cashews for us. I came across a jungle fruit called"Menkee", sweet in taste.On our way, we came across variety of species offlowers which I photographed in super macro mode. Mhadei is verymuch diverse in its flora & fauna. I could take a closer look ata chameleon stuck to the tree.Skinks vanished as soon asthey sensed our foot steps. Grey Hornbill was also spotted on thewayAfter a return journey of more twenty kilometers in three hours, I was almost sweating when I reached back to the base point. Three of ussipped a soft drink in a nearby bar. I & Saish ordered one more while Gopal refused. He said "Good Bye" to both of us and went back to his house in Karanzol. Still two hours were remaining for the last bus which would drop usback to Bhironda. It was an end of another expedition. On our way back to Bhironda in the bus; Saish asked "worth blogging?" "Worth blogging hundred times" I answered.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Everybody was finished with 12th board exams and was desperate to roam around jungles. After changing plans frequently, we decided to go to Sacorda for a night stay at Aniket’s place and a morning trail from Sacorda to Waghurme.
While coming back from our ‘inspection’ visit to Bondla Wild Life Sanctuary, we told Ajay sir to drop us on Tisk from where we caught our bus to Sacorda. We had visited Sacorda before once to see Malabar Pied Hornbills which was a memorable experience.
Sacorda is a village consisting of many sub-villages. It’s a prominent mining area of Goa. Mining here is the major cause of depletion of green forests and pollution. In Sacorda, every other house owns a truck. Since the mining business is a money-boom, it is but natural for them to own a truck. Some of them own even two.
We started walking as soon as we got down from the bus. We adopted the road which was rarely used by the people so we could spot some birds. Grey Hornbill welcomed us to Sacorada. We crossed the narrow bridge and reached to the entrance to Aniket’s house. And we heard a familiar call, Malabar Pied Hornbills. There was no doubt about it. Aniket, Saish Rohan and me started running. There were 3 of them sitting on a tree top. We kept watching them until they vanished through the skies.
We were welcomed with sugar-water and then Kokum juice. Aniket’s father was busy performing ‘puja’ and later attended us after finishing it. The chat started with gossips of forest department stories and continued to mammal sightings in the village. It was a thing in recent years that Bison are showing up in human settlements in Sacorda. While coming to Ani’s house, the compound which guraded their cashew plantation area, was disturbed by bison. The neighbors confirmed it. We even saw hoof-marks.It was dinner time and Ani’s mother called four of us for dinner. After that, we again went for a night walk. We kept walking here and their in the torch light. We were expecting a bison to show up, but I think, night time was not the right time. Behind Ani’s house, we saw this bush frog. We brought him in their courtyard and clicked it’s photographs. I was totally unaware about the super macro mode that Nature Club’s camera offered until Rohan revealed it up. My first attempts to capture the froggy were out of focus and blurred. Than Rohan took the camera into his hands and captured some beautiful shots in super macro mode.

It was shot in LED light and the cement layer behind perfectly camouflaged with the froggy’s skin. Later, the resting frog started jumping and vanished into night. I think he hated being “PAGE 3” animal. We returned back to Ani’s house. The beds were ready. We gathered around the Saish’s laptop to see the photos. After deciding the next days plans, the lights went off. But our minds were still burning up. Everybody was tired but nobody slept. We went on discussing about our life, future, unfulfilled dreams, ghost stories, reincarnation and of course, Chicks!!

I think we slept than.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Some TITANICS never sink!

On our way back to Ponda from Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary via Tisk, half of the road was covered by trucks going for mining trips and only half was left was for other vehicles. Their queue stretched up till infinity and we could see trucks and trucks only. Since I grew bored of counting their number, I started looking at their names. One truck was named “Titanic”.
Ajay sir, from drivers seat, smiled and said, “Some titanics never sink.” And we drove forward to Tisk where Ajay sir dropped us and we boarded bus to Sacorda which was our next ‘Expedition”

Friday, March 28, 2008


Hello Readers,
Afetr a long break due to my board exams, I'll be back with lot more stuff.....
So keep visiting
:-) just to create AWARENESS!!!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Green Blogging.....

i have been regularly writing about my treks and other stuff. The blogging attitude is spreading and my group mates are also taking up blogging. Here are some who have started and some lazy lads are yet to start.
Saish.....the passion for wildlife
Aniket.......this guy from a lovely place called Sacorda! He is the one who showed us the Hornbill Country...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Fuel Prices rising high…

Just 2 days back, India has witnessed rise in prices of Petrol and Diesel. As usual, opposition party blamed the ruling one and Communist people have warned to go on strike. I don’t understand why to make all this drama? Rise in fuel prices will be a routine problem hence forth because the fuel sources in world are depleting day by day. Whether it’s a UPA govt. or BJP govt, they can’t control the rising prices. I have a question, do all these ministers and members of Parliament leave their luxury cars which run on petrol or diesel provided to them by government and commute walking on road because the petrol prices are soaring? or for the sake of "COMMON MAN"... Never!
I think it’s high time to take up cycling seriously and save fuel which we waste by traveling even small distances in four or two wheelers. We need more people like Rohan Kinni in each and every metro of India. Really, it’s a high time.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Memories of my college….

The formal farewell function is over and we are sent off from the college. But how can I forget the cherished moments spent with friends, teachers? These memories will be like a priceless treasure to carry in our future life…

I achieved here these people. My 7 friends.... We were the most rocking gang of 12th Science.

With Ajay dir, it’ll take pages to write what difference Ajay sir has made into our lives

Library teacher, Library was the place for our endless discussions and planning the next move. From personal life to Global warming, everything was discussed and shared here. Library teacher was the one who was almost fed up of us... she said that she will remember our OCTATE forever….
Hats Off to the times we spent!!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Kaustubh…a poet misunderstood at the gun point!!!!!

It has been seen, observed, understood and inferred that some people are trying to target me and my group members for unknown reasons and intentions. This is my message to them.
You can go to any highest legal authority present in this world for saving you from being “defamed”. I, in my self written poems had/have no intentions of defaming anybody at any cost. But if some people think that my poems are a way to take out their personal jealousies and revenge on me, than they can go ahead with every possible legal proceedings. I am ready.

You can say what you have to say
My mind is made up anyway
All that bullshit that you talk which worked
Is not gonna work today
I have taken a high road goin above you

I have not done any mistakes. My poems are my expressions about this environment and people surrounding me. It is still not defined why a poet writes a poem and why he writes specific lines in it. There is no point in debating why I have written poems.
I am not a weak hearted person and I have got firm support from my family, friends and my teachers which I consider as a prized possession than money.
Go ahead, I am ready!
Expressing your personal jealousy and rage by this way is not going to work for a long period. If you have any problem with my relations with other teachers, dare to speak about it directly. Don’t use such cheap and backdoor ways to pretend that you are a warrior.

You can fool some people for all time
All people for some time
But not all people all time.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

hibernating for a while!!!

me and my group have decided to hibernate our activities for a while since our exams are apporaching. But we are planning some treks filled with lot of joy and adventure.
We are plannig to go for camping in Molem Wild Life Sanctuary on our cycles, stay for a week and do some field work.
Soon I'll be releasing more info about the same.