Kanha : A jungle safari in the forest of Mowgli- Part 3

Kanha : A jungle safari in the forest of Mowgli- Part 3

 By Somali K Chakrabarti

 

Continued from Kanha: A jungle safari in the forest of Mowgli- Part 2

Part 1 can be found here: Kanha: A jungle safari in the forest of Mowgli- Part 1

Afternoon Safari

The second safari was in the afternoon. The zone allotted for our safari was Kanha. The gate, this time was far off from the resort. It would take about an hour to reach the forest.

We started at 2.30 p.m.  The hot afternoon Sun was radiating its intense fury in the form of oppressive heat. With a scarf and hat on my head and a wet towel over my face, I endured the gruelling heat and the dry hot wind in the open gypsy. Somehow we managed to reach the forest gate.

Inside the forest, it was much more manageable as the shadowy trees absorbed much of the heat. A stray hare or two would suddenly cross the road, and jungle fowl would crow cock – a- doodle –do every now and then.  During the drive, we caught the sight of birds such as the Black drongo, Golden oriole, White-rumped shama, Kingfisher and Indian rollers hovering between the trees.

deer

bird by the lake

 

Barasinga Deer

While passing by one of the meadows, we saw a mixed herd of spotted deer and barasinga (swamp deer). Barasinga, the State animal of Madhya Pradesh is an endangered species and is endemic to Kanha. A full adult male stag has “twelve-tined” antlers, which are shed and regrown every year. The species has restricted food preferences, it feeds only on grass and does not eat leaves, shoots or fruits, and the female of the species gives birth to only one fawn after a gestation period of about nine months. The special biology and ecology of this deer, coupled with external factors may increase the likelihood of the population going extinct. To ensure their survival and safeguard against extinction, the Forest Department has made efforts to translocate them to other reserves as a part of the wildlife conservation effort.

A pair of antlers was lying on the ground. Our guide reiterated that visitors are not allowed to collect or carry anything that belongs to the forest. He showed us some tree trunks with scratch marks that were left by the male tiger, as a means to mark his territory.

We again waited by the side of a water body, which looked more or less like a scene drawn out of a fairy tale. A herd of spotted deer was drinking water from the lake, some egrets and ibis were wading in water, and monkeys were jumping on the trees.  Just by the side, was a flashy peacock crowing hoarsely and spreading its plume in a desperate bid to attract the attention of its mates. The peahens, didn’t seem to be in a mood to oblige though.

Lake

The sight was so captivating that we kept on watching the dynamics of the animals around the lake. Our guide was entrusted with the job of watching out for any signals or forewarning calls of the tiger. When he could hear none, we decided to move on, but not before we had spent more than half an hour by the lake.

In one part of the forest, there were many butterflies. As our jeep moved, the butterflies kept flying alongside, giving us the feel of a continued journey through the fairy land. While traversing through the zone, we stumbled upon a herd of nilgai, bisons, wild boars, and a jackal, and caught a peek of a variety of colourful birds such as the Scarlet minivet, Golden fronted leaf bird, Purple sunbird, and White-rumped vultures.

bison

The driver would habitually slow down at each fire line in the hope of catching a glimpse of the ruler of the jungle. Though sometimes our guide spotted pug marks on the road, however, there was no sighting of the real tiger. At around 5.30 pm, the guide told us that we would soon have to start retreating as we were deep inside the forest and it would take almost 45 minutes to reach the gate. By now, the weather was pleasant and breezy, but the fact that we still did not have a single tiger sighting in our second safari trip left us with pining for the big cat.

 

Tiger Sighting

However we tried to convince ourselves that we had experienced the beauty of the jungle, but we knew that the safari would remain incomplete without a tiger sighting. The exuberant voices of our friends after they had seen the tiger and her cubs, echoed in our ears and a few questions repeatedly popped up during the conversations.

“Have they sighted another big cat today?”

“What will we tell them now?”

We had almost given up the hopes!

Just as the jeep negotiated a curve on the road, the guide told the driver to stop, and he pointed his finger to the side right in front of turn. Lo! There was a tiger right there facing the jeep and walking on the road towards us. My heart skipped a beat at the sight of the elusive creature, who seemed to have appeared out of the blue, at a distance so close.

On seeing the jeep, the tiger deflected towards the bush. The guide instructed the driver to stop and reverse the jeep, so that the tiger would come back on the road. He was right! There she was out on the road, and continued with her majestic walk. How beautifully he understood the psyche of the animal!

In a hushed tone, our guide told us that she was a tigress, with four cubs.  Overwhelmed, and with a mixed feeling of surprise and awe, we watched her stride confidently towards the jeep, as if to claim her right of way in the jungle.

At one point, where there was a turn and the road was wide enough, the jeep stopped and we waited for her to cross over. This was a rare sighting and a lifetime opportunity for us, as we looked on with astonishment at the majestic gait of the Tigress, who, luckily for us, seemed to ignore our presence completely. I thought she might be looking for her cubs.

Brimming with excitement on seeing a tiger in its natural habitat from such close quarters, none of us in the Gypsy wanted to miss the opportunity to click it.

At Kanha

The sighting made my day. The moment is etched in my memory forever.  As we left, we were gloating with delight that no one could have had a better sighting than what we had. Our score with the other group was even or better now. We enjoyed the beautiful sunset on our way out, seeing a sloth bear digging an anthill.

At the gate we eagerly waited for Group 2 to join us, so that we could share our moments of the rare encounter. As we saw them approaching we just couldn’t hold ourselves and rattled out the story.

“We were right behind you at a distance. After you had left, the lady later sat on one side of the curved road calling out to her cubs, who came out one by one from the bushes to cuddle up to the mother. It was like seeing a grand family reunion, of a mother tiger and her five grown up cubs.”

Tiger and cubs
Picture credit: Puneet Madan

Happiness is relative. Our excitement shrunk like a punctured balloon.

Unbelievable as the story sounded, the pictures of the royal family gathering proved that it was true. The score remained uneven, and could not be matched in the next two days. In the forest, I learnt anew that comparison doesn’t help, especially in a jungle sojourn.

We came back to Mumbai with many happy memories of the trip.

—-The End—

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Kanha : A jungle safari in the forest of Mowgli- Part 2

 By Somali K Chakrabarti

 

Continued from Kanha : A jungle safari in the forest of Mowgli- Part 1

Morning Safari

At 5 AM in the morning, there was a slight nip in the air. We had a cup of tea and were ready to leave for the morning safari. Two jeeps were booked for our group of 8 people, with each jeep accommodating four people, and a driver. As we got into the Gypsy earmarked for us, the attendants handed out blankets to us. The jungle, they said, is cold in the morning.

And, so we set out for our jungle sojourn.

The National park is divided into 4 zones – Kanha, Kisli, Mukki and Sarhi.

It took us around 15 minutes to reach the Mukki Gate. As early as 5.30 AM, there were already 8-10 vehicles lined in front of us. At the gate, a guide from the Forest Department accompanied us on the Gypsy and we entered the Kisli Zone.

As soon as we entered the forest, we could feel the fresh morning breeze. On either of the road were sal and bamboo forests, with an undergrowth of wild grass and thorny bushes. We could hear different bird songs coming from the trees. The guide made sure that we caught a glimpse of a bird called the Racket- tailed drongo, which was flying around from tree to tree, and a pair of owls peering out of a tree hole.

Thereafter, the road diverged and the two jeeps went on different routes, and soon we lost sight of our friends.

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Kanha : A jungle safari in the forest of Mowgli- Part 1

Kanha : A jungle safari in the forest of Mowgli- Part 1

 By Somali K Chakrabarti

 

Summer, they say, is the best season for wildlife sightings. The scorching summer heat dries up the water sources in the forests, affecting the animals and birds. So, these denizens of the forest frequently gather around the waterholes to quench their thirst, after those are refilled by the Forest Department.

 “A good tiger sighting would more than make up for the sweltering heat.

This piece of advice from a trusted friend made us agree to plan for a Jungle Safari to Kanha National Park, in Madhya Pradesh, in the month of April last year. We knew that the trip would require us to brave the soaring mercury levels.

A thrilling sensation of adventure took over as we as we set out for our trip to Raipur from Mumbai. We would soon be heading for the jungle, which provided the inspiration for the tales of Mowgli and Bagheera in Kipling’s Jungle Book.

Enroute_Kanha

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The insurance covers that you should opt for when you start your career

By Somali K Chakrabarti

Landing with a first full-time job is an exciting and memorable occasion, no matter who you are or where you live. You’re perhaps in your twenties, recently graduated or maybe you’ve done your masters, and now you have embarked upon the professional journey. The thrill of getting disposable income in your hand makes you want to spend it lavishly. You’re in an upbeat mood, and do not you may not want to be weighed down by serious issues. Things like insurance may not interest you at the moment, rather it may seem like something that can surely be put off for a later date. But should it be?

Here are three reasons that tell you why you should buy insurance right at the onset of your career.QuoteonInsurance

  1. Life and health insurance get increasingly more expensive with age. Insuring early in your life also means that you save money by locking in a lower premium amount for the rest of your life.
  2. In your twenties, your liabilities are comparatively less, and so it is easier to develop the discipline of setting aside a part of your income for the insurance premium.
  3. Insuring early in life makes you financially savvy, and protects your and your family’s financial interests from risks and uncertainties.


To know what covers you should opt for, kindly click the link below, and read the rest of the post.

http://life11.org/2017/02/22/what-insurance-covers-should-you-opt-for-when-you-start-your-first-job/

 

To know about different Health covers that one needs at different stages of life,  you may refer to the following article:

Health Insurance cover you must get at different stages of life

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What insurance covers should you opt for when you start your first job

What insurance covers should you opt for when you start your first job

 

Landing with a first full-time job is an exciting and memorable occasion, no matter who you are or where you live. You’re perhaps in your twenties, recently graduated or maybe you’ve done your masters, and now you have embarked upon the professional journey. The thrill of getting disposable income in your hand makes you want to spend it lavishly. You’re in an upbeat mood, and do not you may not want to be weighed down by serious issues. Things like insurance may not interest you at the moment, rather it may seem like something that can surely be put off for a later date. But should it be?

Here are three reasons that tell you why you should buy insurance right at the onset of your career.  

  1. Life and health insurance get increasingly more expensive with age. Insuring early in your life also means that you save money by locking in a lower premium amount for the rest of your life.
  2. In your twenties, your liabilities are comparatively less, and so it is easier to develop the discipline of setting aside a part of your income for the insurance premium.
  3. Insuring early in life makes you financially savvy, and protects your and your family’s financial interests from risks and uncertainties.

 

Now, the question that arises is what covers you should opt for.

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A hassle free way to paint my home!

A hassle free way to paint my home!

A coloured wall enlivens the room.

I have always felt that a differently coloured wall renders a character to the room. For example, an orange- red wall adds vibrancy to a room, a blue wall renders a soothing touch, whereas a purple wall gives a luxurious feel to the room. To add an atheistic touch, I usually get one wall in each room in my house painted in a different colour.  

With time, the same look starts to get a little boring. Then begins the craving for a change! The wall in the hall of my house has been orange-red since a number of years. When I look at that wall, I often feel the need to try out a different colour.

Redwall
Red wall in the hall

But then, the thought of having to scrap off the colour to paint the walls in a completely different colour is a big put off. Getting the house painted has always been a big ordeal. With the amount of dust that covers the entire place, we have to keep ourselves locked and confined in one room while the men are working. Not to mention, the condition of the men at work who inhale all that dust makes us feel guilty but helpless at the same time. I often wish if only there could be a way to escape the ordeal and yet have the wall look bright and beautiful all the time. 

The good news is that it is now possible to have a hassle painting experience! Read on to find out how. 

 

Berger Express Indiblogger Event 

TajVivanta
Berger Express Indiblogger Event at Taj Vivanta

Last week when I received an invite for a Bloggers meet hosted by Berger Paints, I did not quite expect that it would change my understanding of painting the house. Having heard of similar events in Kolkata and Bangalore, I had decided to attend it, primarily to have a fun-filled weekend with my co- bloggers.

Taj Vivanta in Cuffe Parade was a perfect venue to bring together the bloggers. The event was an interesting one, filled with fun and creative activities around scraping and painting. The exhibits in the event included small round bottles of paints, and also some Express Painting tools that have been specifically designed to make the process of painting faster and hassle-free. Using generous does of the paint, we created our own work of art.

BergerExpressColours
Here are the colour boxes!

 

 

 

 

Girlwiththebrush
Pretty girl Dipannita with the paint brush.

    

Berger Express Painting Tools

Among the Express painting tools, one of particular interest to me was the vacuum suction-enabled sanding machine that sucks in the sand when the old paint is scraped. It keeps your house dust-free while the painting in going on. 

Here you can see the young man Manish Chandran strike up a smart pose with the tool.

 

Manwithpaintingtool
Young man, Manish Chandran with the painting tool

 

BergerExpressToolBergerExpress Painting Tool

 

The use of the Berger Express tools eases the painting process. Painters, who are trained to handle these tools can give sparkling results in less than 40% time needed for traditional painting! This means that painting the house need not be a messy, troublesome activity anymore for those who paint as well as the others who inhabit the house.

Painting can now be faster, better, cleaner

So, at the enjoyable and engaging event, I came to realize that with Express Painting, painting my home can be now an enjoyable experience! Now, I can actually think of changing the orange-red wall of my living room to a different colour. Textured purple may be!

This  post is written in association with Berger Paints and Indiblogger

If you believe that any image used on this site infringes your copyright, please inform and it will be removed.

Hey! Say what you want to. Please Like, Share and/or drop in a Comment below!   🙂 

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Resolution to walk my way to a healthy Lifestyle

Walking is a physical exercise but it also impacts the psyche. The process of walking makes the mind clutter free and paves the way for a clear and fresh thinking.

I have quoted these lines from a blog post on the site ‘Makeup & Breakup‘. The post by Nihar Pradhan details out the physical as well as psychological benefits of walking.

When I came across this post last week, it struck me that for a long time I had been deliberating on following a regime for walking every day, but for some reason or the other have been desisting from doing so. Though I walk on the weekends, during the week procrastination takes over and I usually convince myself that walking through the same route is not much enjoyable, or it is irksome to navigate through the streets, jostling alongside the vehicles that honk every now and then.

With all these excuses, I could manage an extra half an hour of sleep, knowing all the way that it did nothing to help me to live a healthy lifestyle. Yet, it was hard to break away from the habit to procrastinate.

So, when I read the post written by one of my blogger friends, it gave me the nudge and reiterated the need for a healthy lifestyle and I made a resolution to follow a regular walking routine from the very next day.

An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day. ~ Henry David Thoreau

WalkingTrack

 

As I love to walk in natural surroundings, so I decided to go to a nearby park. To my pleasant surprise, I found that the park has been refurbished with exercise equipment that makes it almost like an open-air gym. While walking, I watched the flowerbeds on the sides of the park adding a dash of colour and a touch of softness to the landscape. The green trees provided the much-needed breathing space. The beauty of nature instantly put me in a positive frame of mind. Though I am not much enthused about going to the gym, seeing people using the equipment to exercise made me want to try them out. After forty minutes of walking, I came back feeling good and energized.

For those like me who are not very enthused about going to the gym or exercising, walking is absolutely essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Doctors say that walking is a great cardio exercise. Brisk walking for just 30 minutes every day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen our bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance. It can also reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis.

⇒ Also Read: How to break away from a Sedentary Lifestyle to fight Diabetes

Though it has only been a week, I am happy to say that when I come back after half an hour of walk, I am completely recharged, and the pleasant feeling of joy and fulfilment lingers throughout the day.  Engaging with nature freshens up the mind and spurs creative thinking.

With the resolution to walk daily, I have taken a step towards living a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle that will help me to contribute more effectively towards my work and the world around me.

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. ~ John Muir

This post is written in collaboration with Blogmint and 100 Pipers as a part of #TheGoodYouCan campaign.

100 Pipers is a blended Scotch whisky that is synonymous with craftsmanship and finesse. The Good You Can is all about making a resolution that is good not only for yourself but also has a larger effect on society and environment.

 

Sarojini Naidu – The Poetess and Freedom Fighter of India

By Bhudeb Chakrabarti

 

The Coromandel Fishers

Rise brothers rise; the waking skies pray to the morning light.
The wind lies asleep in the arms of the dawn like a child that has cried all night.
Come, let us gather our nets from the shore and set our catamarans free,
To capture the leaping wealth of the tide for we are the Kings of the sea

No longer delay, let us hasten our way in the track of the sea gull’s call,
The sea is our mother, the cloud is our brother, the waves are our comrades all.
What though we toss at the fall of the sea where the hand of the sea-god dares
He who holds the storm by the hair, will hide in his breast our lives.

Sweet is the shade of the coconut glade, and the scent of the mango grove,
And sweet are the sands at the full of the moon with the sound of the voices we love;
But sweeter, O brothers, the kiss of the spray and the dance of the wild foam’s glee;
Row brothers row to the edge of the verge, where the sky mates with the sea.

 

Many of you, who have studied in different parts of India may recall having read this poem in school. This poem was included in my English syllabus too. The poetess is none other than Sarojini Naidu, one of the greatest poets of India, whose 138th birth anniversary is being celebrated today as the National Women’s Day.

SarojiniNaidu

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