Thursday, February 1, 2007

What a weekend!!!

During the Republic Day long weekend a couple of my friends – Ramesh, Shiv, Satya and yours truly were back to our favorite place – “the jungle” not the concrete type - but the real one somewhere in the delta of Karnataka, Kerala & Tamilnadu. My friends from Chennai – Allen, Danny Jr., Marty, Neet’s, Priya and Shree tired of getting second hand stuff wanted the real experience with their own balls oops… eye-balls of the rich wildlife we have in this part of our great country. BTB, the names are in alphabetical order and should not be construed for anything else.

This place never ceases to amaze me, I have met quite a few people who keep coming back, time and again – “Regulars”. This time around it was Salil, Shobana whom I had last met at the New Year Party of 2002!!!! N’ that was half a decade ago and Ayesha, swear on god I really don’t know where she lost it. Phew!!

Since most of us love wild life, I will stick to it and will not cover in detail other things that everyone did which includes #1. Humming competition – Gavin, thanks for cheering us & starting the whole thing… but then you need to lead from the front by singing at least in chorus!!! Jimmy who did a fantastic job singing partly helped by a couple of ones - you know the dark coke colored liquid type they call XXX - Jimmy, go ahead start a band #2. Swimming lessons at 2:30 in the morning – I dunno who gave it to whom, but someone did take it heh…heh… man, was it cold? ask Shiv….. #3. Learning how to make your job sound interesting… I am a cab driver back in London… Gavin, I liked that… selling steel pipes – Salil, that’s pretty innocuous sounding till you flash your biz card.

Now, the actual agenda of this trip was to see wild life, wild life and wild life. So, off we went on a night safari with Sloth “Dan” Bear at the wheels. Let me introduce – Dan, he makes funny noises for a living and has spent the better part of his life in these jungles and he knows them like the back of his hand. If there is anyone on earth I would trust to take us into and out of a jungle in one piece it would be Dan. Think “Mad Mike” of Animal Plant and that’s Dan. Dan has this irresistible knack of scouting trouble but then he is teflon coated and we mere mortals are not. Writing about Dan will make a big post by itself, so more at a later point…

With reports coming in that there was a lot of elephant movement on Moyar road we headed that way and were we disappointed? No definitely not!!! Read on… Our first stop started just outside Masinagudi, to the left of the small bridge - search… search… no pay dirt here

lets go..go…go….

about two kilometers and turn right get into the bushes – hit the search button…… nothing…


Another couple of kilometers turn left, on to the banks of river Moyar, anything here – yes, yes, yes!!!

Lots of two legged ones partying, NOOOOOOOOO we are not here to see them. Some one needs to get them out of here fast if we have to see any wildlife around here…

Lets @#$%^*! get outta here DAN wwWrroomm……..

ZZzz Zzzzz… now everyone is getting a little weary and I'm left wondering if ol’ Dan has lost his snout somewhere??? Dan knows how to track wild animals and its best done in dark. So off goes the headlight…and we rumble along

STOP!!! ….esrever, point the nose, Lights ON!!

Right in front of us is a mother and her month old calf!!! WOOOOWWW!!!!! Shhhhhhhhhh Shhhhhhhhhh Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh Danny Jr. on the navigator seat is shooting one too many q’s at Dan for her size

The calf is very tiny and cannot even walk properly. The mother is holding her between its front legs and nudging it to walk. Wow!! that is the youngest calf I have seen in my life…

1…2…3…4 minutes and I am counting

Dan hears a vehicle approaching and decides to leave the place, no point in disturbing the toting mom and kid


Off we go again, Stop…Stop….Hawk Eye Dan sees a little viper on the road. But the poor one has been run over by some nut, few minutes back. I really want to lay my hands on that guy . NOW!!!

Everyone around are surprised how Dan spotted a foot long viper on the extreme right of the road in the dead of the night with very little light. Yippee, Dan has not lost anything… I eat my words. Dan stopped, took the viper on a stick for us to see. Not a good sight man, everyone is sad, Dan lays him to rest in the bushes. We reverse and head back.

The mother is still there with her little one and we decided not to stop and disturb her, lest some else follows suit, create some noise and disturb them.

Drive past Masinagudi on to Singara road, all the watering holes are infested with the two legged ones partying. On a serious note, something needs to be done about this.

Time: 12:00am it is time for us to hit the sack. Back in Masinagudi we hit the eject button to send Dan back home to spend some time with his little ones and better half.

To be continued…..

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