i have been forming lines and thinking what i will write this time in my post. i have been assailed by a writers dilemma from the moment my vacations started. though i am not sure if it;s not only me. when i am working, either in the kitchen,garden, or cleaning the house or you know , just helping around. i am full of ideas, lines ,stanzas. and the moment i have the leisure to sit down and write, it all vaporises. what is that about? when i am just humming to my self, in the midst of some feeling or other, i sing brilliant lines, and then i tell my self to get up and write those down, and puuff , they are gone. and then, what proof do i have that those were any good any how ? i have managed to write in small amounts , in disconnected pieces that have nothing to do with my bigger project, which, i am sorry to say, i have not been working on too much. i am sometimes furious with my self, but it seems my time is wrenched from my grasp every day. i think it must be my laziness, i am exhausted , every day, and can barely keep my eyes open for the matches at 12 am. and i don;t even wake up too early like i used to when college was on, now i get up at 6:30 or 7.i write the best when i don;t plan for it , this is the perfect weather, monsoon, the coolness keeps me contended like a well fed cat, the dark clouds inspire me, and the insistent Indian sun peeping through them on intervals provide the clean freshness that would otherwise lack. [and as it rains every day, i don;t have to water the garden ]
i should not complain , really. i just need to be more energetic. and oh! am i not thankful for the weather
any how, my exams went well. thank you all for your support. after them , i have been finishing jobs that were untouched because of the university work. correspondence, photos etc too. pending meetings with friends, mending work, arranging things.
by the way, i am in mourning , Germany lost last night and there i was sitting in the straight backed chair, upright keeping my leads from closing to see them win till 2:30. no matter what powers that Octopus Paul has [the one that predicts the game results,who ever thought of that any way!], i am rather displeased with it right now. nothing personal of course i don;t know if the players knew of it's predictions or not, cause if they did, it can have a very bad effect on their game. they were on the defensive from the start , not at all like the real "German" game
fans are demanding that the Octopus be killed, well that is going really TOO far. it's just a aquatic animal who has more hindsight then humans and likes to sit on glass boxes painted with flags. it's not it's fault.
[upps, i was saying "it's all that infuriating octopus's fault" last night ]
isn;t that hilarious lol
this evening,after an early dinner, i was out walking and saw three cute stray dogs coming my way, i led them slowly home and we had fun playing who's biscuit it is. they were very neat players,i must say, and didn't fight at all, patiently awaiting their turn. i wish they'd stick around, it's good to have dogs around.
the summer was oppressive, but it was also full of ,yes,guess,,, lots of fruits. Indeed, there were mangoes, watermelons,sugar cane-juice, two types of musk melons,lychees - i totally adore those,and peaches. they are just wonderful. i lots of fruits every day and i loved every bit of it. so i took their photos and they are up here.
i also got around to planning a short trip to the forest with my friend and her mom and brother. left on the morning of the third with my brother, it hadn;t started raining here in my place yet, but on the coastal highway, the clouds had gathered, the pristine white salt planes of the summer were now soggy soil of dark colour, and lining every such field , were the brilliant emerald clumps of the sour herb called "morad". highlighted brightly in that weather, and then it started to rain in big, fat drops. a pity i was in the bus.
we two met up at an in-between city, as she lives in another town quite far away from mine, and then we were escorted to the jungle. it kept on raining on and off on the way. the low mountains of that part of the world started, and wonder!! i saw their monsoon finery for the first time [as i usually don;t go there in monsoons, it is the silliest time to go there, you'll know why, read on] , covered in their lush green carpet of grass, dotted about with the crooked thorny trees, now trying to resemble the trees of the Himalayan foothills. and their tops obscured to vision by the swirling mist above. i was instantly transported to a feel of the mighty Himalayas. and more of such beauty awaited me the next day , early morning.
little did i know, that the harsh , desert like , golden brown forest that i knew so much, could become something so very differently bewitching. all shades of green surrounded me, while the air was thick with moisture , and the sky pressed down with heavy , full clouds. whereas i always knew the air to be scorching , and the sky throwing fireballs. i went crazy with the landscapes, i am sure i took the same shots twice or thrice. even the antelopes looked far more smarter in their black , grey and white coat when backed by the brilliant landscape. i have got a lovely shot that i, for one, love.
we went on location trekking twice during the night, and ones after waking up in the morning, it had rained through out the night. rendering the ground very soft and mushy at places. the car skidded this way and that at times. during the night , while i was waiting on a small hill on foot with two other men and my friend, we heard two lions roar , so we went in their direction, but to no avail . we also found fresh pug marks in the morning, lovely in their detail, which we followed, and then lost them on the rocky ground. too much of foot trekking was not possible this time, because of the increased vegetation and also because of those particular two lions have become rather too aggressive. so the heavy steel stick that they used to carry [one only] has been converted in to a spear which can be detached at times. well, they [the lions] just managed to corner more then 2 staff members on more then one occasion after i came back from the census, and gave them a mighty fright. [obviously] i can tell you by personal experience , you don;t feel half so scared when a lioness growls at you, even if she is more serious , compared to when a tawny manned big brute of a lion growls at you, even just for fun. so no, we didn;t see any lions. we saw their kill,footmarks, and head them, i heard them when i was walking behind the guest house after dinner at night. [ i will say , i traced my steps around] also, spotted deer,rabbits,hares,black bucks,antelopes,wild boar, little wild cat,lots of birds and lizards.
our car got stuck precariously , the wheel stuck in the mud besides a deep valley , and we obviously had to push it out.making a deep rut on the road and breaking the soil off, making it fall in the valley at the end. it is silly to go to the jungle in this time of the year, the roads are hard to pass, most are closed, insects and mosquitoes are in abundance, so are reptiles. but the lions, no, they will be somewhere you can;t find them, no matter how much you try. they'd most likely be up a low hill, lying in the soft grass , watching you with half closed eyes , while you search vainly for them below. though we did climb some mountains to serve areas, but what ever.
the second day was the annual grass cutting feast for the villagers, meaning when the grass cutting work is finished [for the forest grass stores and to keep the old grass out of the way] . and we were included. the simple fare in the jungle, and the sweet, hot yet still simple fare of the feast partaken with the village children[not in the village, the had come to the forest house] , both were really good, while i am used to it, both at home and there, my friend and her family were quite excited about the taste.
ok, then i had a sweet leisurely day with my cousins at my uncle's. we , 5 of us, watched the grudge together, and found out that it was a story less silly movie, but it did scared us and made us laugh,till the ghost in it didn;t start to get on every ones nerve and make us loath it. we now have a grudge on it. i love watching movies with them lol ..and then we came back-i and brother. in a long bus trip, from 7 am to 5 pm.
i have been waiting for the third part of twilight to release, but it is no where to be seen around here. i have been wanting to buy those books, but it seems they appear silly to every one who can lend me money for it he he , never mind, i am sure i will find their e book version soon enough,, and then i will read Twilight [let's hope] just as i had found all the Harry Potters. though now i have the last two parts as real books which i treasure.
right now i am reading Animal farm by George Orwell, it is coming along nicely. but as always, that author and i, are at odds at some point, but not too much. it's just the type of "at odds" that makes you want to explore their way of thinking more.
though i would never totally agree to his ideas in 1984. every thing doesn;t have to end badly. and all things are not manipulated to keep our lives under control of our leaders. he is a brilliant author, who simply forgot to record the better things in life.no, that's not totally true, he values the sweet pleasures of life as much as i do, but i don;t know, i just can;t digest his sad look out... but what he has recorded, he has done it thoroughly
any now, my birthday is coming up. and i wanted to make a special request . that, if ever you feel like doing some favour to me on that day, will you plant a seed/ plant, native to where you live? and care for it if you can ? and tell me if you did that.
that would be the loveliest gift. though, if you can not, that is understandable, it is not possible in big cities etc. so worry not.
i will finish now. if you have reached till here, i applaud your endurance ability and i thank you for your effort.
be well Diva
p.s ---something that i wrote the other day---
July 7, 2010
We all must have noticed, on fine days having the perfect weather, sometimes, we are caught by a lingering smell, an aroma so subtle, yet powerful enough to attract your attention. It has some nostalgic quality, you know it, but can’t put your finger on the memory it tries to awake, it acts as a soothing mechanism , lifting you up, transporting you to a unknown yet familiar world. Making you feel things, near your heart and your gut. Pointing at something.
That something is really pleasant.
[please don;t use any thing written here, i came by it after a lot of work ]
well, more of the same Orwell sarcasm of the way of the world. it resembles the idea of 1984 greatly. but it is very well written, though i still refuse to fully agree with his approach. he likes to keep telling on and on about the bad things that are possible. View all my reviews >>
"you must allow me to tell you how ardently i admire and love you." in the middle of the jungle infested with lions and leopards, i quote Jane Austen. in the Hot and thorny Indian wilderness, i still hold the scenes of the lush green English countryside in back of my eye-leads. while trekking the wild cats, i still dream of ladies and gentlemen, in a perfect ball setting . things are definitely at odds here, won;t you agree? i went for a walk in the jungle early this morning , and that's when i decided that i will write a little , as much as possible, in my blog. before every thing becomes quite unmanageable.
right, jokes aside. i know i am long due for writing about my time during the lion census. it was really amazing and one of a kind . i go in the jungle quite often, but the thrill and the sense of responsibility, while working in the field with the staff, is quite different. you feel like a part of the whole system that works for the conservation of Asiatic lions.
i will make it short! on the r23rd of last month, i went back to sasan, the base. where after a short meeting, and a long waiting period, we were allotted our working areas, and our field kits. the proceedings are interesting but not worth mentioning. i was luckily posted in my Uncle's sub zone. now that gave my self esteem a bit of a boost lol, i know that area so well. and it helps. still this time i had to work with not only the lesser staff, but also the zonal and regional officers, and that was the new part-animals of the day, Jackal, spotted dear,antelopes,tortoise,and heaps of birds.
on the morning of 24th, there was another meeting and we were told how we were to work in the field and what measures of precautions were to be taken etc. then formal introductions were made. on the first night[ the night of 24th] we found a group of 2 lionesses, one mating pair, [a lion and lioness] ,one lone lion, and two pregnant lionesses. nothing much happened really, i took photographs, as i was the zonal photographer, and then observed them for quite a while, and went to sleep late,spent the night on the open terrace. the next morning, [25th]we went and visited them all again, and then came back to the rest house, filled out the forms, marked their GPS [Global Positioning system] locations the maps and forms, their foot molding, the details of photographs, attached the photos, drew their individual body markings in the sketch form. that took half of the day and then we had to go to the base town for that sub zone and submit our report, so much of paper work and official stuff. i learned a lot there, and every form had to bear my signature as the zonal photographer it won't be wrong to say that , that particular fact has gone a little to my head. after submitting the reports we went home for the night.
each location, one person was on guard all the time, so less chance of confusion. every 12 hours the shift ended . food and water were sent to the site. the only problem was the heat, it reached till 45 C and there is not much cover . what ever shade there is the lion is sure to be occupying that. so that is the tough part , keeping your cool with that sun shining above and the lord of the jungle yawning in front of you. i must admit, it is these lesser officers, that do the toughest of work, we just collect the data, they convey the locations to us, we are on foot only a few hours, and they are sitting there the whole day, i'd say three cheers to those hard working brave men, that i had the honor to work with.
the day after that 26th, was spent patrolling. the animals were where they should be and everything was going smoothly. only one animal was missing , one of the pregnant lionesses was not seen on that day, the night before the man in that area had reported that he had seen hiding inside a dry ravine, and she had something small in her mouth, so our best guess was that she had given birth. so it was not likely that we could see her again without difficulty, still we can know that she was in that area and we kept watch. there was some excitement when another lion, knowing that the father lion was still unaware of the birth of the cubs, was away , attacked the lioness and tried to kill the cubs, there were roars and the staff had to run there in the car , and make the lion go away, even the lioness seemed to understand that these humans would help her, so she had started to run towards the car and the hid behind it, while the angry lion proceeded to jump on the bonnet, thump the front doors etc. they actually had to nudge the lion a bit to get him away from the lioness, this , my dear friends , is not interference , when we are talking about a species which is still not stable, a species can be called stable when the population is 550 or more, the number from this census is 411. quite an improvement in the last 5 years, the number then was 349, but we also saw the unfortunate poaching incidence one year back. so we all are happy with the all over results. the staff managed to keep the other lion away for a while, till the father lion appeared and took matters in hand.
and the night of 26th, the most wonderful night. and most eventful too. we were after this one lioness. she has a very interesting history. in last November, she had 3 cubs, and may be you might remember , my mentioning that one lion was killed in a fight with two outside males, while saving his cubs and the lioness. the lioness concerned , was this one. after the fight she left this area and went in the revenue area, near by a village with her cubs. there was concern , on the part of the villagers about their staying so close, but the forest department took full responsibility, and the good lioness too , in her long stay there, didn't even sniff even one domestic animal.only killing the antelopes and deer which are famous for destroying the farm produce. when the heat increased at the start of last month, she changed place again, going to a seaside area, on the way [she crossed a 100 km] they stopped in a wheat farm, and a farmer youth, who had to idea that lions were resting in the crop, went in, and came nose to nose with the lioness, the lioness too, taken by surprise , growled. and the youth ran for his life, his feet got tangled in the crop and fell, the lioness, now disturbed, decided to leave and without as much as a second glance towards the youth, walked a top of him, lol she didn;t even notice that he was beneath her feet, still, there was some damage done, as the lioness's claws had come out of it's skin in all this excitement which made two punctures in the youth's backside when she walked over him, he had to be hospitalized and had to get stitches.unfortunate chap.. now, i call that a royal animal. won;t you agree?
we left for the sea shore to find the lioness and three cubs, at night and reached there at 1 am. the car couldn't too far in, and we had to trek for some 6 km in the night, in the deep white sand , which reflected the light of the full moon, and the end of the trek, we had thorny shrubs lining on both sides and the wide breezy sea reflecting the starlight just a little away, roaring below us. the whole landscape was surreal. and unbelievably beautiful. and underneath my feet were foot marks of the 4 lions . the sand at that point bore only their footprints, every where, not one sq.ft was left without their mark. think, standing there, in the full moon , with one of the most beautiful creations of God roaring near me, what would have been my feelings? my heart was brimming with joy, the first time i understood the joys of trekking on a full moon night. it is simply magical. what more can i say, one could actually expect to see twinkling fairies soaring in that cool wind, or a white garbed lady to appear from behind a sand dune and wave her magic wand , showering some eternal magic on you.
right, i love talking about magic, so i;ll just beat it.
we could only see their eyes twinkling from a cool hollow covered by shrubs, the lions i mean, and we didn't want to disturb them. so we retreated. as for how near i was this time , the second night, i was less then 3 mts away from the mating pair. on foot, of course. and we refrained from getting too near them because lions are rather quick tempered in their mating period. so i couldn;t take many photos either, this time, their theory was, we shouldn;t disturb the creatures at all, so no lights at night, well, how am i supposed to take photos, i was miserable about that!!
well< we walked back to the car, but the driver was new and he got the car stuck< we pushed it out,he got it stuck again< we pushed it out again and he did it again, 4 times, CAN you believe that, at 3 am in the night. that was some exercise i had that night. we returned to the rest house at 6. and after freshening up, started filling up the last forms for all the lions, then we went back to town with the papers, prepared and signed more there, and after having sent them on their way to the base, sasan, i departed for my long journey home. with one mid stop. i reached home mid day on 27th, on 28th and 29th, i wrote some home work and prepared for one exam on 30th. and have been neck deep in work till this 15th. submissions, vivas and written examinations, there was no end to those. and no time for story telling , on 16th eve, we again left for my uncle's home, this time , i am just a tourist, vacationing off all my troubles i;ve been taking walks in the forest, been going to the farm a lot and been swimming too, as well as sketching , yes, i am the kids, my cousin and my brother, do a little climbing, sit on the top of the hill and sketch, it feels so good to have so much time on my hand. still i can complain about the heat. the swimming pool seems like a total blessing . on our way here we had stopped on a beach , the result of that -beautiful photos
i saw twilight and twilight new moon, i am in love with the story, though not with Robert Pattinson, he;s just so not my type. though i love his character. the story is fab, and makes me want to meet a vampire or a werewolf, when even decent humans are hard to find. a pity that, i love living in fairy tales. well, those keep me sane and going. i read William the gangster and just William on holiday. today i went for trekking with dad and the kids, and we played in the swimming pool for hours. i have brought my wide brimmed hat and pretty flip flops, and also the hunter boots. and also some really funky jewelery along with the jungle cloths. he he MEANING i am totally tuned for a full vacation mode. i am in "no work heaven" it is better then a 7 star resort because i make the rules and i don;t pay. i will explore, rejuvenate and sleep zzzzzz. still, i want to do so much that i won;t sleep too much. i wanted to write this, now its late, we are starting early next morning as well, have to go for a walk
greetings, with thoughts from Austen books , twilight and fairies, but from a person wild at heart, in the middle of wilderness, knowing what is really important.
p.s . the dog at the farm was attacked by a leopard , but it managed to escape when the lady working near by saw what was happening and started shouting. the leopard comes to drink water from the swimming pool at night , let's see what we can do about that. it sure is not healthy. for us. and it was my mothers birthday yesterday. i had a beautiful dress made for her before we came her, she had no idea
i am still chock full of photos to be edited and uploaded , i have no idea when i will do it, here i dont have the software. let's see.
some one gifted me those shoes, i like them indeed, but i have no idea how to walk in them, i am very convinced that i will fall, at least ones wearing it. and i do not trust those thin strips really, it is very hard to walk properly in them, i am used to more sturdy stuff. but i will learn i know
a lot of exams have been going on, the term is about to end , will be finished by 15th next month, so we are doing out end of term submissions.
anyway, the good news , i got selected as a photographer for Lion census 2010, i attended the first briefing on 19th this month, and got interview as an emerging wild life photographer , and that was really funny. i tend to break out smiling when i am at all worried about what to do, or what to say. but after that, it all went find, i talked and said stuff, about being the only lady photographer etc too. anyhow, it was a very "smiling" interview but people said it went brilliantly. all the time when i were to look at the camera , i concentrated on the reflect of my earring in the lens and it really works it stopped me from giggling out loud.
my packing is done, there is nothing else left to do, apart from removing colour from my nails i put all the batteries for charging and decided to write a little , as i am sure i will have a lot to write when i come back.
so, dear people, i will be going tonight, 10 pm. and will reach Sasan Gir by 6 in the morning. and then we will be given the areas to work in , and then the work will begin. so, i will come back on the night of 28th, i hope. and meanwhile, i hope to be a part of the lion census having the most number of lions till now!! wish me luck, i also hope to be able to talk many good photographs. i had some problem obtaining leave from the college, but then the principal granted me the leave saying good luck. he also asked Werther i were afraid or not . i'd say i am more afraid of him. at times. but lions can be pretty frighting when they choose to be.
i bought new books, what a surprise right Persuasion, Just William on holiday,and William the gangster . delightful stuff. and also a Italian -English Dictionary, i am trying to learn Italian.
did i say i finished reading "city of Dreaming books" by Walter Moers it's a brilliant one , i loved it. i hope to find more books by the same Author ok folks that's it for now, i will try and write something below.
ah, when the wind blows cool, i close my eyes , over head the trees loom, leaning against a trunk , clutching a book to my bosom, i dream, dream away, i dream, of far distant lands, great mountains, and deep seas. animals unknown and mysteries that be. the flowery white dress flows around my legs, and sometimes i think dreaming is pleasure enough.
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