Sunday, February 22, 2015

When you slide.

The possibility of a loose rock. 
The fear. The fear of the grip.
Which you couldn't get.
That fear of loss of the ground beneath.
That which drags you down,
Gravity, she wont give up.

She wont, and you know it.
For the higher you get, 
Greater her pull. For now, you cant,
You cant look down,
The heart sinks, 
The higher you get, the greater her pull.

Each step takes you further up.
The heart beats faster,
You know it's coming. You rest.
You hold on.
You call out. 
You are alone.

You wont fall you reassure the self.
Hands tremble. And boom.
You are sliding.
That feeling. Of a free fall. Of desperation
Beyond your self. 
That desperate scramble to hold on.
Until it sinks in. Let it all pass. And it wont.

No it wont pass.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Environmental Juggernaut.

To start with, I am not a hard core environmentalist. I am more of a nature lover, a trekker.

So I decided to write this post after I took part in a recent mammalian census in the Mathigiri range. The census aims at getting a approximation at the types of mammals and the quantity of the same.

However, what interested me was not the animals I didn't see. Or the pug marks I did see. What got me was the complex interaction between the forest, animals, and us humans. Here's my take on the same.

The forest in itself is no more a virgin. We humans have invaded the forests and have pretty much played around as we wish. Although we do claim to protect it, the protection goes as long as it meets our needs. In other words, the forests are in a way at the mercy of our whims and fancies. So are the animals that reside in the forests. However the dynamics are more complex than they seem.

I met few villagers who were not supposed to be there in the forest. They take contracts to protect tamarind trees from monkeys (weird). They had put up a small shelter. They grieved to me saying that a lone tusker creates a lot of problems to them. I wanted to question why they wont move out and leave the tusker alone. But I knew better. Then, I had the forest guard. The guy who was more content sitting at one place than doing the census. With officials like these, there's a very tiny possibility of anything good coming out. The next human in question was my anti poaching guy. A young guy. Hardly 20. He has been on probation for 1 year, earns Rs 4.5k per month! That's around $70 per month. No kidding! And his only question was if he has any hopes in the forest department!

A forest guard hardly worried about his job.
A young guy worried about whether he has any chance in the department.
A few nomadic people who move around with their herds.
A villager awed by the fact that I have trekked around so much.
A few poachers trying to poach hares (yes we found the hare traps. A good 8 of them!)

In all of this,
The forest which tries to survive the onslaught.
The animals who try not to be sighted.
The river beds which are bone dry.
The hopes which slowly fade.

I'm no expert, but this complex relation between humans and forests is taking a toll. On the forests in the immediate future. On us humans in the long run.

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