My Blogs


Tanhau, A Passion Project

We parked our car 4km before the resort and shifted the luggage and ourselves into the jeep with Subhash, and started a climb that was as exciting as it was scary. It was a narrow, rough, uncemented path, barely enough for a single vehicle to pass and had a valley on one side! The only good part was the spectacular, almost divine landscapes, the meandering Kosi River and the many layers of mountains trapping the clouds in its arms, giving us the most magnificent views and photographs.

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Tamhini Natures Nest

The first visitor was a Tiaga flycatcher, followed by the Tickell’s blue flycatcher and then there was no stopping of the little cuties visiting one after the other. Some just stopping over for a sip of water, while some taking a little dip in it or enjoying a bath while others playing water games with their mates. The show went on till lunch time when we were forced to leave our station and head for some delicious home cooked meals, served in a make do lunch area under the canopy of trees.

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Trip to Tal Chappar

At the entrance was a huge puddle of water where we saw our first surprise, a Tawny Eagle. Funnily enough, it seemed like it was being scolded by a raven with some cows playing audience. There were plenty of small birds bathing in the puddle and it was a delight to click them against the setting sun. Since it was getting dark and as we had had a long journey, we decided to retire for a fresh and early start next day. We were staying at the Raptors Inn, a sustainable comfortable family homestay, located in close proximity to the Tal Chhapar Sanctuary.

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Rana Jalebi ki Prem Kahani-2

. The guide anticipated his route based on the info he got and quickly ordered the driver to a particular spot, where as we reached, a few other jeeps had already positioned themselves. The wait was long and even though some jeeps had moved away, our guide was convinced that Rana would appear at this spot and refused to move the vehicle. A few more minutes in as if preparing for Rana’s entry, the sun turned a deep reddish orange giving the sky a beautiful glow. His Majesty appeared from nowhere, gave us a look an emperor gives his disciples, jumped up a considerably bare tree and settled on a thick branch giving us a clear shot of him.

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Rana Jalebi ki Prem Kahani-1

As I was pointing, our guide also started pointing excitedly, “Leopard, leopard,” he said. Now if you have never seen a leopard before, let me tell you that they merge very well with the ground and the bark of trees and it takes a few minutes for the eyes to spot it. As all three of us started to click, the guide realized that I was clicking a little ahead of where my friends were focusing and that’s when it struck us- there were not one but two leopards! The guide quickly recognized them as the male, Rana, and the female, Jalebi. My first wish was granted!

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Man-Animal Coexisting

We ventured out one early morning to one of our favourite and beautiful bird-friendly places, a considerably desolate location behind a temple with a small stream flowing through. However, upon reaching there, we realised that a festival was being celebrated, with at least 20 ladies performing some form of puja on a small Shivling- a Hindu religious representation of Lord Shiva as the generative power of all creativity and fertility at every cosmic level.

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Monsoon Visit To Benog

In order to get a good shot of the Myna entering and leaving the tree, we repositioned ourselves to the edge of the stream. It was monsoon season, therefore, there was moss all over the ground. All of a sudden, I started feeling like water was riding up my socks, but, being totally engrossed and focused on getting the perfect shot, I didn’t give it a second thought. A few minutes later my daughter complained of the same and I explained to her that it was mushy all over and water was rising up due to capillary action. However, while I was saying it, it struck me that this was against all logic so, I looked down, and was dumbfounded…

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Safari With Suyash

When your current situation no longer gives you happiness or isn’t helping you grow, you must have the courage to move on and take on what you truly believe in. Risking to tread on a different path to fulfil your journey does not mean that you are lost or will be left behind. The problem is, a lot of us give up because of the fear of rejection or of the fear of missing out. I have realised that when I’m in the midst of nature, in the simplest of camouflage clothes, sitting on the ground, eating fruits directly from the tree, with dust in my shoes and tan on my face… I’m in my happy place!

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We were already having a tough time focusing when a man showed up in the enclosure with a bucket, gave us a look as if we were invading his privacy, wrapped a towel around himself and unabashedly started to undress. We looked at him perplexed and he gave us the glare as if he was saying, “You do your job I’ll do mine!” It was a hilarious situation filled with uneasy awkwardness. Meanwhile, we were trying to capture a migratory bird that is very challenging to spot at eye level and weren’t sure how long it would stay at that spot.

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Trip To Chopta

It was here, by the Alaknanda River, where we stopped for lunch. The chirping of birds was the only commotion breaking the stillness of the quiet surroundings, and the sight of the reflection of the peaks in the crystal-clear waters was spell binding. Each milestone was getting more and more overwhelming as well as mind blowing. Not once had we kept our cameras down and it was amazing how nature was unravelling its wonders one after the other.

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Driving Like My Dad

My dad knew exactly how and where to overtake the buses. His command over any vehicle is scarily amazing and I am proud to have inherited it. I’ve been driving for more than two and a half decades now, challenging male drivers who think women can’t drive, and giving them a run for their fuel. For the longest time, my car’s rear windshield had a sticker saying, ‘tu janta nahi hai, main kaun hun’ and I do full justice to it.

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First Safari

This was essential to experience and unfold the untouched wilderness after the calm of the night and to avoid any noisy tourists. My friend forgot that she was talking to two juvenile delinquents and becasue "Kutte ki Dum Kabhi Seedhi Nahi Hoti", we were just there to enjoy every bit of this experience, and to tell the generations to come, stories from our first safari.

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How It All Began

Someone once said, “Eventually you’ll end up where you need to be, with who you’re meant to be with, and doing what you should be doing.” I have literally missed my flights because I am a late riser and a big procrastinator but if I have to go bird watching or for a safari- I can wake up at 4:00 am and be ready for my birding excursion even if I’m back from a late-night party. If this is not a calling, what is?

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