Encounter with “DHOLE” (Wild dogs)

 

 

 

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A young  confident and bold “Dhole” on his way leading the group.

I have been travelling to these forest and tiger reserves from almost a year and a half. And though I don’t go in the core so often, there is this unsaid anxiousness to just keep your fingers crossed and imagine some wild animal approaching you. It all about the crazy imagination of a person, who is fond of nature and its diversity. And so this time, during my visit to Tadoba Tiger Reserve, I encountered a pack of 7 wild dogs. I had always heard that wild dogs are always in groups and they are more dangerous than Big Wild cats at times. I was furious to see them, but then somehow came out of my vehicle and captured.

It was around 7.30 am in the morning and I was going through the Tadoba’ s  buffer zone (forests) along with my driver and the coordinator where I saw a pack of wild dogs sitting on the side of the road. They all were quite in their own play way mood. Wild dog is a highly social animal, living in large clans and containing multiple breeding females. It is a diurnal pack hunter which preferentially targets medium and large sized ungulates. In tropical forests, the dhole competes with tigers and leopards targeting somewhat different prey species, but still with substantial dietary overlap.

It was a quite an interesting morning to start the day with work. We moved to the NFE, taking the amazing memories of the Wild dogs with us.

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POWER OF 1% OVER 99%

When it comes to “LEARNING” and “CONNECTING WITH YOURSELF”

 And we say that man learns through books, television and internet but the best of the learning has happened to me only through my experiences of life. Definitely the formers have influenced me to a great extent in the way I think and exhibit my response to situations but most of it is merely through experience.

 

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The journey of experiential education also came in my life, with this subtle realization as a young girl, looking at life and its huge canvas. Looking at people, following their dreams and yet learning in their own ways and putting their ideas in place, really gives me a feeling of self-contentment and encouragement.

This is an experience of my life, which I want to share, to connect with those souls, who had experienced something similar in their lives in the past. It was somewhere at night when I was on my way back home and suddenly when in a meditative phase. I was a bit tired and wanted to relax for a while. When I closed my eyes, I could sense a lot of negativity in my mind and I was recalling some viscous painful memories that were juxtaposing over each other in an endless manner. I was getting overwhelmed and wanted to be at peace and in isolation for some time. And I did the same.

The more I tried to go away from it; more I was getting closer towards it. Slowly there was something BEAUTIFUL that happened the moment I realized that though everything is negative and low in energy, there is a small part within me which is blowing, growing and is happy and I was wondering why it is happening? It was magical and unimaginable. I was surprized to see how it was growing and expanding from within. Slowly, that small part made me realize how happy and blessed I am? How this small beauty touched me, made me realize that all those pains, struggles and sadness was just another part of me, which was somewhere needing a place to rest and reflect itself. It was longing for acknowledgement and a sense of liberty to express itself the “”WAY IT IS.”  Those experiences have taught me few things:

  • To be more grounded and be mindful.
  • To acknowledge life with both its facets.
  • Be alert and conscious, because in the most painful experiences of life also, there will a small beam of light, which will take you to the path of consciousness.
  • Pain has its own beauty and its needs to be acknowledged and appreciated.

That incidence made me realize the power of 1% over the 99% which was more in terms of numbers and intensity but had an energy that was pushing me down and was also asking me to “LET GO” and feel it completely till it’s done.  1% was just there, but was not visible. It needed some extra efforts, some patience and perseverance that certain things happen at their own pace.

It was a wonderful discovery that happened to me while travelling. I don’t know what others think about it and how it lands for them, but for me it gave a “SENSE OF HOPE” and energy to move ahead.

 

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Exquisite local Art and its future: A Question to reflect….!!https://www.facebook.com/pallavi.gandhalikarhttps://www.linkedin.com/home?trk=nav_responsive_tab_homehttps://www.facebook.com/EEE-fulls-588602057828847/notifications/

MY “FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH A WILD TUSK”

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“Wild” is beautiful,adventurous and yet so enriching with great learnings..!!

It was last year (May-2015) during the heavy monsoons that I visited Mudumulai Tiger Reserve somewhere around early September for a workshop on Integrated Learning for the local NGO team members. It was around 7p.m. that I crossed the Masinagudi and was travelling to Gudalur. It was raining like cats and dogs. I was also feeling a bit cold and it was quite windy.

The driver had to maintain really slow speed since we were travelling in the midst of a forest. It was about to get dark in next 20 minutes or so, and I was just crossing my fingers that we reach to the place, soon.

Suddenly, the organization person who had come to receive me from Gundlupete, told the driver to stop the car and to my surprise there was this “huge tusk (Male Elephant)”about to cross the road. I was just startled at the first sight..!!For me, looking at this WILD ELEPHANT IN THE WOODS was absolutely amazing.This was first of its kind and so was feeling speechless. It was looking at us and we kept our vehicle really slow, so that we can see him for a longer period.

I was about to take out my camera, but the driver, cautioned us and said NO. The Elephant was moving his right leg which was an indication that he was about to run towards us. He was may be angry. Also there was a vehicle ahead of us, who had taken lot of pics and the flash light had made the elephant irritated.

I had no other option, but to capture this moment in my mobile phone. And here it is.But personally it feels very good to see wildlife pictures, but yes, it’s one of the most difficult things at times, since you are in the home of the animals. At the end would just like to say, “Adventurous yet so memorable.”Tusk

I am alive..!!I am…!!

Early morning, just after my meditation I came out to take a walk and do some exercise. This is when I was travelling to Pench Mah tiger Reserve this August in 2015. I was walking with my camera just with a hope to see some flowers, birds and animals around.  At the same time I am a kind of a person, who moves with the spontaneity of my inner energy.  Suddenly the moment I was about to take my next foot ahead, I saw this piece of a dried leaf and found it beautiful.

I know there are so many lively things when we go to the forests but at the same time some very simple things, makes me feel attracted towards them. Thankful to the Mother Earth, who keeps on giving different shades, to our life just by mere observation..!!

This dried leaf looked so simple yet beautiful. Its pattern was still so appealing. The small knitted network was so alive and made me feel as if it’s greeting you.

It reminded me of the excerpt of the poem that I had read long back:

My leaf clings to the tree,
It is new to life,
Pure green,
Feeling as soft as skin.

My leaf falls down,
Ageing,
Changing,
Dying.

My leaf lives on the ground,
Swept away by the wind,
Feeling crumpled like used paper.

My leaf is dead,
From green to brown,
Soft to crumpled,
Spring to autumn.Dried Leaf

Exquisite local Art and its future: A Question to reflect….!!

Art work done by ANKUSH.

Art work done by ANKUSH.

As a person I was not a big time “Art- lover” though I appreciated Art, culture and crafts alot. During my childhood, I travelled to enormous places within India and visited to places that are the masterpiece of some really old arts,crafts and culture. India is a nation where you will see limitless traditional art and crafts whether you go from north to South or from East to west. Rajasthan is famous for its royal heritage and craft work, Gujarat for its textile production and handicrafts, Assam for its beautiful silk work, textile work and Manjaa ( woven mat) and South India for its temples- Dravidian style influence and crafts and textile industry.

When I think about Art its not only limited to a small paining or a hand made piece of craft. For me its spread over is limitless and endless. There is so much more that we can add in it through our creativity and aesthetic ability. Even when we speak, read,write,dance,sing or play or do other things, there is a natural element of art within all this. When I was small I used to spend my time looking at the potterer making clay pots. The beauty in their hands was something I used to envy but then I used to think when I will grow up then only I can do it. (Though it never happened..!!)

The reason what made me write this blog for myself and others,comes from my own need to connect with art and culture more. From last few months I had been thinking about it, reading articles about the same and was talking to some of my friends. What moved me more was that India has one of the best art forms available globally, but then how can we really make sure that every artist and craftsmen in our nation is earning sufficiently. And if they were earning well, then we would not had seen some of the basic art forms vanishing from our very culture.

The National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) includes education of traditional crafts in their course curriculum to maintain this culture. Despite these efforts, the roots of these crafts, which are the rural craftsmen, are in decline. Rising costs of materials and supplies have placed many of these craft communities in financial struggle. A recent article in the Times of India predicts the price of steel to rise between Rs 600 and 1000 per tonne.On the other hand, statistics from the All India Handicrafts Board show that craft export has risen from 23 crores to over 9000 crores since the past 50 years.With rising economic and political issues in India, the craft sector is struggling to uphold. Although an interest to retain the culture of crafts is seen in designers and institutions. There are many non-for profits that are coming up to help them, but there are handful in numbers.

I recently made a short trip through the Wildlife Conservation Trust to Ramtek (Nagpur)  where I got the chance to visit some schools in the buffer zone of the Pench Tiger Reserve. The sarpanch of the Lodha school was quite an active man,whom I met there. He shared with me about the government school and last years’s floods and the disaster it did to that village and also some of the neighboring villages.

There I was surprised to see the art work done by students in minutes with the help of the leaves (Type of Bamboo)  that are of no use and are found in that particular idea surrounding that territory.

Here is the actual story and the person who inspired me to write this: Ankush Madavi is now an alumnus of Lodha Upper Primary school, studying this year onwards in Nagsen high school, Nagpur. However, 3 year a ago his life was on a different path altogether. Ankush lived in Sitapar village that falls under the Bhandara zilla. Both his parents had died when he was eight but he continued living with his relatives in Sitapar. He quit his studies and used to spend his time loitering about in the village and doing small chores for his relatives. Ankush once decided to live with his sister in Lodha for a few days. It was then that Anil Rathod spotted Ankush sauntering about aimlessly. Rathod is the Head Teacher of Lodha Upper Primary school and lives in the village itself. He believes in community development and always helps the villagers in their time of need. He visits the homes of the students studying in his school regularly and has put many efforts in strengthening the School Management Committee in his school. Rathod asked Ankush to join his school instead of wasting his time. Ankush reluctantly agreed to attend school after Mr. Rathod asked him a few times. Rathod noticed that it was difficult for Ankush to stay in school as he was the least interested in the curriculum that was being taught. Rathod then started to encourage him to pursue extra-curricular activities like sports and began using his skills. Ankush then started taking an interest in school and this new found interest reflected in his grades. He became a regular student and got a lot of attention and appreciation for his skills in sports and handicrafts. He studied under the watchful eye of Rathod for three years in Lodha before moving to Nagsen to continue his education. He still visits Rathod and helps with the school if required as his way of giving back.

Rathod’s belief in Ankush and other students make it possible for him to retain them in the school and succeed. His generous efforts and his confidence in the potential of the students have helped him instill in his students a certitude in their own ability and skill. The manner in which the students are empowered at Lodha to manage cultural events, library records, assembly as well as academics is unparalled in the neighbouring areas and almost all of the credit for this accomplishment has to go to Anil Rathod.

Interaction with Ankush on how he start this.

Interaction with Ankush on how he start this.

P.S. Its a SINCERE REQUEST to all of you who so ever reads it,if you think that you would like to be a part of the change and help Ankush, please connect with me. We all can help him with education and livelihood options.