Friday, September 14, 2012

Trapping the poachers 1

       Got on to start blogging again. Was busy with college and other things and as it is, the rainy season seems to be a low for wildlife, at least I thought so. But I was definitely wrong.
       Am incident took place during this time which is very important learning experience in my life, to understand people and how contact with influential people comes handy in our life. I am constrained to refrain writing names of some people involved in the incident.
       The summers of 2012 have been way too lucky for the tourists visiting Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve and the other wildlife hotspots around Nagpur with regular tiger sightings and 'full house' safaris. I too consider myself lucky to have witnessed 21 such tiger sightings.
       The season ended in June which was the start of Monsoons in India. The month of July saw the landmark order by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India directing the States(those that have tiger reserves) to notify the Critical Wildlife Habitats in the respective states, not doing so would invite ban on tourism activities. And it did. The Supreme Court banned the entry of tourists to the core areas of the tiger reserves of the states who defaulted notifying their buffer areas. Only Assam and Rajasthan were the states who were able to dodge the wrath of the Apex Court of India.
        The core area ban came to be a serious blow to the wildlife lovers. Many welcomed it and many asked questions about how this(the core area ban) was to help keep the jungles safe. I must mention here that the ban on the core areas is still in effect and the issue is pending before the Supreme Court.
        On fine evening in the first week of August, I was standing alone at my regular tea stall. The tea vendor, Jawahar has been a good guy to us all. He was talking with some random guy at his tea-stall(whom I found out that he was a pan-shop owner having his stall nearby). The festival of Pola was just round the corner(17th August). Pola has been identified as one of the most haunting festival for wildlife owing to the fact that (weird) people prefer to consume wildlife meat on the next day of pola(padwa). The meat of Sambhar Deer, Spotted Deer, Peacock, Wild Boar(Pig), Indian Monitor Lizard and many other wild animals is consumed at a very high scale. In order to curb this problem of poaching during the time of pola is curbed by the forest department "effectively" by arranging patrolling teams and patrolling of the forests for three days at a stretch.
        I was well aware of this poaching activities taking place during pola, everybody knows this. To continue with the story, Jawahar was talking with the pan-stall owner and to my horror they were planning about arranging a party on pola and to bring in some wildlife meat along with drinks. I was just hearing this conversation which lasted for around 30 minutes and everything from who will bring in the meat and who will bring in the booz. They also discussed the place of party which they only said was somewhere outside the city, for obvious reason that pola is observed as a dry day by the district authorities.
       After listening to the conversation, I was shocked to know how the poaching 'business' is going unnoticed by general public. I had never ever heard of such things happening, at least not around me. I alerted two of my friends as well as consulted some wildlife experts as to how to deal with this situation and made up my mind to nab the wrong-doers. Little did I know that I was bad at judging people.
To be continued....


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Wild Diary ... (Part-II)

                                                           Memories of the Wild    
        I still remember almost vividly the scene when I saw my first tiger in wild. This was good 15 years ago. The place was the reputed Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh. I still remember the thrill of sighting a tiger sitting on the back of the elephant. The 'king of Indian jungles' was relaxing in a nullah (small creek) in the afternoon, beating the summer heat and I'll surely fall short of words to describe the scene. I can just say that it was an out-of-the-world feeling, one which never escapes from the back of your mind.

        At the time when night safari's were still allowed (or could be done through some setting with the ranger, we(5 families) were frequent visitors to nearby jungles. Our favorite being pench in madhya pradesh. We stayed at 'bison huts' resort, the awesomest jungle hangout. Those who have visited the place will agree that It's till their favorite wildlife lodge till date. It's beauty was its closeness to the nature, the living huts being just 15 feet away from the wildness which is encompassed by pench and where it was occasional to spot a family of bisons(Indian Gaur) grazing while you were having dinner out in the courtyard. It was simply awesome!!
        We all liked to hear bedtime stories from our elders when we were kids. Girls like the fairytale types and boys loved the superhero ones, but I always loved jungle tales. It had become a habit or you may say an obsession for that matter to listen to jungle stories from the elders in the family. Many a times, I used to plead my cousin sisters to tell me their tiger stories which were very stupid ones. The ones in which a tiger arrives from nowhere!! I still believe them. Nights went sleepless for me when I didn't hear at least one such story.

        One of the most memorable tiger sightings happened in the year 2005 when I visited Nagzira Wildlife Sanctury, Bhandara, just under 150 Kms from Nagpur. For those who have never ever visited Nagzira, it is one of my favorite forest reserve owing to the fact that it is less popular among the tourists, less commercialized and has variety of flora and fauna. The major attraction at Nazira is the old rest house, in the heart of the jungle(which has no supply of electricity) and the lake surrounding it. Returning to my story, we were seven people including my mom-dad, sister, cousin, and my dad's friend. It was a very eventful safari. We started early in the morning from Nagpur and as expected, our's was the only vehicle which entered the jungle. An early morning drizzle had made the weather just about perfect for a safari, the only con being the slippery forest path.

        The sightings started from the beautiful Spotted deer and the Sambar deer which are found plenty in the jungles of central India. Birds were frequent and their calls were music to the ear. All this mixed with the sweet smell of flowers and the wet mud due to the recent rains. As we were proceeding towards the forest rest house, we spotted a huge male Bison who darted and crossed the road abruptly. My uncle, who was on the wheels was transfixed at the action and lost control of the car. All this action came to a standstill only after the car had crashed the roadside safety railing, thereby, considerably damaging the car, which now refused to move from its place.
       The poor safari guide was the biggest victim of the accident who, now had just gone blank! We all got down from the vehicle and took note of the damage. It was the car's front bumper(made out of solid steel) which was totally bent down and was touching the front tyre. Moving the vehicle was dangerous as it could have easily resulted in a burst tyre, the thought of which itself was fearing enough that we didn't dare to try it. So now we were inside the jungle with a possibility that a tiger could be lurking around and no one there to help. At last, it was decided that my dad and the guide would walk through the jungle to reach the forest rest house(later we measured the distance to be approximately around 3.5Kms) with only a pen-knife with them to get some help.

       The wait was long and unnerving. The rescue party came only after an hour or so with the required tools for fixing the car's issues. It was now need-of-the-hour to reach the forest rest house so that everybody could freshen-up a bit, little did we know that the accident was just gods way to fix our meeting with the king! We started back to leave the jungle. As we reached the spot where the accident took place, we stopped and analized again, what had went wrong. That was the moment when the guide, with excitement in his voice screamed- Sahab, Sher  (Sir, Tiger), pointing in the direction where he had sighted the beast. We all saw him, undisputedly, the most beautiful creation of mother nature, the Royal Bengal Tiger. He came near our car and gave out a half-hearted low growl, and all the open windows were hurriedly closed, funniest moment of all.
       After giving our eyes the feast for the day for about 5 minutes, the tiger, who was a full grown male, went inside the dense bamboo woods and instantly camouflaged in the jungle. Happy smiles were exchanged inside the car and debate over who saw it first started instantly. It was great feeling. The only thing which we were perplexed with was that how could this be just a coincidence that our car met with an accident, by virtue of which we lost around an hour and a half of safari and furthermore, sighting a tiger on the same spot where we had met with the accident. It stil remains a mystery for me. HAIL MOTHER NATURE.

      This event at Nagzira is all over my mind and I still find answers to it. My respect for the nature has increased infinitely after this incident. It is the sole reason why I felt to share with you. Anyone who has been in similar situations may please leave a comment below or just mail me at or Thanks for reading and hope you liked it. I will be back again to tell you another of my stories. Goodbye!     

Photo Credit: "Sambar Fawn", Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, Chandrapur Maharashtra, 
                      March 2009. Clicked by me.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Wild Diary ... (Part-I)

                                             INTRODUCTION TO THE WILDERNESS
     From the time I was born, and most importantly from the time I have started understanding life, it's like a million time I must have visited jungles. I have been gifted with an awesome lot of people around me who love the nature and in particular, the JUNGLES to the magnitude which cannot just be defined. Maybe god had the idea to give me more 'jungle love'!
     For those who have never been to the wilderness of India, I'll say, "you guys are missing life!". Seriously, a person who will enter the thick foliage and the amazing bird and animal habitat in (Central) India will either never want to come out of it, or will want to go there again and again. I BET!!
     I have been blessed with amazing parents who love the nature as much as I do. My father, Adv. Gurunath E. Moharir has been a committed nature lover. Taking a ride to the nearby jungles with friends was his favorite past time and I personally think that all the nature-love in me has its origin in my father. Also, I can guarantee that no other person in the world can get an more nature loving mom than mine. I mean, who's mom gives their son updates on tiger sightings? I doubt there is one in this world.
     The "Tiger love" in me is a relatively recent phenomenon. First it was just pleasure to visit the forest with only one thing on mind, "I want to see wildlife". When I grew up, it conspired into "I want to see a tiger" and now, it has become, "I want to take a bite of the nature".
      My friends are very proud of me when they hear my jungle stories (ya, I have a lot to tell) and let me tell you that tigers are all over in them. Some friends have seen the love for nature in me, and I know that they (secretly) admire it. They are sometimes blown over when I tell them that I saw a tiger(in it's natural habitat) only at the age of around 14!(The first tiger I saw was in Kanha, most probably) But it's the truth. In the recent times, I have been lucky enough to be blessed with wonderful tiger sightings. In the past six or seven years, the intensity to love the nature has increased many-fold and thus has given me opportunities to think about the nature and it's inhabitants. Of course, the documentaries on Nat Geo, Discovery Chanel and Animal Planet have contributed to it, no doubt!
     I was interested in photography since childhood but the 'want to do good photography bug' bit me 4 years back. My dad bought a Nikon D40 which is a Digital Single Lens Reflex(DSLR) camera, he alwas wanted to buy one. Still newbies at it me and dad constantly experimented with the cam, I guess I did more coz he was using the 'Auto' mode till recently. After a year and a half, we were both content with the D40 and then came the beauty, Nikon D7000, a much high-range camera, translated to be a semi-professional DSLR, and then was the time that 'better' photography started. They say that photography does not depend on the equipment you have, it depends on the skill of the photographer. Till some extent, this is true, but personally, good equipment always counts and I say this even in the case when I DON'T own the BEST equipment.  People like me will readily agree to this.
    I am currently studying Law ad I am into the 4th Year now. Due to family commitments and the routine which has to be followed during the regular college sessions, it becomes a task, a huge one to persuade your parents to allow you to go for a nice jungle trip with friends. So, in the recent times, these trips have come down to single figures in a year(it may be very frequent for normal beings, but after you love nature, you become abnormal, at least for the others!). In spite of these 'restrictions'  the thought of the wild is all over the mind 24x7. And ask any nature enthusiast about how day-dreaming about the wild is. I am pretty sure he'll tell you that its better than falling in love!! Nothing gay about it though..
    In this series of articles on this blog, I intend to tell you some of my experiences in the wild and what I think about the nature. As this is my first hand at writing blog, I would like you to leave your comments below. Reasonable criticism is welcome. Pardon me for any spelling or grammatical mistakes, I am bad at them. The series continues with Part-II, which will come up shortly. Thanks for your valuable time. Ciao!!

Photo credits: "Hanuman Langur" Clicked by me at Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, Chandrapur,
                       Maharashtra on 11th December 2011.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Introduction to the blog...

Hello everyone,
                I take this opportunity to announce the ‘blogger’ in me. The idea of blogging has changed considerably since its introduction to the internet and has become a popular platform for the netizens to express their views to the outside world. Here, I intend to exploit this feild to express my views.
                Introducing myself, I am a law student based in Nagpur, born in the family of Lawyers. I am a ‘Advanced’ Amateur Photographer. Wildlife and Nature in general are my usual ‘subjects’ but I also like to depict stories in my photography, the art which I am still learning. I am also a huge nature-lover and want to work into its conservation. That said, I am also a thinker and an avid reader.
                I aim to write my blogs on my views on conservation of nature and photography apart from my views on various laws and policies implemented from time to time in India as well as on the social issues in the society.
                I hope this ‘work’ of mine will benefit me as a Lawyer and also you as the citizens who want change in the policies. Signing off to write my first blog, hope you like it.

Place: Nagpur
Date: 14-04-2012                                                                                                           NACHIKET G. MOHARIR