Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Leopard Encounter

July 20 2008

Its Saturday and I am with my biker group called as saddle tramp just chilling out at shivaji park. Enjoying, looking at girls having barista blast one with four straws in it, guys talking about bike stuff which I really don’t understand a word of it but if some super bike name comes out I say ohh ya awesome it is. So we stayed up to 2am. But I am still thinking about next morning train I have to catch to go to goregaon. Next day had planned to go for a jungle trail with my friend name ketan who knows inside out of the jungles surrounding Mumbai. I go home at 2am on Saturday night pack bag for next day. I took my Jan sport bag pack put my friend Hemanshu Sony R1 camera all batteries charged up, got 3GB card and 3 macro filters which was gonna use for the first time in my life. 

All packed put alarm for 6am and then in dreams. Alarm ringing got up at 6 sharp may be before that too. Dressed up green t-shirt and dark green pants as it should suit the natural habitat. While going to the bus stop got some biscuits, chocolates, chips which will be out breakfast as well as lunch.

So got in the local train and ketan joined me at Andheri. At last we reached Goregaon station from there we took auto to go to Dindoshi and then to some place called water tank, you really need to take auto to that area as in morning lots of people sit for nature call yuck smell all over. At last we reached paid auto got ready and started our trail, to reach proper in jungle you need to climb small hill and then walk for around 30 min then u enter proper jungle and there you are all alone just you and the nature greenery surrounding you. But in start you see Raheja builders who has swallowed the start of the jungle and they building there own concrete jungle which is sad to watch. After walking for few kilometers there you are three ways going in jungle and there is one small temple there, you really need to pray there so you come back in one piece and alive. So there we started out journey I took out my camera attached the macro filter too it as I knew I would get lots of small insects butterflies you just can’t imagine. Ketan is pro in finding such things he knows what where how this that…………….. He use to show me I use to click and then I also started to look at the things by myself I got the proper eye where to look how to click. But I should say you really need lots of patience to click insects or any damn thing in jungle as those things don’t wait and pose for you, its you who need to be really fast and compose and click. I got awesome yellow moth, beetle, caterpillar, snail all kind of things. 

As we were crossing the jungle we came towards a hut we took break had some water sat and there is a old man who stays there since long time, Ketan started to talk with him I was busy looking for insects, and suddenly I heard some word like leopard I said in my mind it must be mistake must be lizard or something but noooooooo wait hold your breath really they were talking about leopard. The old was attacked by him and he saw full size leopard roaming outside that hut. I was thinking hmmm good what next, after some time we started our journey we went in to the jungle we were talking clicking photos we walked for hrs and in that period we came to certain point and stopped to a big tree it was huge. And the ketan said ohh we are really in very deep jungle we were so inside really deep inside all bamboo forest, different kind of noises coming as we I was clicking photo of the big tree I went towards other side of the tree and there…………………………………. 

My heart started pumping fast………………. On the tree there were many claw marks of the leopard, lots of them and there I was damn scared really scared, ketan was cool as he is used to jungles and he has done crazy thing in there he had stayed whole night on one branch of tree just to have one glimpse of leopard he is crazy but what about me he can climb tree in sec I let me think may be in five min till that time I would be half inside leopard. We had one bag pack and a camera nothing else not a knife too. But then still we started to walk as we really wanted to get out of there………… but there one more attack I was almost going to faint guess what fresh shit done by leopard, it was not just shit but mix of white hair I think so he must have eaten old white man nooo it must be rabbit or some thing but now I really needed to run but ketan again said lets wait under one tree and see whether leopard is around I said ok and we sat for a while, again after some time we started back towards city, my camera was inside the bag. 

As we were walking I saw many bones of animal’s dinner place of leopard. I said hmmm. Great! And then after and hour and fifteen min we were out again. Stopped at some place clicked really good macros again. Whole day it was sunny as we were suppose to get out there heavy very heavy rain started and we were all wet, but enjoyed a lot it was hell like experience, & next day came to know its restricted area forest department, photography not allowed. But I got best of it. Enjoy the photos. For the complete set, CLICK HERE

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