It’s 4 months since I packed my corporate career off for a life in the forests of Agumbe. Life has never been so colorful, vibrant, unpredictable and rewarding as it has been over these last 4 months. Undoubtedly Agumbe proved to be a whole new world for me. A new lifestyle, new social circle, new friends, new home, new family, new job, new place, new events, and a totally new outlook towards life. There was nothing familiar or known but nevertheless welcoming and challenging all at the same time.
Above is a picture of our new cottage very kindly made by Agumbe Rainforest Research Station. I would say it is a labor of love of Gowri for he painstakingly found antique wood from homes demolished around the area and gave life to not just those pillars, doors and cupboards but to our home. We are still in the process of making this house into a home and enjoying every bit in doing so.
There is a perennial spring that arises right behind our house and a thick canopy overcasts it. This place is a haven for birds that come to drink and bathe. I enjoy spending hours waiting for them and savoring the delight in watching them as well. Everything in a forest is alive, there is so much life around us here, from frogs, insects, spiders, snakes, mammals, ants, bugs, leeches, ticks, fungus etc
I joined ARRS as a Station coordinator which involves coordinating things in the Research station to ensure everyone is connected and abreast of happenings at the base. This certainly involves lot of writing work which I enjoy. Though I do have a long way to go I am happy that I have started my journey. Our office faces the organic garden and a beautiful view of the forest ahead!
At ARRS there is no such thing as a routine except for the regular jogging and exercising in the mornings. While some days I am stuck to the laptop the whole day writing to people and writing other stuff, there are days where I don’t get a chance to look at the laptop as well. I was lucky to accompany Gowri on few rescue calls, observed a wild female king cobra build a nest, assisted in measuring and monitoring these nests, interacted with the local people and learnt a whole lot about the forests, traveled to various forests with Gowri while he delivered presentations at Muthodi, Dandeli, and Kabini. We finally saw a tiger in the wild which was our dream for a long time and came true! It is a nice feeling when dreams come true :)
These two months have taught me some invaluable lessons too. In the forest one cannot afford to think negative, for if that happens, fear engulfs you and what could be a beautiful experience turns out to be a horror and a chance to enjoy the moment is lost forever. Another lesson is that nature is kind beyond what we can imagine but it is only our arrogance that befalls destruction. Respectfulness is the way to live a harmonious life, be it with people, animals, or nature!
Though I feel I lost lot of time in reaching here, it gives me hope to know that a beginning has been made. As I embark on this journey I wish to share my experiences as I tread along.