Saturday, August 15, 2009

Life in Agumbe..

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.

Sunday, December 07, 2008


She stands there frozen and forgotten and I pass by everyday with that uncaring look. My most trusted friend and mate, who took me to faraway lands, who opened the magic windows and showed the different views of life. How much I have loved her and how close we were, but the distance has grown. I know she is my journey and my destination but my vanity takes me far to test the untested grounds, even if it meant I turn a betrayer. I know she is feeling cold and I know my hands can provide the warmth but I sit here fooling myself telling she is strong. A hypocrite thought! In triumph or in sorrow she is my only pal and I am going to bring her back to life and gift life to myself. I pick my PEN today!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Reaching sublime depths

Sailing on sublime waters
Touching the hanging leaves over my head
I sail past eternal springs
With a subtle smile of innocence

Gently breaking the misty cover
My boat explores unknown tempers
The beauty unfolds to all my senses
As I revel and get spoilt under the shower

Silence accompanying silence
A journey so smooth
A feeling of completeness
So overwhelming to uphold

Pure innocence untouched by the dark world
Emanates the happiness that brims from my heart
A reminder that a heart exists within
With desires unheard and dead behind the humdrum

An escapade into those wonderful terrains
Where one dares to bare all hypocrisy and stand facing oneself
Discovering the depths that I am
A willingness to get lost and revel in the pleasures of being myself

Is there a place such as the one in my mind ?
Know not I
But happy that I could travel there
On my boat called … fantasy.

Monday, January 08, 2007



This feeling so sick till the throat

I can smell the stink, rotten from the wounds

Those that I have caused, and been a victim

How to come clean and breathe fresh

I have not a clue to escape out of this blue.

My heart is all dry

Pains as I scrape the left over

Tears flow for no reason

Though dry from its well it still wets my cheeks

As the brine seeps into those wounds, wets it with salt

More flows down hoping to wash it all and cure


Sunday, August 13, 2006


A ball in vacuum is rolling down my thoughts

Devoid of feelings true to me

The unknown arrow aimed to doom my pulpy red to pieces

Arising out of this time-burst is all set to blow

Voices quiver as it is looming large deep down

But none to hear

Ignoring it, myself, the voices fueled to grow louder

How long will the cotton ear buds of my soul bear

For it is going to burn or all set to tear

An irreparable damage to the thin consciousness

Holes dug deep, life, my own coffin

I am slipping everyday one step at a time

I am drawn to it for it is mine

Gasping for air I suck the whiff of air

That cares to breeze past me

With every breath I am sucking death

Another day to live till I am relieved of this guilty burden born with

Tears roll down dropping into an endless ocean

Mingling with the world’s, but the colors are different

For the tears take the color of emotions

Held behind those shutters in a lament

Darkness around bordered by the bloody red fringes

All forms in front enacting a drama

Puppets dancing to tunes

As their strings are pulled to narrate a story

A story not what they want to tell

But what the world wants to listen.

Caring about the whole world

Ignoring the world within

Silencing the voices shouting loud enough to hear

Insulting them for the world

With time world insults you

Nowhere else to go, the path leads you within

To those very voices now tired and sick

But not dead yet

The strength lies there---yes deep down

Not outside---remember---its within.

No support, no one on your bedside if you have been a hypocrite

Whom are you living with when not with you?

Who is guiding you, who is pulling your stings, whose puppet are you?

Whose tunes are you dancing to? Listen to the music your soul sings to you each day

Yes Monday to Sunday

The truth lies in those voices for they never betray you

They are never weak

As the strength lies there to face the world

The all powerful and yet sublime resides there

It is no strange abode it is your own heart where your god lives.

Under His shelter, under His eyes

Your liberations lies

The true self pure and clear

The only place where there is no fear.

The world is a miniscule

In front of the largeness of ones heart

Listen to it if you want to listen to Him,

For, He speaks the language of love to you, through your own heart.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Life by the Darkness!

I dreaded coming into to this world. I teased, I spoke ill about it, and I complemented myself for not entering it, though deep down a voice warned me that I could reach the same place. As fate would have it and justified by karma I landed in a night shift job. It contained everything a job offered to a gaping job seeker; blinding me within the wrap of night shifts.

Training went smooth for it was designed to gradually convert our nights to working days. To train our eyelids to hold up to tube lights instead of sunlight. Our taste buds were enticed to new flavors, and soft drinks in varied colors were gulped down with utmost joy. The reason--- anything that comes free (or so we assume) goes down the throat with the most satisfied smile and with the proud eye brows raised high.

Training passed by and we passed out in ecstasy in the training rooms, dancing to glory reminding ourselves of the golden words by all our seniors-- “Training is honeymoon period” they had told us. They were so right. As always, we realize only when reality strikes and blinds us. My first day on the floor was nerve racking. But nothing angered me more than going home at eight in the morning. The whole world seemed to be moving in the reverse direction. Or actually was it me? I was confused. Children were scurrying to schools, men and women rushing to office, all such mundane tasks seemed unusual to me, rather special now.

A feeling of desperateness and anger drowned me in total confusion and disorientation. I wanted to change everything, wanted people to go to sleep now as I had worked and was heading back home so should they, or at least wanted to go back and strike out from my mind that I finished work. I was going mad. Feeling totally helpless I just sat in the cab---the white horse taking me back home ----back in time. In a topsy turvy world of mine I was the only joke to be laughed at, and I was indeed. I saw everyone around me smiling trying hard to keep their laughter locked behind their lips, with an expression reminding of the days I laughed at them.
I tried to hide my face, but how could I? As I was walking backwards facing all of them eye to eye and time would not let me turn back and walk with them.

I reach home almost in a daze, to see my maid drawing beautiful rangoli’s in the front yard, my dad was at the door with a warm smile wishing me good morning, my breakfast was ready and so was my bed. For a moment I thought there are some good things too. Well at least there was one thing that I did at the right time for the day --- I brushed my teeth. Had my breakfast and slurped down the milk and was off to my bed to finally bring down those eye lids for the day.

I woke up in the evening hoping it was all a dream but the white horse was back to carry me off to the distant land where time runs backwards and a make belief world awaits the next victim. A world where you can never see a moon rise or a sun set, looking out of a window you only see another window, where trees come in pots and sit under your shadow, fragrances all around that irritate your senses, and tube lights everywhere so that you are never reminded that day ever exists.

A different world it is, it pleases some, hurts some, but blinds all. This is the world which beckons your senses. On a positive note : only when you experience something unusual do we know the value of the usual, only then do we realize that nothing in this world is mundane everything is special in its own way. That’s what I realized.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


“ In this life we must do what we can; we may not reach to the heavens, but there is plenty to do on earth”

The greatest birthday gift that one can, receive is –LIFE .Not only are you gifted your parents feel gifted too. Over the years they carefully unwrap and teach you the lessons of life. Then there comes a stage in life when you feel that “you are not a girl but not yet a woman”.

Standing on this pedestal of life the world looks at you as a woman but your parents see you as a girl .As for you, you are confused.

You feel you are a girl because according to you being careless and irresponsible will pass off as being cute, anybody older to you is an adult and anybody younger to you is a kid, having your mother do all your chores are how things should be, fighting with your siblings is the first on your priority list and winning over them is your greatest achievement.

But, then you feel you r a woman when you have arguments with your parents, people no longer find you cute they find you beautiful, you realize that your parents are not all that old as you thought they were, and find that your siblings are your closest friends.

A realization dawns on you, that apart from being a daughter, a sister, and a friend you are an individual. There is a voice within, which is struggling to be heard. A restless person within who wants to experience life first hand, who wants to leave the cushioned world and venture into rugged terrains. YOU know that life offers both good and bad surprises, yet YOU want to be surprised! .

Well then, what is the problem? It is the mind and its confusions.

Until now, your parents holding your hands have led you into the nuances of life. They ensured that irrespective of whatever difficulties they had to face, your journey was a smooth ride. But now here you are wanting to let go of those very hands.

Standing at the crossroads of life YOU are confused. WHICH ROAD TO TAKE?
Should you suppress that voice within which is growing louder by the day, or should you just spread out those wings and fly!

If you decide to choose the former, no doubt you will make your parents happy, you will tread on those paths which they have paved out for you—safe and secure, living all their dreams even if it meant crushing your own. Years later when you become a parent you will feel there is nothing wrong in expecting the same from your children. But, how much ever you suppress that voice within, it will find a way out, and like the sand that slips way when held too tight in your palm you will end up slipping away from your self.

On the other hand, if you chose the latter no doubt you will disappoint your parents, temporarily though. Life will be tough; it will bring in surprises both good and bad but with it comes lessons. After all “ As we grow, we learn and As we learn we grow”. Then it all boils down to the choices we make and how responsible we are for our actions.


When you decide to let go of those hands then your enthusiasm is equally supplemented with fear-----what if I fall, what if my wings break, what if I am not able to fly at all. That is the time you want somebody to assure you that they will always be there for you, when you look deep within you want that somebody to be your parents.

On the other hand your parents are worried that if they let go, you are sure to fall, you are sure to break your wings or if at all you manage to fly you may fly away from their reach. These thoughts arise purely due to their love, concern and care for you. They need to be assured that you do want to fly but not fly away!

The truth is that, you want to make them to feel proud of you as much as they want to feel proud about you, you want to see them happy as much as they want to see you happy and you need them as much as they need you. It is rightly said “ to love and to be loved is the greatest privilege in life” when this is possible then why give in to confusions. It is time for candid discussions.

So, all those people standing on such crossroads in life and to all those parents remember “ If you love something set it free, if it comes back it is yours otherwise it never was.”