Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Those days and Nights –My jungle days Part-2

For Part-1
pls.click http://pradipwritenow.blogspot.in/2014/08/those-days-my-jungle-days.html

I stayed in the Hilltop drilling camp for more than two and half years.
A new chapter in my life, filled with thrill, fun, and hard work, started along with my new friends of the forest.
Those friends were Nairbabu and his associates, Acharayaji of “Jungle Nibas” ashram, impalas and spotted deers, Jackals,  Hyenas,  a Monkey family and last but not the least those souls who long left their physical appearances( I hate the word Ghosts). 
P. P. Nair, a calm and cool person, popularly known as Nair Babu, was drilling engineer and in-charge of hilltop drilling camp. In this part, I referred him often.
In a later part, I shall tell you about the role Acharayaji, my non-human friends, and my invisible “soul” friends played in my life.  
During this stay, I faced many spine chiller incidents, a few of them are
·       Saved, from  a python hanging from a tree, by  the timely alert from a group of monkey friends
·       Meeting with a soul in an abandoned forest rest house who unveiled a tragic happening.
·       A miraculous escape from a man-eater Leopard, just for the presence of mind of my associate.   
I shall share all these incidents with you one by one.
In my first day, at early morning I joined Nair babu and his big team of about twenty persons.  I was quite unaware that a full day is waiting for me with never before felt   thrills of viewing the live wild inmates but also a live savage fight between two animals.
I doubted at the crowd of associates but Nair babu said
“At the end of the day, you shall be convinced of the team strength and stop worrying now.”
However, I was worried. With my fresher level knowledge, I knew that I needed only a surveyor with three associates. Nairbabu for his work might require a crew of four persons.
I could not guess why instead of eight associates, there were twenty in the team, which might spoil the work actually.
In this prospecting area of 23 sq km, there are two series of Hills, the western and the eastern hills, densely populated by tall trees.
Bestowed with two big waterfalls, fog and smoke covered evergreen western hill has a picturesque presence. 
The drilling camp was in the valley between these two hills.
From this valley, Nairbabu showed me the local physiography  in general and said, “Over to your survey team and Surveyor Murmu.”
He along with his four associates left for East hills in quick steps.
At the beginning of the survey, I saw, through the telescope of Theodolite, four people were climbing trees.
Pointing my finger to that direction, I asked “Murmu, did you ask these people to climb trees?”
Murmu replied “No sir.”
Using my binocular, I saw them peeling off the surface layers of the top part of the trunk and fixing hanging earthen pitchers just at the bottom of the peeled part to collect juice from these trees.  
While climbing the eastern hills at one flat ground, we stopped for a rest and checking our position from already marked survey stations near camp.
From there, down the valley, the meandering river appeared like a silver chain. Through my binocular, I could spot few people digging around a big ant’s hill.
I asked “Murmu, what for these people of our camp are digging? They are supposed to be with us, right here.”
Murmu said, “They are digging for ant’s eggs and some herb roots.”
I said, “For what?”
“Ant’s eggs when mixed with those herb roots and flour paste make excellent bait for fishing.”
I said, “Do you mean that they are going for fishing from that hill river and won’t be with us for the rest of the day.”
Murmu said “Most likely Sir.”
I said, “Four people are busy for juice collection and now the rest eight people are out for fishing in river.”
Monglu sordar, an associate of Murmu said, “Sir, only four shall go for fishing and another four to further down the valley for mushroom picking and Kham Aloo digging.”
Later on, I learnt about Kham Aloos, which are giant shaped potato type vegetables.
I heard all these but on a second thought preferred to hide my reactions.
I never climbed so high a hill before. Gasping for breath, I stopped at few places and instead of drinking water, sucked the juicy sweet and sour citruses, freshly picked from the valley by my associates.

 We were on our way to the highest peak of the Eastern hills. The flat area around the peak was just half of a football ground provided an excellent bird’s eye view of the entire prospecting area.  
Apart from this, it appeared that as if at a short distance a giant is smashing the air columns with roars.
However, Murmu and the survey team showed me the actual roaring giant. It was a giant indeed, a gigantic waterfall at the Northeast corner   of mist covered Western hills.
As it was quite after the mid day, most reluctantly we left the eastern hill top and started climbing down for the survey of the Northeastern part of the slope and back to camp.
Murmu reminded me that we should speed up to reach the spot for Lunch break. Nair babu would be anxiously waiting for us.
While going down, a flat stretch came covered with tall neck length dense grasses but intercepted frequently by tall trees.
Murmu and his team stopped just before this stretch. With their tense face, they were whispering among themselves and constantly scanning the branches of trees and the tall grasses.
Although they tried to hide, it appeared to me that they were reluctant to cross the tall grass stretch and decided, “Wait and see”
Were they suspecting the presence of some thing dangerous hiding in the neck length jungle of tall grasses? Using my binocular, I began scanning the neck length jungle.( part 3- the survival fight between a King cobra and Mongoose tomorrow 24.04.2014)


umashankar said...

The plot thickens and thickens... Meeting with a soul? I would be waiting for that for sure!

Indrani said...

Waiting to read the next part.

Indiawilds said...

Interesting. But Impala in India?

Pradip Kumar Biswas said...

Thank you Umashankar Ji, Indrani and Indiawilds. I can not tell you the location due to some reasons. These deers were golden colred, wit starry spots, or with a Horizontal stripe running from head to tail just at the belly line. They move by jumping at move at very fast speeds. In jumbia, Indonesia I heard people call them as Impalas. In india People call them as spotted deer.