Saturday, October 10, 2009

Independence Day '09 at Topslip

This Independence Day, we decided to spend trekking quietly in the forests at Topslip. Beautiful, untouched forests - the need to protect them, the flora and fauna, is all that I can think of. Yes, sometimes I think that I am trespassing uninvited to someone else's home. But, I love being there. Yes, I am a human being, I am selfish. My happiness comes first. But we do take care not to horn anywhere in the jungle, not to litter, not to talk, not to disturb. And I hope that the trees and animals there feel my need to connect with them. I give them so little, but what I get from them is something immeasurable, unfathomable. One trek in the forest, and I live on that high for months. It cleanses my brain, my being, frees my thoughts, pulls down the chains. I feel free, like a bird in the forest. It makes me feel so small, that I understand my position in the bigger scheme of things - my place in the lap of Mother Nature. I am so happy in that lap.

For you people, who have taken time to visit my blog, these pictures are to share the beauty I saw. Topslip is one of the last bits of pristine forestland left in India. Part of the Western Ghats, this stretch of tropical forest is home to the Tiger, the Elephant, the Panther, the sloth Bear, the Sambhar deer, the Spotted deer, the Giant Squirrel, the Teak and Rosewood trees, the innumerable birds and insects. They all have one home. The forests. And their only enemy today, is mankind. There is need to understand the importance of such forests and help in the fight to preserve them against ourselves, mankind, for future generations. There is need to learn to coexist, like the tribals who live deep inside the forest.

To the Wildlife wardens, the guide, the staff at Topslip, the tribals, thanks for making this Independence Day, one we will remember forever. To people thinking of visiting Topslip as a picnic point, the forests are not picnic points. They are someone else's home. They are open to you but treat it with respect. They are treasure troves, willing to show us the bounty, if only we will see it, not through a prism, but with our own eyes.

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