Tagged : ‘Goa’
“Papa laptop!” The beastly boy’s sound pierced the still air of the night. “Yes.” I could imagine the father nod in the dark. The mother chips in, “She has taken her pictures for Outlook Traveler. She has come from Bangalore.” She pitches her voice just enough to make sure I had heard. I grabbed my laptop and went into my room wondering what made them think I had taken their pictures. I will never get used to ‘casual’ curiosity. A few more minutes of trying to work enjoying the fresh air and I’d be ambushed into a conversation.
Two nights back, when I first arrived at Natures Nest, I was flabbergasted, to say the least. The room was so threadbare, simple, that I was about to ask the eager- looking attendant when the room was going to be made. I tried to remind myself that I was on a ‘nature trail’ story in Goa. The tiny frogs inside my bathroom didn’t bother me much. But some time in the middle of the night when I woke up to find a frog neatly tucked under my sheets, I realized now I have officially slept with a frog!
When Ramesh, one of the three partners of Natures Nest told me it’s a one and a half hour trek to Tambdi Surla waterfalls, I could feel my insides churn. Something has to be said about people who constantly push their boundaries. I could hardly do it. Trekking isn’t my thing and I was already having nightmares about it. Well, I did do it. Three hours of trekking in total. The Bhagwan National park was bursting in lush green and we were explorers of the tallest order! The waterfall was somewhat disappointing if you ask me. Few minutes into trying to make a crappy picture look average, I realized I had crashed a bachelor’s party; a party of city boys who couldn’t handle the delicate beauty of the jungle. We headed back.
Hanging out with Ramesh has its perks. He has an infectious enthusiasm for snakes and birds. My indifference towards the creatures not withstanding, he would thrust his binoculars in my hands and describe the features of the bird. I don’t blame me for being finally hooked to bird watching. In one day and two nights, I had photographed and learnt the salient features of a Spectacle Cobra, argued that the beauty of a Malabar Whistling Thrush is overrated, admired Malabar Trogons, Bronzed Drongos, Indian Rollers, Green Bee-eaters, Wire-Tailed Swallows and rescued a Racket-Tailed Drongo from an attacking crow. As I peered over some shrubs to catch a glimpse of the Sri Lankan Frog Mouth couple staring back hard at me, I was told that I was very lucky to have seen them. Yet it is the Malabar Whistling Thrush that captured my imagination. Aka the Idle School Boy, this little average-looking dude had a lovely tune to whistle, setting the perfect tone for the jungle symphony.
(to be continued…)