Sunday, 15 June 2008

I love animals.....


Route down from my post


A group of mountain goats on route to my post


A closeup of one mountain goat.

Infact my love for wildlife is so much that when I was a kid I never wanted to join army as a profession as first choice. I wanted to be a naturalist. I wanted to be part of conservation and be near to nature. I was once advised by my father that if you do not settle first and do not earn a living -- it will be very difficult to establish in this field -- till you have an identity of your own. You have to earn, be independent and then take up a social cause once you have established your self in any sphere.

I took heed to his advise and never ever debated this point. To bring it out today is again not with a sense to debate it. I/he may have been wrong or right. the point is that my life took a turn and I went to NDA. After four years of whatever I became an officer.

My mother side of the family were very found of hunting. I used to join them off and on. It was there I learnt how to track animals, recognise birds. They were not the kind of hunters that you find in everyday life now-a-day (like some people walk with a gun in hand and shoot the first thing you come across) -- they were a kind of royals who hunted and were very strict about how and what they hunted. I remember they went on a deer hunt and the first deer they came across I pointed out. I was promptly told that it was a female and that was not to be touched in this season. After some while a big group of wild boars came in our view and when I once again pointed out -- once again I was told politely that -- they were out only for deer. It did confuse me a lot at that age and time -- especially so when we came home without a bag.

Today I look around and realise -- we are not going to loose our wildlife to hunting with such principles -- but to the senless so called hunting where in just the lust to kill womething is so great that we don't give a damn to age, sex, season and whole lot of other things associated.

Anyhow what I have talked about was a very long time back and I was very young. Then I hunted myself - a lot of birds, rabbits, deer, wild boar and so on. Then I started flying -- I have now flown in helicopters over the entire country. You cannot imagine what India I have seen from above. Miles and miles and miles of endless towns, villages with nothing that you can call forests. I have seen logging in so called hearts of national sancturies. I seen people I could not influence gun down the first thing they see on four legs and then throw that carcass -- lest they are caught. It was all senseless.

Then I decided that I will start shooting of a different kind. Unfortunately on my salary I could only dream of the kind of eqpt I dream't about. A Digital canon or nikon SLR with good telephoto lens -- however the fire burns and whenever I can -- I do not permit killing of wild animals any more. I look at a wild snake - a bird - and animal with the same kind of pity -- If someone or all of us do not do something fast we will not have wildlife to show to our next generation.

There was a time just 10 years back that I flew over areas of bathinda and saw herds of deer and bluebull. Today I do not see such concentration in the deepest of rajasthan -- and mind you no one is bothered. We sleep and eat and be merry -- we are too busy to live our lives that we no longer seem to care about anyone or anything for that matter.

I have another outlook that is not shared by many (Meneka Gandhi to start with). Another major cause of this is stray dogs and cats. The amount of wildlife that they have destroyed is phenomenal. They life on the periphery of human population. They grow with the human population and they push out the wild life even further than humans as they roam miles and miles. Maul and kill deer, fox, patridges, and what not. I feel that if we eliminate stray dogs and cats then the wildlife will be closer to us even in cities and towns. If we go a step further and teach our population not to chase - kill wild life just for the heck of it we have a chance to save them for our next generation to live with peacefully.

Please do leave your experiences and share your views with me. Today I post photographs of mountain goat that I clicked in my last posting in the Himalayas.

8 comments:

geniusjaggu said...

cheemaji,
yummy..it looks delicious...(esp.first photo pic from top,..pun intended) ;)

Uma,
u cant stop me from ogling at the menu :D

S S Cheema said...

Jaggu: please -- I thought I will talk some sense into you -- but you remain what you are.
LOL
And by the way I also killed one of them. The winter was extremely harsh that year and remember Tsunami? that is the year I was talking about. 40' plus of snow and all. after being cut off for two months on a stretch and eating tinned food - we decided to have fresh once. I cannot justify my actions but then I shot one of them and distributed to everyone on the posts. That remained to be the only kill as long I was there for two complete years.
I know Uma will feel bad -- but that's the way it was.
Cheema

geniusjaggu said...

cheemaji,
sorry i cudnt read your post..(i saw only the pics after mkt close in evening[i was very tired of boring trading day]...and wrote the comment).

well u have highlighted a very good topic like not killing a female species(even today...u can see NO females[like milk yielding goat,cows..etc] are spared from butchers knife...

cheemaji,u try nikon D40(cost just Rs.22,000 (this price is better than margin money for nifty futures)

and little expensive 10 Mega pixel nikon D40x..which will cost u Rs.35,000..

yes,ppl nowadays care a little abt wild animals...

yes,stray dogs are menace,best thing is to adopt them in a society like manner so tat they dont go outside their society territory...tat wud have been sensible approach...

actually its wonderful to see wild animals in their natural habitat than having domesticated ones at home(since ghar ki murghi dal barabar)...

even i miss the wild bird and animals,which have lost in eternity except only in our distant memories like myna's,parrots(wild and mango eating ones),then koyals(i dont know wat its called in english)....snake eating bird(which we consider to be a good omen if we spot it in our backyard)...many more wonderful species which we may have lost for future generations to see and experience the pleasure of staying with them....

geniusjaggu said...

one more thing.... i miss very much we are moving far away from nature... we are becoming more mechanical with our life( here we = humans)

i miss my childhood days...when we used to have so many variety of bird nests in our homes tat we considered it as nuisance, after cleaning the houses with nest again these birds wud build them...

in the end these birds wud have won battle and we kids used to have great company during our exam days(grrr....with boring subjects)...in form of playing with chicks(cheemaji i meant bird chicks,not human ones)...

geniusjaggu said...

yes cheemaji it always good to have fresh food and tinned and packaged one..LOL...

enough for today...if any new memories,will pen it down here....goodnight for today

S S Cheema said...

I sat on the banks of River Saryu (in Faizabad) after gving my 10th exams. My father was posted there in the Brigade HQ as a Deputy COmmandant. There I saw great fish comming to surface. I thought that it is something odd. I went back and reffered to one of my friends who too was interested in wildlife. The fish turned out to the the Gangantic Dolphins. I volunteered for a sortie to Fazabad about 18 years afterwards. I spent the entire evening with a local fisherman in the river without spotting a single one.
How unfortunate we are that we do not respect our nature. Try proposing a mall to be built on river Ganga -- people will lap it up. Try making them contributing something for conservation. You would be crazy to even try it.

Thanks Jaggu for suggesting the cameras. It is just that in Jan crash (when I had almost ordered D80) I lost my entire savings. I was out of station with no access to net or news. I could never imagine the loss I suffered -- 23 lks went down the drain by the time ICICI bank decided to square up my positions due to non availability of margin money -- and I had thought I will make tons of money.
So I do read about cameras -- keep in touch and will wait till I recover my money from FII's and buy myself a good camera.
Cheema

Uma said...

cheema, Jim Corbett was a hunter too. I guess people evolve with the circumstances....Nothing to judge anyone about. I think the only way to save nature is to lead a frugal life and make people realize that they're not missing out on anything by sacrificing a few pleasures for the coming generation.

S S Cheema said...

Uma: the issues about the man being a hunter and protector is very complicated and never ending. See I firmly believe that earlier the man was close to nature and it respected it.
Today sitting in Ac office we are just too mad and materialistic to care a damn. I really don't know where we are headed like this. I remember when I was small We had a joke "So and so asked some one where do you get the milk you drink in the morning? the answer was 'a bottle'" we laughed on this till we had tears in our eyes. Today try asking some kid in the metro! I will be surprised if you get any different answer. I can almost bet that not more than a percent in metro (born last 10-15 yrs) can tell you a difference between a cow and a buffalo.
I feel sad when there is a news in one of the local news paper and says 'cheetah enters a village and is pelted to death' We lost our cheetah (extinct) before independence. there have been an odd report of sighting but none could be confirmed. there was a talk about reintroducing an african cheetah in our country that never really took off.
What I mean is that we do not care a damn as far as we are on the right side of the stock market.
I am sorry but I do get emotional and get carried away talking wild life.