Sunday, 15 June 2008
I love animals.....
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.