Sundeep Bhutoria

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ess bee

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Friday, November 26, 2010

The call of the jungle

Gary Kirsten, Coach of Indian Cricket Team, at the Pench National Park
Silence has its own voice. One should go to the jungles to experience this. There is so much calm in the forests that one can listen to the sound of dews dropping on the leaves. Yesterday evening I was in a jungle again at the Pench National Park in Madhya Pradesh. I had been planning since 2007 to stay at one of the Taj Safari lodges but it didn't materialise earlier.
But then, there is a right time for everything. And as far as the jungles go, they always call you.
This Taj Lodge is a haven of peace and tranquility set amid forest trees and the highly personalised service adds to the comfort. Bereft of urban trappings, the jungle experience is all about going back to the nature. But there are some experiences that can make your heartbeat faster like the last night's hullabaloo on the roof of my lodge around 3 am. I called up the counter but nobody answered the phone till 4 am. I did not open the door till sun up as I feared it must have been some denizen of the jungle out on a courtesy call.
Later in the morning I learnt that it was a group of langurs. Only few days ago a tiger had passed by the Lodge during the wee hours. While having coffee I spotted a sambhar standing next to one of the Tata Safari custom-made cars that was our mode of transport in the jungle.
Yesterday at the swimming pool, I saw a gentleman reading a book on his iPad. After the pleasantries, he introduced himself as Gary from South Africa. During our conversation I realized that his too, like mine, was a spur-of-the-moment decision to visit the Lodge. Our cars were together on the morning drive to the jungle and we even clicked a photo together. While coming back from the jungle trip, at the Park’s exit gate, few people shouted for his attention and approached him for his autograph. This aroused my curiosity and I asked him about his profession.
The coach of the Indian Cricket Team just smiled, probably at my cricket sense.
My butler, who was surprised at my knowledge of cricket or rather lack of it, informed me that after India defeated the Kiwis, the Nagpur match had ended early and Kirsten decided to visit the Pench National Park. The Indian coach struck me as a very nice and composed person.
I shall leave for Kolkata today and have plans to attend few events in the evening provided the flight is on time.
ess bee

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