Saturday, January 31, 2009


A big question is bugging me since last few days. Shall I involve myself with other people who wants to oppose Tiger translocation to Panna?

Since late 80's Forest Officers used / Manupulated Tiger figures to get promoted? this is nothing but simple truth. If it is not true then we would have not seen Sariska and Panna in present condition.

In late 70's and early 80's I was in touch of many many forest officers and junior staff. With time they all got promoted and like a boy who was working as an orderly in early 80's is a Forester or Deputy Ranger in a National Park.

Some of these people are my very good source of information. Some of my forest officer friends are A CLASS wildlifers but work under frustration. Some of them told me that they dont want to work any more in wildlife only because nobody wants to do any constructive work.

They wants to have a good cotacts by showing the Tiger to big bosses so thay can be used at appropiate times.

One of my Journalist friend phoned me few weeks before. At present he works for a Television Channell and head of M.P. unit of their organisation. He went to some retired Forest officer to talk on some issues. This person was agreed to his points but refused to speak on camera with a request by saying this on camera they will stop me calling in all the meetings and shunt me out from committees.

Some years back when present Prime Minister declared Sunita Narayan as head of the tiger task force committee there was a big uproar against her. Anyway. She asked me to provide her the information from Bandhavgarh area and on different issues.

My points were very well accepted and i see those issues in Tiger Task Force Committee report.

I am not against the forest department but at present in the

direction it is heading is not the right direction for future. Everyone opposes Chainlink wire Fencing around National Parks.

Disrupted by staff. Needs to leave now.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Digital photography is time sucking. After a good morning in jungle hardly gets any time to do anything else. I had few surprises last week. Biggest was Quarterly sell letter from one of the photo agency. Two Tiger pictures sold in America got me less than a hundread rupees in total. Raw cost of entering the park is more than two thousand Rupees. Forest department has increased the rates for Elephant booking for Photograpic permission for three people, fourth will be forest department employee on elephant with photographer but god knows for what, is Rs 40000/ per day. I dont see any photographer to recover that kind of money from Tiger photographs. I found that butterfly photographs can fetch better money than Tiger.
Last week few villagers confessed killing of few Tigers. WPSI crack the poaching racket.
A male Tiger that left Tala range last year in Dec came back in the park. That is not a very good news. His return raises a question. Either he found poor prey base out of the park or area more disturbed so he decided to come back. Cats do have memory, good memory.
I photographed this tiger few times in last few weeks. Face and body stripe of this Tiger matches to Tiger photographed last year.
Vulture population is again down this year. Few vulture nests on southern and northern side of fort hill are abandoned. Last year vultures were nesting on these cliffs.
today I saw more fencing to be erected around Tala range. What is happening. Is this the conservation policy?? It looks like as these people got influenced by the Management Plan of South African National Parks. There they are mainly fenced. But their area is huge. We cant compete with them. By this method soon Bandhavgarh Ntl Park will become a Glorified Safari National Park.
In long run big cats will suffer with in-breeding problem. they are in-breeding now. in Bandhavgarh, B2, the dominant male tiger carries 50% genes similar to four other females he mates with.
So his arrival back in the park is not a good news for gene pool.
Last week we were talking with a Park Director from Spain. He didn't see enough prey base in the jungle. At present we have 7 breeding females and three males in Tala range. All these seven females are with cubs. So for food consumption we count total 20 adult Tigers in Tala Range. So according to various Tiger specialists i.e. Late Sh. Sankhla and Saroj Raj Choudhary and Mr. Panwar if a Tiger needs one adult chital per week for his survival then approximately 1000 chital or other adult animals are killed per year. Apart from Tiger we have Leopard, Jackal, Wolf and Dhole. Jackal kills more fawn than adult animal. Do we have that kind of reproduction in prey base animals to sustain this Tiger population??
Idea of Saving the Nature for next generation does not suites me. I say that why you are fighting a lost battle. It is important to control the human population only then we can think of Saving The Nature and Natural resources for future generation otherwise future generation will kill them all for their own survival.
we had very good Tiger sighting today. I was not carrying any memory card with me so I had to edit some photos to create the space. Kay said that after a ong time she saw a tiger climbing, scratching and biting the tree.
Hope i have not bored you.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Hariom inform me at 0625 that today is the last day for vehicle checking by forest department. All we need to do is fill the petrol reach to the park gate and ask them where to go. Rampur and back. I met Mr Mahobia at Khirki junction and no one at Rampur so completed the tour back to Gate via Ghorademon.
Now my vehicles are certified for plying in the park. What a joke.
Dr Goswami called from states. He gave some medical advice to Kay. Anjee is inTamilnadu. Kay is feeling better now / today. First time in two months are saw her with some energy. Hope she will feel better soon.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Jack and Anna left for jabalpur at 4 AM. I was expecting them to be in jabalpur by 0830 or so but they reached there by 0730. Drivers excuse is no traffic on road at that time makes journey smooth and faster.
Very lazy day. Hariom was in jungle in morning and afternoon.
We got lots of fresh Papaya. Kali says they dont taste good.
I am affraid we may not have enough mango this year. i dont see any flower on mango trees. our jackfruit tree is also not bearing any fruit.
spend the day literally resting. Very non productive day.
Hope tomorrow will be better.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


These two pictures are to prove his identity. First was taken in March 2007 and otherone today.
Kay reckon the Tiger we saw today is P10. A male cub of Pyari from her last litter. One of those three cubs who moved to Bamera last year. He was mating with Lakshmi since last three - four days. Did he push Shaki aka Bokha? We saw him again in the afternoon. He did not care for the jeep.This tiger came back to his motherland. let us see how long he stays here. is he going to challenge B2? Jack and Anna were happy with the sighting. This was their last game drive.
They saw him again in that chaos.


Today's sigting solved the mystery of this New Tiger mating with Lakshmi. He is P10, Pyari's male cub from the last litter. He with his other siblings moved to Panpatha last year. Two are still thre but he came back to his motherland. Why?? Is the prey base low out of Tala range??


Somedays in the jungle are animal days. I mean days for them but not for tourist. It was nice day, good sunshine clear weather but sighting of animals were not good. It looked as majority of animals were enjoying sun on top of hills where tourist cant reach. Few lucky jeeps saw a Tiger coming out of no where near Badi Gufa.
Greeny was not well in the morning but little twist from the mechanic, change of one Spark plug and point put her in old spirit. I wish we could do that for ourselves?
Kay thinks her headache is a part of Sarcoidosis. Alopathy dont have sure cure for it. It help in suppressing the symptoms but dont cure.
Does anyone of you have ay idea what helps in Sarcoidosis?
received a nice Calendar from Brian Mathew Thanks for it and thanks to those thieves of Postal System too who spared it.
munmun and mahi joined us for dinner. they will be back in umaria sunday eve.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


We left for Delhi on 8th. Hariom drove Ele Barkell in the afternoon. Rainy day. nothing much is seen. After reaching Katni we found our train Gondwana 3 hours late and at last it started five and half hours late Reached Delhi ten hours late. Kay's appointment time missed. Luckily another time fixed for tomorrow 10th Jan.
few more tests and few more medicines. Kay is annoyed that doctor talks to me than her. Next time I wont go with her. i think some Indians are still in that social binding that do not talk to a women in her husbands presence.
Next visit is fixed for next month exactly after thirty days.
Train journeys in second A/C is always annoying. One has to pray to god for not hearing snoring - farting man women in the vicinity but drunk passengers with mobile phone is another curse of the air conditioned compartment. Another thing that annoy es me most is These new rich people who treat every other passenger as third grade in every sense. Passengers with young kids is another curse in the train compartment. One kid about 2 yrs old came to our seat and within minutes spit his food on floor. We just look at each other and I clean the floor. mother says Naughty boy. Bloody hell when you are feeding him keep him with you. Sometimes I want to go to these peoples houses too see how they live. Most of the passengers I have seen do not have any sense about the cleanliness.
We were very cautious about our train journey back home. I checked few times about train departure. 5.45 hrs late. Even than I decided to reach to the station about an hour before schedule departure. Train left 7 hrs late reached Katni 12 hrs late. We both were hungry. Asked Sonu to cook dinner for us so we had meal in Umaria. Reached home at 10 PM.
Delhi is a city of Tout and cheaters. i can submit my affidavit on this in any court of India. I never got a simple honest answer from any Auto or Rickshaw or Taxi Driver in last 30 yrs. Seeing Kay (White skin women) with me make things worse. Metro is a God Gift for Delhi. I wish I could travel every corner of Delhi through metro.
Why all these Governments could not made Delhi drivers behave like Mumbai Taxi drivers. This is the one point where every government ruled Delhi has failed.
I dont celeberate any festival but do love to eat all the sweets avialable on these occassions. This time no Makar Sankranti Laddu.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


New Year first week was busy. i had two very good sightings of Durga's female cub. First one was with Mr Gerrard Bota his wife and his friend and other one of the same tiger with Ele Barkell, Liz, Lisa and Greame. Park was busy. Everyone has to rush to Hardia to get registered higher in numbers for Tiger show. As usual I decided to enter the park late and stay behind. I say avoiding the dust. Durga was seen crossing the road. Later I saw Tiger pugmarks on jeep track and there she was hiding behind the bush. I gave her some space to come out and there she was.
Next day with Ele Barkell we found her sitting on cement block. But she did not displayed like yesterday.
One good sighting in three days satisfy the client. After a photographable sightings we look for other animals. Still I look for a good Chital photograph. Last one I photographed in Bandhavgarh was 7 yrs back.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Last week of December was spent at home Relaxing. We were chasing hospitals in Umaria, Bhopal,Mumbai and Delhi since November but this story on some other time when I post our yearly diary. Christmas and New year were quite for us. I dont celeberate any festival except Rakhi. On Rakshabandhan my whole family members gathers at my mothers house and everyone enjoy teasing eachother.

Fuji Films held their exhibition in delhi in last week of December where I was one of the contributor. Raghu Rai came to inaugrate the Exhibition. He has set a Landmark i photography for all other photographrs in the country. His pictures speaks itself. I will ask him if we can afford a print of one of his photographs.

Some Park Directors from Spain wanted to visit Bandhavgarh. They arrived on 4th morning and stayed till 6th.

Majority of my clients dont want to go on Elephant to see the Tiger. They all comes to me through some reference so past experience of other people increases their hopes of sighting a Tiger with me. This puts a tremendous pressure on me of doing better than before. I am living with this now and quite use to of it.

I pinpointed my Target at home. Which Tiger I want to see and where the chances of Photography is better is all decided long before entering the park. Sometimes I fail because of silly route System in the park.

Cats have memory and a very good memory. They remember and can recognise individual vehicle. In all my years I have never put my vehicle close to Tiger. I prefer them to have the choice. I have photographed Tiger walking towards the jeep and satdown 6 foot away from me. Once 3 curious cubs came out of the bamboo, one sat infront of the jeep one behind and third one attracted to the noise of my camera came straight to me.

Guide sitting behind was scared to death. He asked us several time to leave the place. Atlast I asked him to keep quite and enjoy the moment. Few minutes later I heard him requesting Can I smoke? I said Yes why not. Last wish should be fullfilled with honour. So he smoke and he photograph quitely. He was scared with 7-8 months old cub.

we found Durga with 4-5 other jeep. Nice sighting. walking through the woods and crossing the road infront of the jeep. Clients were very happy. They all were shivering in excitement.

Every other jeep rushed back to registration point I decided to wait for dust to settle. near Badhaini Pool i saw pugmarks on jeep track and there was this cub sitting 10 feet from me in the bamboo looking at us. I moved to give her some space and feel secure. Nice sighting for next thirty minutes or so. She obeliged us in going in to the water playing with twigs chasing the stone biting bamboo leaves and at last going in to the water.

once we finished photography and she was gone Gerrard said to his wife Sorry to tell you but that gave me an Orgasm.

So I have 3 very happy clients now.

Sunday, January 4, 2009



I visited the Park today, entered from Magadhi gate. Frustrating, seen nothing. Not very many chances to see much game in that area. Difficult to convince the tourist. why this area was opened Tough question to answer. Guides and drivers tells the plain truth to Tourists that it is not Magadhi you are in part of Tala range. Anyway.