Bangalore’s Original Gangster Comedian Sundeep Rao is usually a man who will leave you rolling on the floor, REALLY laughing your backside off. Here we have him talking to us on a more serious note; an experience that on many levels was exhilarating, but on some, a little, well… not so exhilarating. Read on for a fresh perspective, out of focus!
The smell of the forest is a distinct one. It’s fresh, woody and during the monsoon it’s almost soul awakening for me. One of my most memorable, magical days in the last couple of years (not counting my wedding of course!) was my visit to River Tern Lodge at Bhadravati.
My relationship with Nature
Nature for me is not a visual experience. My visual impairment might have something to do with that! So no, I didn’t see that beautiful sunset nor did I spot that elephant. You won’t find me venturing off into the jungle and I like to stay a safe distance from it. Not being able to see very well is not ideal when a tiger is close by, but that doesn’t take away from how fulfilling it is for me. When I immerse myself in such an environment, it’s the sound of the place that brings me peace of mind.
It’s almost enchanting; so different from the constant ring of doorbells, car horns and cellphones of everyday life.
I like to play the role of an observer, without disturbing the home of our forest companions. I find it cruel to go into their habitat and make it ours… probably the reason why I don’t like zoos. I find them cruel…at least the ones that I have seen. The beauty of nature lies in appreciating and respecting it. In being an observer, one must adhere to etiquette and that’s how I like to enjoy my experience with the natural world.
How we can make a difference
I’ve noticed that the biggest challenge for the people who run accommodation businesses close to national parks and reserves is not the environment, but the visitors. You’ll see the occasional selfie kings and queens, fashion bloggers and vloggers who not only come there for the wrong reasons, but disturb the tranquility of the surroundings as well. Bollywood music around bonfires, loud cackles of intoxicated laughter, all spell danger when you’re in an environment as a mere observer. It is so important to maintain decorum.
You could go with a large group of thirty like-minded people and have an unforgettable experience, but just two people creating havoc can make it a disturbing one. You are not just disturbing the peace of the place, but you’re even ruining it for the others with you. So, be considerate towards your fellow travelers, and all can enjoy the peace of these beautiful places. We can dance to Honey Singh at sangeets and ‘Bollywood Night’ parties back in the city!
Edited by Dominic D’Cruz