Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Temple of tigers

After exactly 2 years, I'm going back to Ranthambhore- the Temple of Tigers. Setting so dramatic and so full of photo opportunities that I've always been unhappy after a visit. I never think I did justice to the opportunities nor that I got enough. My last trip report to Ranthambhore can be found here. Was a fun trip though we did not shoot much.

This time around I go with no expectations. As they say contentment is indeed the mother of happiness. It's not the best time for sighting (which is March to June)and as usual I've not planned this through. Called up Dicky day before yesterday and today evening I'll be in a plane to Jaipur and then to Sawai Madhopur. (Thank god for little mercies - Air Arabia flies directly to Jaipur helping me avoid Delhi and saving around 8 hours)

Indian forests, more than anything else she has, takes me close to spirituality. Being in Rajbaug, taking the scenery around in the soft orange glued winter light of Rajastan through the morning mist is as close to being spiritual as one can be.

I often wonder - what's it about nature and forests that is so deep ? Almost a painful melancholy; a stark reminder about what we have borrowed from future and have been pretty callous about in our present. A throw back to the most primitive and adventurous core of a human. A salutation to free spirit and a million possibilities.

Whether I see anything or not, it's going to be a week of peace away from the urban jungles of Dubai. Cheers to a million possibilities.

Be back soon...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Reads and views !

Been quite a busy quarter for me even without too many cross continental flights. Anyways, catching up currently on some reading and some viewing ! Couldn't help but recommend a few

1. Born Wild by Tony

Personally for me, Tony and George has both been inspirational people. I know purists who are extremely skeptical about their tactics and about any reintegration program around the world especially pertaining to big cats. But hey, conservation is about life forms - science/scientific research can only so much predict and draw the contours of what is right or wrong. These two humans did whatever they did with extreme passion and extreme love. And for this reason, Ill forever be in awe of them

2. Eternal enemies - one of the first major docu movie from Duba plains in Okavango by Jouberts who have since then become synonymous with this delta in the sweltering Botswana. I've never been to Bots but this clearly has put ideas in my mind ! Amazing lighting, visualizations and patience in every shot is evident. The recently released Last Lions is again an excellent text book in wild life film making. One does feel it has some editing issues at least for my pretty amateur tastes - sequences stitched together from clearly different lighting situations to create the flow in story. Eternal enemies for me presents Jouberts and Duba at it's best. Even more than Last Lions (which of course is still better than many others from 2011 coming out of Africa- but then that is expected of the Jouberts)

Don't yet know where 2012 will take me - but hope I can go back to my favorite continent soon !