Apoorva Joshi

PhD student - Michigan State University; Independent journalist - environment, science and international news.

Fellow - International League of Conservation Writers.

Member - Society of Environmental Journalists, International Communication Association.

29th september 2006- ive waited for this day more than ive waited to see shah rukh khan!!! n when it finally came, i was beside myself with evry practical emotion there is... i was packed, ready to leave for reporting at 9:30pm. got there..mom n avanti came to drop me.. n as luck wud have it...roads packed coza processions-navratri!!-god knows why?!?!? neway- then, we reached.. n got to know the car had a flat. boom! so i reported, put my luggage in, n got the driver of our bus to fix the flat... then skippin the unnecessary stuff... we got on the bus, evryone waiting to get there as fast as ever... yapping,singing,playing,hitting,laughing like a bunch of madmen... we passed time till 3am..then almost evryone was asleep... devendra n i were listening to music... n talkin... then i was on the fone for about 7minutes ;-) then resuming talking...we slept at 4:45am... woke up at 6am... n when we were about 2minutes frm our hotel in Amboli... we stopped, n b4 evryone knew.. devya n i were out faster than u can say "A".snake!!!!!- n a guy with a boulder who wud've dropped it ne second.. thanks to devya, who made a head catch n got the dude outta danger... n guess what- in our wildestest of dreams... NOONE had even imagined ki we'd get a CORAL SNAKE- on r 1st day...even when trails hadnt begun!!! wat a start!!!!aftr that, all the pattin n praising... we cudnt stop grinning... id lost control over my jaw...grin grin n grin! thats it! n then finally it decided- to stop grinnin(externally)... then we went to r assigned rooms- co-incidence again- that this year again- the same roomies- in the same room!!! room 202- again!!!then the intro trail- where we saw a lot! -botanically!!! n other wise- a helluva lota butterflies!-the blue mormon, red helen, common mormon, the moths!!! those gorgeous moths-with unbelievable camouflage!!! n really dashing colours! thats oliander hawk moth, then the lunar moth... all of em- so mysteriously pretty... then jst when evryone's like all-yeh!! its not raining... mr.rain god decides- who's boss- so downpour!!!...n helter skelter...xcept 4me as usual... love to get wet dnt i...especially on a trail-rockin!!!!!then back to hotel sailee... n then lunch... then a li'l break... next trail- to mahadevgarh point... where we did a lot of experimental photography...with the torch beam!!! ;-) what masti my god!!! n then that documentary-bout the roadkills- touching... and...eye opening... in many ways!!! then back, dinner, night trail!!!!!- where... the gecko decided to drop in....i aint gona go into details of when what n how... but in brief... il give us a list of which 9snakes we had the privilege of seeing...firstly- the Stiped Coral Snake-xtremely venomous-with NO anti-venom!then- 1sub-adult Vine Snake,1 full grown Vine, n then the chhota sa juvenile Vine that i caught.... ( ;-) )then- the Malabar Pit Viper- venomous again-mindblowingly diffrnt frm last timesthen came - the Travancore Wolf Snake-that was the most shocking thing ever!!! i had dreamt of gettin a wolf the earlier night!!! jesus-shock is the word!aftr that- Bamboo Pit Viper- with a clearly beautiful yellow tinge...and the 2 cute Shieldtails- one Pied-Bellied n the other- the Bombay Shieldtail.so this is the Snake record... apart frm which- a zillion moths n butterflies... skinks, Scolopendra- wierd but hell venomous... 3 in all- n bird life- wo baby!- Malabar Grey Hornbill- 2!!! sighting!!! leeches- that absolutely refused to get onto me this time!!! hated that part!!! :-( but neway...9 snakes made up for it! botanically- what variation!!! Devendra was like telling us the name of every freaking plant,flower...watevr!!!! i was goin bananas!!! remembring all that!but yeah... nothing!!! NOTHING in this world can match this place- the variety, the wilderness... n the fact that- it makes u 4get evry lil thing that evr upset u... n makes u a new person!!!- recharges me evrytime!!! hence- not 2nd home..but the ONLY home!cud never find sumplace bettr than Amboli... the photos say it all... n as for cmin back here... in Pune- it means- ki... there gona b a next time... 2go back!!! optimism- keeps u alive at times like this... n let june cum...il b off again!!! i wud've given a more detailed report on the trails n stuff... but that cums next..not in this account. this one's simply about how much im in love- with Amboli... n ... a bear!!!yeah i know u dont see bears there.. but havent u hevr heard of imaginative power???? ;-) neway- thats all for now... hope u got a slight idea wat its about... cheers to Home man!!!! n cheers to evryone 4makin this such a memorable camp... gna last us a life time! so thats it from AJ... see ya round sumtime then... ciao!all 4 one-AMBOLI- CRIKEY!!!!!- love is indeed life!!!

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