Rustic Reflections

Archive for the ‘Connoisseur dossier’ Category

(T)errific, (H)ypnotic, (O)utstanding, (L)ovely feathered creatures, birds, flying high in the sky, have always caught our fancy to reach for the sky and have given our imagination wings of passion, ambition and fascination. All of us have longed for that flight of freedom through the unending blue of the sky and the remembrance of that beautiful dream have always filled in us, hope, positivity and buoyancy. This wonderful dream, snoozing in a corner of my heart, suddenly plunged to take a great leap, and gave me this idea to explore a bird sanctuary.

Incidentally I was in Ahmedabad, city of my childhood memories, to catch up with old buddies and we chose Thol Bird Sanctuary as our weekend getaway. Adding zest to the idea was the company of my best friend whose lively presence made it my most pleasurable nature trip. So we left for Thol early in the morning at about 7:15 AM. Chill and charm in the morning breeze made the journey even more enjoyable and thrilling, especially for night-riders like us. Thol Sanctuary is located 40 kms northwest of Ahmedabad, in Mehsana District and it takes just 1 hr to reach that picturesque place, which makes it a place for a quick escapade from crazy chaos of cities.

As we transgressed beyond the boundaries of Ahmedabad, gradually farms replaced concrete-parks on both sides of the road in our driving-panorama in an easy transition and with this the chill in air became shriller sending the thrill of adventure right into our spines. As we approached near to the sanctuary, birds playing in the farms and over the foreheads of neck-deep-in-water buffaloes gave an indication of bevy of beauties waiting for us to mesmerize our imagination.

Generally we blame administration on lack of involvement in the maintenance of natural habitats, but in the case of Thol sanctuary, this same neglect turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Because this has gifted the petite sanctuary with that untouched, pristine, natural sense of beauty. So when we reached the place, we found no fences, no boundaries, no regulations and only a sleepy, meek policeman inside the ticket window. Unsure of which direction to proceed after taking the ticket, we just climbed the first steps to reach the top of the embankment which was initially looking like a high support for a railway line crossing through the agricultural land. But then when our eyes came across that gorgeous view of rippling lake and the surrounding greenery with herds of birds perched over trees and flying freely over the lucid waters, it became evident that there laid a treasure trove of scenic beauty waiting to be explored by us.

Following the ephemeral views of birds and beckoning waves of calm serene lake, we hurried towards the waters. The area around lake is surrounded by thick scrub forests with many yellow color flower trees. Such benevolent trees in full bloom give such a wonderful and alluring shadow under them with a dreamy carpet of flowers, that any person can fall in love with nature. And for a connoisseur like me, already in love, sitting under that lovely penumbra with my special someone, looking towards nature’s fascinating beauty through her eyes, is my most cherished dream!

When we reached near the shining waters, gleaming in the crimson rays of morning sun, there we found a rocky pathway reaching towards the center of lake. And we just plunged to hop over it with such child like ado and fun that life suddenly looked like coming out of all the hustle-bustle of our synthetic lives, as if a child finds his true solace and comfort in the lap of his mother. When we reached the tip of it and looked towards the mischievous small ripples of waters blowing with the morning breeze, with our hands spread outward, it reminded me of that beautiful titanic scene in which the loving couple just surrender themselves to each other in a mystic flight of their true love. We sat there in that lovely setting for quite some time capturing the beauty in our eyes and took world’s best breakfast.

Thol Lake, encompassing an area of 7 sq km has marshy fringes and with scrub forests surrounding the sides of the high banks, makes it an ideal spot for a large number of migratory birds, particularly those who belong to the category of waders and waterfowls.  Thol is their temporary sojourn for the winters and so it is best to visit this Lake Sanctuary in the months between October and March.

Rich variety of waterfowl including Mallards and good numbers of Greylag Geese, Sarus Cranes, the odd Spotted Flycatcher and waders which include Eurasian Curlews, wintering Great White Pelicans, Flamingos, grey pelicans, black ibis and a profusion of other wetland birds, makes it every bird-watcher’s dream place. Large number of waterfowls gets attracted to this site due to the agricultural fields surrounding the lake. This man-made wetland, created in 1912 and declared as a sanctuary in November 1988, has high conservation value. The tallest flying bird of the world Sarus crane inhabits this area and is found in good number.

As we strolled along the serene environment, weaving our way through the shaded canopy of trees we caught glimpses of many exotic Birds, came across some unique species of herbs and shrubs. Generous droppings of happy birds have given a white cover to sky-facing surfaces of trees and when we see it in sunlight as a whole, it looks like a white shawl clad dusky beauty. The dark and foreboding attractiveness of the thick herds of trees give it a fairy land kind of appearance. Emergent and floating aquatic plants are there at the Sanctuary along with some terrestrial trees and herbs such as desi baval, bor, neem, vad, pilu, gando baval, kerdo etc.

With that continuous intrigue, we ventured forth until one end of the lake and then returned back following the same lovely trail of hidden beauties of nature. If you are a true bird-lover and desire to observe Birds in their natural habitat peacefully and without any sudden and unsettling interruption, Thol Wildlife Sanctuary at Mehsana is the venue for you and most importantly you can satiate your desire in just 2-3 hours of passionate adventure.

It was really a lovely experience and this has given me a strong inspiration to unleash my long dormant passion…photography. I wish that ‘Thol’ may be the auspicious ‘dhol’ to begin my new found interest.. 🙂

So far apart, yet so close together!

So far apart, yet so close together!

PS…found these made-for-each-other shells some distance apart, while exploring the enticing fringes of Thol lake…these are the only souvenirs of our beautiful visit to Thol sanctuary !!


crazy heart chasing a crazy dream..
crazy heart chasing a crazy dream..

crazy heart and its crazy whispers
crazy is its beats & crazy is its quivers
crazy is its squirm & crazy is its shiver
crazy is its twinkle & crazy is its desire to peer
that crazy spectacle of her beauty’s beam..

crazy heart chasing a crazy dream..
crazy heart chasing a crazy dream..

crazy is the world, need a crazy friend
crazy is its frenzy, need someone to hold & depend
crazy be a tune, crazy be its melody to transcend
crazy be my legs and crazy be their desire to ascend
that crazy elation of dance’s stream..

crazy heart chasing a crazy dream..
crazy heart chasing a crazy dream..

crazy be a solitary dark, crazy be a serene peace
crazy be a shivering flame, crazy be a way for feelings to unleash
crazy be a willing veil, eager to part with that glowing gleam
crazy be a willing veil, slowly showing in a subtle scheme
that crazy slip over her lovely face as if a lovely dream…

crazy heart chasing a crazy dream..
crazy heart chasing a crazy dream..


PS..isn’t it so wonderful to be crazy 😉

Its been almost a year since I visited Nariman Point last time. Its hard to believe that living in mumbai, one keeps away from one of the prime places of city but then time is such a well-rounded ball moving steadily over an immaculately grown grass cover, that one doesnt even realize sometimes when it crosses boundaries. So last saturday while browsing the newspaper through my bleary still-sleepy eyes I came across an ad of a play by Girish Karnad and somehow I got this feeling to check it out.

I left for NCPA, Tata Theatre at sharp 5:30 PM from my house and juggling hop-overs from auto to train to cab, I finally reached the venue. When we see the glorious span of sea in front of us with wind blowing all over and taking away with it all our hang-overs, we then realize that the tumultuous ride from our home to this part of the city is really worth it. With just 10 mins to go, I rushed to collect ticket and grabbed my seat just 2 mins before the start of the show. One interesting thing to notice is that in case of theatres, the farther you sit in amphitheatres, the lesser you to pay in contrast to the regular cineplexes.

Read the rest of this entry »