[1] That Time Of Year

First, a bit of context - 

In June 2011 the idea first came to me to recollect and capture my wildlife tours on paper, in the hope that someday i would publish a book. This book was to be a collection of short stories, each narrating a noteworthy or remarkable experience i had had in the several years i had been visiting nearby forests. After about an year of sporadic writing, around July 2012 all I had were a foreword and 2 short stories, and a lot less leisure time to continue to write. Fast forward to an evening in May, 2017 when the sky was overcast with dark, thunderous clouds and torrential downpour, preventing us from leaving the office. While we waited for the rains to subside, i was asked by my colleagues to narrate, once more, my recent encounter with 2 tigers, which they had heard a few times by now already. After what must have been an hour of intent listening, they gave me advice that wasn't new to me - I should write. On reflection i thought to myself, i did write but never got to publishing my work, for want of completing the collection so as to have enough material for a book. But then, i hadn't written in 5 years, making it now seem an ambitious target to achieve. Should my stories I wrote 5 years ago, have to wait until several more could be written before the world finally gets to read them? And must I continue reciting ever so often as i did, the innumerable trips i made, merely for lack of a documented form? This is when i decided to give in; move on from the plan of publishing the book and write a blog instead. This idea also wasn't new to me, for countless times i had thought of staying abreast with changing times and creating a blog so my friends could read my writings as and when i wrote them. So here I am, creating that very same blog! Below is the originally written foreword (remember, this was supposed to be a book after all!). One more thing: The first few posts will have an "Original date of completion" to indicate when I wrote the piece, so you can relate better to the content inside. 

That Time of Year 

(Original date of completion: June 2011)

“That time of year” is a misnomer as far as I’m concerned, because to me this comes twice or thrice a year, limited to that number only on account of the fact that other responsibilities both at work and personal life keep me from raising it higher. It is a time best described not in terms of the month or season of the year, but as Nature’s Call - not the colloquial version of it but in the most literal sense of the phrase - for it is on such occasions that this call from within has grown louder than ever and I can no longer bear the separation, that I look for the nearest weekend, pack my bags and head out for the jungle. I won’t term these as getaways, for it is not the prospect of getting away from the city but that of going back to something more close to my heart that takes me there. 

Wildlife fascinates me more than anything else ever can, and it pains my heart to see the receding numbers in both forest cover and subsequently the wildlife that it is home to. Several national wildlife protection bodies, along with NGOs and the UNESCO are making progress in preserving what’s left of our forests, and the results are commendable, but I only hope we could do more. It is with an attempt to create awareness through my experiences in the jungle, which, I hope, for want of experiencing it for themselves, will make people realize the consequences of losing such treasures, that I decided to write about them. If at the time you are reading this, there are no more jungles left, then this effort will have transformed into an attempt to capture these moments before they are lost forever.

Click to read the first short story-> It All Starts Here


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