Story#1: Tales from Keoladeo

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A Journey through the Woods

And once again, here I am

lost in the woods, but not alone

as I have found, a friend in these

heavy clouds and low trees,

in grass green, in that tiny stream,

and in singing birds, in running squirrels

And yet again, wandering through these woods

I have found myself, I have found my soul.

Tales from Keoladeo

This love for jungles, for their vivid biodiversity, dragged me into the wetlands of Keoladeo National Park. And I realized where else can we find, such diversity of life. From tiny insects stealing nectar from flowers to big-small animals running around. But what kept me most intriguing in that forest were its trees. Large mute creatures, that give air, shelter, and food to every walking animal in the jungle, without asking anything in return. Under the shadows of these great beings, I have found often everything I look elsewhere: peace, solitude, purpose.

I have always felt that whenever I am in these woods, surrounded by trees of every kind, time goes slow somehow. Maybe it's an effect of a million voices cracking around me, of broken sun rays falling on the ground, filtering through the thick foliage of these trees. Of cool breeze in broad daylight, of unknown fragrances that I have never smelt before. Maybe it's all an illusion and everything is just ordinary. But I always choose to believe in the theory of slow times, in this miraculous nature. 

 

The Theory of Slow Times

So today, as I cycled through these woods of Keoladeo, once again I felt that time went slowly in the jungle. But this time I noted everything to myself. And as the time goes:

'a cuckoo brought water for her little hatchlings, a butterfly sat on a flower nearby and exchanged some pretty smiles with me, an army of ants carried some leaves to their fort, some mad squirrels just ran here and there, while a cat was waiting patiently for them to stop so that he could get over his hunger, in every few moments a swift wind would pass by and with it a thousand leaves would fell to ground, tiny flocks of clouds made shadows in a small clearance and as the trees watched this play of nature, some monkeys jumped from one branch to another. Some more birds flew in the sky.'  

As I noted these in my head, I thought of all the long time I had spend there. But as I looked to my watch, it was only two hours. Again my radical mind started proving it to be a normal phenomena, stating that it's the way forest seduces a newcomer. But I believed in the theory of slow times, I believed the power of nature and the incredible life around the woods.

 

Keoladeo National Park in Bharatpur is an important Bird breeding and feeding ground and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Originated as hunting grounds, Keoladeo is home for more than 300 local and migratory bird species including some rare birds such as Siberian Crane. Every year thousands of birds come to these wetlands from as far as Afghanistan, China and Siberia.The park is named after the Keoladeo temple of Lord Shiva situated in the forest.

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