ATR - Day 19: Did a safari in Mukandra Hills Tiger Reserve, came to Ujjain and got today’s Vlog uploaded on time
Had slept late but got up early for the safari, after which we quickly packed and left for Ujjain. Edited the video on the way and managed to have it uploaded on time despite the travel.
October 19, 2023
Thursday, 11:00 PM
Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh,
The newsletter yesterday went out pretty late — as late as 12:13 AM today (October 19, 2023) — which was because I was answering questions, lots and lots of them, of a journalist, who wanted to know all about my journey as a wildlife photography, and I was happy to answer those questions because they sounded like the old-school, searching questions intended to find a story, which we see less and less of these days even though mine is not a particularly interesting story from any angle. So until late night, I was just responding to tons of questions and cross-questions this journalist from Dainik Bhaskar, one of the leading Hindi language dailies in India, was throwing at me. I tried answering all his questions in as much detail as he wanted and with as much sincerity and honesty as I always do. Whether he and his paper find the story worthy of space in the newspaper will determine if we see it in print. I am good either way, for it’s the prerogative of a news platform to decide how far, and if, a story is newsworthy.
The day today was pretty tiring. In the morning, we went to the Mukandra Hills Tiger Reserve, which was notified as a tiger reserve on April 9, 2013. The reserve is extremely beautiful and even though it was notified as a reserve as long back as 2013, it has been opened for safaris only this year for reasons I am not so sure about. The area we were in does not have a tiger, but it was still a great experience, for this place is among Rajasthan’s most beautiful wildlife parks. Three people from the group that has been showing me around in Kota also accompanied me on the safari. One of them has an M.Sc. in zoology and is planning to do a Ph.D. in tiger behaviour, and one of them is working in conservation and the third one is his student.
Since we had to leave for Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh today, there was not much time after we returned from safari. Also, I had slept pretty late yesterday night (actually, today morning, more accurately), and got up early in the morning to go on safari, so I was badly sleep-deprived. But we had to travel, so I quickly finished packing and we left.
I edited today’s Vlog myself on our way to Ujjain, which is significant for ATR only because it is of religious, historical and cultural significance, and ATR is also about the cultural diversity of the nation tiger is the National Animal of. So we are documenting our tiger reserves and also the parts of our country that fall on the way to and from one tiger reserve to another. And if we have to take a minor detour to show a little more of India to our audience and to document it in the process, I don’t see any harm in going off the straight line a bit.
Tomorrow, I am planning to visit a few temples in Ujjain, and also need to shop for some clothes because I keep wearing black everywhere, but that wouldn’t be an appropriate colour to wear to the temples, I suppose.
The pain in my ankle is still there, but it’s bearable. Today’s Vlog has been uploaded on time, which is one good thing. We seem to be getting a better hang of the process we need to have for a timely upload without compromising on quality.