ATR - Day 35: A day of no sighting, an interview full of wildlife stories, and travel to Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve
After an underwhelming safari in the morning, I had fun interviewing Sh. Ashok Singh, who told us fabulous stories of the wild. Came to Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve.
November 4, 2023
Saturday, 11:30 PM
The morning safari got us a good, fat nothing. Except for a few random shots that I could manage, there was nothing that I could click. No tigers of course. So all we did was go round and round from one corner of the jungle to another repeatedly. And today we also had to leave for Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve, where we were to spend three days originally but due to better tiger sighting at Panna Tiger Reserve, we extended our stay there and shaved two days off our stay at Sanjay Dubri; so now we are staying here for just a day.
However, in the afternoon today, we interviewed Mr. Ashok Singh, the father of the owner of Naahar Bagh, the property we were staying at, at Panna. Although Mr. Singh describes himself modestly as a humble seed farmer, he is a lot more that in terms of both experience, particularly with the jungle and the wildlife, and talent, specifically as a remarkable painter of landscapes and wildlife. But we were interviewing him for the tons of stories he has of encounters with all kinds of wildlife, including tigers and leopards. In addition to having all those stories — some exciting, some chilling — he also has a knack for telling them the way they unfolded without rushing things and without needlessly embellishing them, which two are rare things to be found together in one person. So we have the interview recorded and we’ll be bringing it to you on our YouTube Channel, once it is duly edited and ready for upload.
After interviewing Mr. Singh, we quickly packed our bags and left for Sanjay Dubri, which was a good 200-kilometer plus from Panna, and was to take over five hours to reach. So we left at about 5:30 PM and did much of today edit’s on the way, and we were ready to upload the video by 8:45 PM or so, but the thing that has been preventing timely upload has not been editing of late but slow internet; and it continued to do its things even today. We have been trying to upload the video for the last four hours and it’s still not fully loaded at the time of sending this newsletter. We have reached Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve and there is no Wi-fi here, and the mobile internet connectivity is not great either, this being a heavily forested area. So it remains to be seen when we finally get to have the video posted. It’s certainly not happening today, and this newsletter may also reach you inordinately late because it too would need the internet to deliver it into your mailbox. But this is just one of the challenges of ATR, and it’s going to be around throughout because connectivity will always be problem. After all, Madhya Pradesh is still better connected than many other states that are home to several other tiger reserves.
I’ll keep you informed of all that we face, sometimes on time, sometimes late, textually through these newsletters and visually through our Daily Vlogs and other video posts under different segments, one of which was initiated today in the afternoon with the first upload under the segment — ATR Interactions - 1: Apoorva Srivastava, IFS. Don’t forget to watch. It’s a long but extremely informative interview of the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Alwar, Rajasthan, who talks at length about the challenges of managing Sariska Tiger Reserve. I’ll talk some more about it tomorrow. That’s all for today. We have an early morning safari tomorrow at 6:15 AM at Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve. Let’s see what we find there.