Kishant B



Kishant B


The Surprises of Nature

The Surprises of Nature

10 mins

"Vroom!" the car accelerated through the wet mud and puddles. I was traveling to the Seagumb Rainforest, located in the remote places of Karnataka. I was going with Mr. Rishikesh, a good friend of my father who was taking me there for voluntary purposes for a period of 5 days. "The Seagumb center for rainforest ecology" was an organization that was formed to protect the wildlife there. My job is to help the caretakers of the center. I was very much excited and was wondering as to when would we reach the destination. Along with me, another boy Vishal accompanied me on our journey for the same purpose. Mr. Rishikesh's nephew, Aryan also accompanied us on our journey. We never knew each other, but we got along very well on the way. We had already passed through many villages on the way, for almost 5 hours or so. There were no proper roads half the way, so it took some time to reach there. I was very excited and wanted to go there for years. At last, my dream came true!

"Kishant...Kishant!? We have arrived!", Vishal yelled in my ear. I woke up with a jerk and realized I had fallen asleep on the way! I slowly got down with my backpack and looked around. It was a dense forest canopy where every second, I could hear different birds chirping. The beautiful voices of the Yellow-browed Bulbul, the tapping of the Rufous woodpecker, the croaks of the frogs at a nearby had a beautiful atmosphere. As a nature lover, I can tell that this place was perfect!

I did some research earlier, and found that there are about 100+ species of birds here! I was lucky that I brought my camera with me, I could use a few photos for my photography blog. Also, there are other dangerous animals like leopards, tigers, etc. People say this place is haunted and many people have gone missing, but that was in the past and, the locals really never faced any problem. I don't believe in all these superstitious beliefs. This place has been in renovation for a long time due to crumbling infrastructure, it kept delaying due to legal reasons, and finally, it was finished after 7 years.

We walked inside for 300 meters or so inside the forest. The forest was slightly dark, due to the abundance of trees blocking the direct sunlight. I could feel the cool breeze going through my cotton shirt... and I could also hear a waterfall in the distance! This place was best for those people, who wanted a retreat from their daily boring schedule. Mr. Rishikesh, who took us, was a very energetic man. Even though he is 50 years or so, he still has an amazing charm and has a lot of knowledge about nature and wildlife. He is a fun guy, and I really liked him. At last, I could see a two-story building in the distance, built out of wood and looked like a watchout tower. I and Vishal ran towards the place and Mr. Rishikesh had a big smile on his face, seeing us having an interest in this place.

The tower-like structure was very open and served as a hangout area, having a library and also for eating dinner. We were at the second story, so we climbed down the stairs and there were two small, but cozy cottages. That was the only place that received direct sunlight. Mr. Rishikesh said, "You guys are lucky to be here. You are the first volunteers to come to this place after the renovation!" I exclaimed, "We will be the first and the best volunteers this center has ever seen!" Vishal also agreed proudly. Aryan said, "Now you two, refresh up, run around and explore!" He did know a thing or two about this place, he had visited here before the renovation. We went inside the cottages, where they were two tiny beds, a restroom, and a big balcony behind supported on stills which gives us a stunning view of the forest.

We washed our faces and noticed that both Mr. Rishikesh and his nephew were taking a power nap. We let out a small giggle and went out. I and Vishal met the workers of the place. There were only two people taking care of the center. One was Mr. Sushant, who knew everything about this forest, and Mr. Kaushal, the chef and also the caretaker of the fishes and ducks in the nearby pond. Mr. Sushant warned us not to go very far away as many dangers are lurking in these vicious forests. We both promised we wouldn't wander far away and we took a short walk. Vishal was a little scared of the idea of going alone, but I assured him everything would be fine. I looked at the time on my watch and it was 5:15 pm. We decided to come back at 6:00 pm before it becomes dark.

We walked along a small path to avoid getting lost. It felt like climbing a mountain, with so many inclines and declines. Again, I was mesmerized by the amazing melodies by different birds, which felt like a song. I had my camera with me and started clicking photos of exotic birds. As we were strolling, Vishal said in a nervous tone, "Do you hear a strange sound?".

First I didn't pay much attention to it, but then the sound become prominent. It was very familiar, and then we both froze on the spot after seeing something on the ground!

It was a snake! To be more specific, it was a King Cobra!

Knowing a lot about snakes, I signaled Vishal to not make any sudden movements and just stay rooted to the spot. But I didn't need to tell him that because he already was! The snake slowly crawled from one side to another side of the path and it didn't seem to notice us. After it went, we let out a huge sigh. I checked the time, to see it was already 6:00! Time passed very quickly and we needed to get back as soon as possible or would become very dangerous as most of the creatures in the forest are nocturnal.

Luckily, we followed the path made by the locals and we decided to retrace our steps. As it became darker, the walking changed to jogging, the jogging to sprinting and we were a little nervous about whether we would be able to make it on time. We gave all our might, we ran and ran but time was much faster than us and the sun had set already!

We were stuck in the darkness of the forests......

Vishal had a panic attack. I could hear him breathing hard in the silence of the forests. As time went on, I began hearing different noises. I could hear the Sri Lankan Frogmouth, which sounded a little creepy, especially at night. I could also hear the owls, which gave out a loud hoot that startled us. We both started walking cautiously, all we could hear is the sound of the breaking twigs under our legs and the creepy sounds of the nocturnal creatures, of course. Then suddenly, Vishal exclaimed "AHA!" which echoed throughout the forest. I shushed him fearing that the dangerous animals may come towards us. But why was he so happy? Vishal slipped his hand into his pocket and took out his torch. I hit my head with my hand and said, "You should have taken that earlier". He gave out an innocent smile and when he tried to "ON" the torch, it wasn't working! I took the torch from his hand and opened the battery compartment to find he didn't even insert the batteries. I sarcastically looked at him. We had to walk through the dark again!

I was a little angry at him for being irresponsible but no one can blame him. He's never had these types of experiences before! Vishal was ashamed of himself and apologized. I accepted it and walked, trying to avoid any unnecessary sounds with the only hope that Mr. Rishikesh would find us. I was a little terrified too, to be honest because I couldn't see what was in front of me. Only the slight rays of the full moon shining through the thick canopy somewhat helped us to see what was in front of us. Other than that, it was pitch dark. We were dependent upon our hearing senses. We always held hands together to make sure we didn't get lost.

I was trying to find any light sources nearby...I squinted my eyes to see more clearly. Everywhere in the bushes, there were rustling sounds and the bushes moved. Every time that happened, Vishal startled and stopped. He was too terrified but I kept talking with him and reassuring him we would reach safely to give him some confidence. But I wasn't too brave either. It seemed all fine at the start, but my fear began to increase. There was still no sign of any humans. I could also notice the flying squirrels leaping from tree to tree, the slender loris looking at us with their big eyes...… I didn't feel so good. We kept going uphill and downhill and we were exhausted.

Suddenly, Vishal stopped. "Not again!" I exclaimed thinking he had stopped due to the shaking of bushes. He was not looking there, however. Instead, he was looking down the slope. It took me a while to figure out what he was looking at, but then I noticed glowing eyes looking at us. Before I could even react to the situation, he yelled "LEOPARD!" and tried to run away, a small bump made me fall down the huge slope. I went tumbling like a ball and could notice Vishal running behind me for a split second. "AH!" I screamed as I fell. I tried not to make any noises but it was a painful fall and I couldn't avoid it". It kept going down until a rock stopped me and hurt my hand very badly. My camera was completely destroyed by the fall. I tried to get up but then noticed that I couldn't lift my right hand. IT WAS BROKEN!

Vishal came running and helped me get up. My hand was bleeding and he started crying in fear. But was that actually a leopard? I got up and slowly limped towards the glowing eyes to find out that it was a cow! Even though I was in immense pain, I couldn't help but laugh at his plight. But then something bright caught my eye. It was a small hut! We were safe now! "WOHOOO!" Vishal screamed in joy as he ran towards the hut and left me behind to limp slowly towards the house. As I reached the house, I realized it was the back of the cottages we were staying in and Aryan was there! He was very glad to see us both and hugged us. Mr. Rishikesh and Mr. Sushant went in search of us. We contacted them to come back and I was taken to the nearby hospital where my hand was treated. We were happy that we were safe now. Vishal was letting out tears of joy. Even then, it did not stop us from canceling the trip. We helped the caretakers, in cooking, researching and my broken hand didn't affect me that much. In fact, it was a near-death experience and Mr. Rishikesh wasn't angry with us and appreciated me for how I handled the snake situation and was very proud. He understood it was a mistake and thus we had a good trip even though Vishal has still not recovered from the shock and refused to go alone even to the dining area! Once we were back, I shared my experiences with family and friends and they were astonished and surprised. I bet you readers are dumbstruck too.

This was honestly one of the best experiences I have ever had in my lifetime

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