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July 31, 2009

Adieu Dubare

Dubare Jungle Lodges is perhaps one of the most unique places that I have been too in the last few years. Away from the crowd with the Cauvery river in its pristine best, it was my home for more than a year. A year that just went past, embedding rich memories into my conscious, likely perhaps to stay on till the body breathes hard.

Quaint as it is, the camp is full of surprises, for often the cobra comes into view and decides to strike up a conversation with a mortified guest. The wild elephants grazing peacefully might wish to spar with the jeep driver leaving the rest of us exhausted with its energetic charge. The kingfishers, of whom there are many, some residing next to the boat point, dive deep and pop up soon enough with usually not much in their beak and sing their rather pleasant song. There are also some very interesting painted storks, could be more than 20 individuals at the least, who stay faraway each day. But as dusk starts its advance,, these majestic birds come circling down the Cauvery and settle into that very favourite tree of theirs. ( Wish I could ever know why)

The occasional domestic elephants, especially Ekadanta has a habit of intruding unannounced into the camp with no specific interest, other than to damage some tree guards or bend the solar fence. Once, though, he did give me a whack when I went too near for comfort.

I have shifted recently to a new place and Dubare lingers on in my memory. It was a reminder of some very good times I had and some very good people that I met. Those very personal sittings on the river bank, almost each day of my life here was a memorable time. A time when I would not hear or see anything else and be lost in rather uncomplicated thoughts, maybe have a ginger tea also. It is always going to linger, this memory.

The safari was decent, especially when it rained a lot and the road became all slushy. The jeep would slide and skid and behave drunkenly. It would go on and on till the jeep stopped at the Amlakere temple and one would get down to pay obeisance to the devi and the lord. Driving in two feet of water is always a fun filled activity, perhaps.

The evenings, alone and silent, never dull for a moment, was what was looked forward too each day, day after day. Often, guests who would become friends would talk late into night and sometimes, it would be just me and nothing else, maybe a walk or two and some silence to fill the gaps.

One year is sufficient to build a relation with a place and long after times have passed, all that will remain of the place is th happy face of Harsha, Sattar, Srinivas, Shivanna, the frequent walks into the forest, the riverside, the unfinished buildings of N. Raju and the boat rides during the floods of July 10-18th 2009 when we rolled like a can in some turbulent sea.