Forest, the first love – Venky KishorDecember 13, 2017
Every single time when I go into the forest, I feel something that drives me to be passionate.
During my school days I was not aware of the magic that forest beholds within. I was born and brought up near Nagarahole forest and during school days, I used to go their with friends for picking up gooseberries, some other wild fruits but mostly, to grasp the beauty of the nature. The villagers regularly used to go to the forest for cattle grazing. When they saw us in the forest, they would go and complain to our parents that we were hanging out in the forest. They would tell our parents(exaggerate) that they saw us very close to grazing elephants and therefore we would get a lot of scolding.
I also had several encounters with elephants, wild boars, wild dogs and some other wild animals. And I used to watch safari vehicles going into the forest every day. I got keenly interested by this and wanted to know more about the safari rides. Few of the staff members of the forest authority were familiar and I asked them to come for safari rides with the tourists. And when I got to go with them I used to ask them about their experiences and whatever they watched and was in awe by their heart-filling stories.
After I completed PUC(class 12th), I was very keen to know about wildlife so I joined Kabini River Lodge as a training naturalist. At Kabini, I met the legendary person JOHN WAKEFIELD aka “PAPA Wakefield” one of the main founder of Jungle Lodges and Resort(JLR). He used to sit with the guests in the evening and spoke about wildlife, his experiences. I was so excited to listen to him. I put more efforts into reading books and talking to the guests who were aware of forest, to learn about the animals, birds and understanding the forest. The field experience also gave me more knowledge to understand the behavior of animals.
After few years, I thought of studying again and asked for management’s permission to leave. They promised me the job if I return back. So, I went with that in mind to complete the 3years of diploma in Electrical Engineering.
During my college days, I used to remember all my wildlife experiences and miss those times a lot. I met new people in the college and started a new life but my heart was still somewhere else(the forest obviously). In the holidays, I regularly went to the forest for checking about the information of safari and enrich wildlife. After completing the course, I joined Bhadra(a part of JLR) and am presently working in Bhadra.
My interest and love of forest brought me back to the jungle where I was born and where I wish to serve the animals and trees till my last breath.