Travel is not only about exploring a new place, it is also about making new friends along the way specially when you travel as a group.
+Bikramjit Maitra ,who was part of the group along with his wife Ishani. during the recently concluded tour of Mishmi Hills.He is a gem of a person,very down to earth, who can crack jokes at the drop of a hat,keen observer and an excellent mimic is how I would describe him.
As I type this I am laughing aloud thinking about an excellent mimic show we had, him enacting the birding behaviour of his fellow travelers ..:-)
I received a small note from him today about what he thought about the rest of the group..and hope all of you will enjoy reading it as much as rest of us did , knowing about ourselves..:-)
Here is what he wrote..and yes, read what he says about himself..:-)
+Ravi Rajagopal : Be very careful of not to be in his way when he is chasing a rare bird. He may run over you and worst part, without realizing the same. From confidential sources I came to know that he clearly stated that if he gets an opportunity to shoot (through camera) a rare bird and a tiger simultaneously first he will go for the bird and then the the tiger if it has not moved by that time. What I did not ask whether he wil prefer to shoot a photo of a rare bird or to collect another birdie.
Bikramjit Maitra : Official joker whose past time during the trip was to fight and complain about his photographic equipment.
Ishani: No comments. I lost the the privilege of commenting about her in public an eternity before. Even in the court of law I beleive a husband can't testify against his wife.
+Santhinam Krishnan : Can provide awful lot of mouth watering snacks when she is awake and can sleep like a baby sitting straight in the car even when she is being driven through roads which could never be recognized as one. Loves her music and can easily take on some of the young stars of today on SMS sending speed.
+Geetanjali Dhar : Don't get fooled by the slight voice, polite verbiage and smiling face. There are tons of steel, not steel as even steel could bend, may be loads of concrete behind that voice. Perfect project management and people handling without spending on decibel.
+Kharavela Ballal : His name was always a confusion so going with his second. Quiet, observant ever smiling chap who turned beetroot red when the girls from the island waved us farewell.
Baburaj : Our Zari expert who was ever ready on his phone to find out progress of business and to supply garlic powder during our meal to make them more potent. Even though he was not focussing too much on birding when he did he could spot few of the more tricky ones.
Abhilash : I believe his name means desire, if he has many he doesn't like to share it with others. Conserves his energy being economical in speech and showing of any feeling. Between Ballal and him they had every small logistics details got chalked out to an extent that they could make a small pair of scissors appear from no where to cut the packet of snacks in the moving, jumping and jostling car.
+Amith Kumar : I don't know what is his personal target .May be he wants to shoot more than 500 or thousand species of birds before his baby is born. Telling him to be crazy may get some angry protest from real crazies as they at times do give in to wild goose chase but never for wild sparrow chase like Amit.
+shankar sg I am sure during the ten days we were together he has not uttered more than 100 words in public. Sadly a vast amount of those words were to convince me that the dogs near the vulture congregation were actually jackals and make me take some shots.
+Abhijith Rao Another person who got highly infected by birding. Given to his choice many days we would have our lunch after the sunset. Like many other birders he also was short on words in general and used to break that rule while having long telephonic conversation apparently with his wife.
+Ajit Rao Was a real enigma to me who was a controlled crazy. He never used to forget his hunger or his grueling back but be equally enthusiastic about birds and its identities. Specially if it is a warbler. Has impeccable dress sense and his dress in one of the dinner session with quite hursh shorts on long john, socks, strapped shoes and jacket won the Oscar hands down.
+Kannan AS The man with the buzoooka! The lens he had gives an impression he can take potrait of moon but good that he focussed on butterfiies and warblers where even the whiskers were visible. May be extra large lens was to get the extra dimension in his pictures such that they become 3D.
Stephen: He is practing lawyer form US and commenting about him without taking permission may not be prudent but where . He was such a strong believer of testimonials that he never opted for taking evidence on a camera sensor. It appeared that a good day of birding used to give enough food for thought so he could pass the food for stomach during dinner.
Jerry: A real globe trotter not only geographically but also academic as well as professional sense. I know my metaphors are getting horribly crossed here but if one considers the superset of academic options and professional options are globe and going through many of them are trotting then first sentence makes perfect sense. Thanks to her realized the value of a good birding binocular during the trip.