Cicada, Lens and I

I love wild dogs for their team work, intelligence and pride. They are shy of humans but even the tiger gives them the right of way for their ferocity.

“Why did you have to get me in the first place if I must live inside a box like this?”

Lens was sounding very agitated. He was upset because for many weeks now I simply have not had the time to look at him; far less, take him out. It has been one thing after the other since the Nyenrode trip. So, I tried to make peace.

“How about going out this coming weekend”, I suggested.

I do not want to shoot another sunrise” . Sometimes he is like a child. He does not want to admit that he is actually happy about the prospect of going out with me again.

“How about Kabini? Let’s go to the Cicada Resorts by the river and shoot some wildlife”, I said.

Wildlife is every 500 millimeter lens’s dream. Lens included.

So, off we went on a Friday afternoon, stopping en-route at Mysore. That night, it rained and rained some more. When Lens and I woke up on Saturday morning, the rain had left the sky a dazzling blue, the flaming gulmohars and the road ahead were together in a state of celebration.

I thought I heard Lens sing a Japanese song.

We reached Cicada Resorts by the Kabini in less than two hours from Mysore by road. This included a curious stop to inspect wild bees, another one to drink green coconut water and a short, impromptu and lovely bullock cart ride.

At Cicada, we were received warmly by Vijay – the man who runs the place. Lens immediately knew Vijay was a Pro’s Pro when it comes to wildlife photography.

So, come Saturday afternoon, we all went on a boat upstream the Kabini dam and there, by the banks on either side were the egrets, the fish-eagles, the majestic serpent-eagle, the painted storks, the blue jay, the kingfishers , a snake, a huge crocodile, herds and herds of elephants, deer and bison.

Lens was happy after a long time.

Next morning, I took him inside the forest on a jeep. And what did we see? We ran into a pack of wild dogs; the pack had just hunted down a big stag and was feasting on it.
I love wild dogs for their team work, intelligence and pride. They are shy of humans but even the tiger gives them the right of way for their ferocity. Lens and I spent an hour just watching them feast, run to the water hole to get a drink between two helpings, return and jostle and take turns to guard the kill while others, and that includes the pups, ate!

On the way back from the jungle, I asked Lens, “So, what did you think?”

Like a teenager whose gratification is as instant as its passage, Lens simply shrugged. And then he said, “I did not see any tigers.”

Oh well…

By the way, here are a bunch of pictures Lens said, I could share with you all.

Geetha Manichandar Says
Monday May 25th 2009

Dear Subrotoda,

I can hear Lens ‘thinking’ and saying: “At last! Am ‘Out of the box,’ Mr. Edward de Bono!”

Thank you for a great post! And thank you also for the awesome pics!!

“the rain had left the sky a dazzling blue, the flaming gulmohars and the road ahead were together in a state of celebration.”… once again we get to see the nature poet in you! And so many lessons in such a short piece – teamwork….survival of the fittest….

And I simply love the humour in the piece!

Thanks and regards,


Geetha Manichandar Says
Tuesday May 26th 2009

Konnichiwa (hello), Lens,

O-genki desu ka (how are you?)

Lens, whether you behave like a ‘child’ or like an ‘affectionately irreverent teenager’ from the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’, you seem to be an adorable person! Please stay that way always.

And Dōmo arigatō (thank you), Lens for enabling the Gardener to share with us, all those breathtakingly spectacular pictures taken at various places when He goes “Around The World” with You as his trusted companion.

One very important thing that we have learnt from the Gardener is the importance of “Inclusion” and hence this mail to you please.

Dewa kore de. (bye for now).


Lubna Says
Tuesday May 26th 2009

Dear Mr. Lens.
Thank you for being so gracious and permitting Subroto to share these photographs. Yes, I can understand what it is like to be cooped up in a box. This is why, we humans, have coined the word: Thinking out of the box. Even as we are physically cooped up in cubicles, or cabins, our mind is capable of thinking out of the box. But, I must warn you not to try it, sometimes, it gets us humans in deep trouble. Sometimes even plain vanilla thinking (if I can coin that word) gets us into trouble. Enough about us humans.
The photographs are good. Sad, that the Egret was not sprouting its breeding plumage. It looks like a different bird altogether during the mating season. The photographs of the snake birds is also gorgeous.
By the way, which snake is this? I would have run miles away. You are brave – Mr. Lens. Owing to my unfounded fear of snakes, I have little or no knowlege of them, apart from realising that my fear is unfounded as there are fewer poisonous species than the the non poisonous kind. In any event, snakes are likely to hide, rather than attack or bite on coming across a human.
I do hope you are allowed to escape from your box again, sometime soon.
Best regards,

Hrithik Says
Wednesday May 27th 2009

Dear Sir,

Glad to have read your article after a long time.

I would like to thank your Lens for sharing such amazing pictures with us.

Please make sure he does not live inside that box for too long.


Lens Says
Wednesday May 27th 2009

Dear Hrithik,

Thank you for the post. You seem to be a good guy. I will make sure Subroto sends you a few of my favorite pictures..: )


lu ellen Says
Saturday May 30th 2009

“I did not see any tigers.” Lens is a cheeky thing. Ah, I am still laughing. That is my favorite line.

Lens did an impressive job. The Serpent Eagle is impressive.

Wednesday June 10th 2009

I enjoyed both the article and the images equally :) You must listen to Lens more often – he has the power to refresh, rejuvenate and reinvigorate!

Anupama Says
Tuesday June 16th 2009

Dear Subrorto Sir

I had read your book ‘Go Kiss The World’ sometime back. But I was not aware of your blog, so could not write about it earlier. Your book is one of the most inspiring, beautiful, meaningful books that I have ever read. I am a 26 year old teacher working with the pre-primary children. After I read your book I felt that this is what education is all about. As a mentor, as a teacher what role can I play in one’s learning and what values can I help my children to imbibe. It is a book that anybody can relate to. It is not a story of a person who has learnt because his education has been from iits and iims or cambridge-oxford-harvard but because he is a learner and learns from everywhere. I have also read one of your speeches which you gave at a teacher training institute in Bangalore, titled ‘Light The Lamp Within Teacher’. I was touched and inspired by it.
I always get to learn a lot whenever I read anything written by you, not only as a teacher but also as a person. You writings always convey lot of depth, optimism, honesty, warmth and this constant urge to learn.

Warm regards

Antareja Says
Sunday December 9th 2012

Really nice please put more sneces to the next version there are SO many beautiful spectacular views in this city. Please put more nice views and focus to the weather changes (clouds, stars) day and night, etc. I LOVE this video but I also love Budapest and I’d like to see more =) Congratulations for the work.

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