TODAY -

An abrupt journey to an oasis of blue bull

Rabin Prasad Kalita *



My wife never chose to travel by aircraft because of her psychosomatic fear. Instead, she always preferred to travel by a car or by train. This time, I bought two flight tickets for Delhi without her pre-consent. On the journey day, I hired a cab and both of us moved towards LGBI Airport instead of to the Railway Station which she didn’t anticipate. She leaped into a dubious state of mind that was clearly vivid from her distorted appearance.

Suddenly she broke her silence by asking “where the cab is heading for?” It was a pre-emptive question for me, so I abstained from giving its answer as if I didn’t hear her say. After five minutes of rolling, the cab stopped under the airport shade. There was the end of her curiosity and had to accept typically gazing at me with a little frowning face.

Soon we boarded, the flying machine started rushing through the air with no bump or jolt. This is no better than getting into an AC Bus or a night super; she said briskly twisting her lips a little. I said, she has two wings attached to her outer cask now” and also slurred “how come she expects a cosy Swan chariot in economy class”.

Moreover, it was learnt from her expression that the noise of the machine made her apprehensive and she felt a bit unusual. I told her not to worry that this buzzling sound will soon be belongs to her as the plane upswings in the air higher and higher.

Finally the plane touched down at terminal-3 of IGI Airport, New Delhi and straight way we drove off to our hotel. She again got perplexed reaching Delhi within a couple of hours, hence she enquired with a long exhalation, “is it the same Delhi which we left some 20 odd years back”? I said ‘no’ dear-Delhi is now gridlocked all the day and also declared as one of the most polluted cities in the world. It’s not too far from the reality that every home will require an ICU equipped with some life saving drugs, I mocked.

Next day morning as per the schedule we geared up to visit Vayu Sena Vatika, Gurgaon where my friend Dibyajyoti Handique resides along with his wife Eva. Vayu Sena Vatika is a communication provider for partner units of Army, Navy and Air force. It also has a huge defence accommodation inside its periphery. It is in sector-33, Sohna road near to Rajiv Chowk, Gurgaon which is of almost 18 kms away from the Airport.

The area is properly guarded with a huge fence around it. The entire land is surrounded by many sector connecting roads and industries like Hero Motor Corporation etc. So, there are no greeneries available outside except a colossal concrete jungle.

Being the Air force vatika is an old defence installation; it is still maintaining a few green meadows filled with shrubs, bushes and plants all over. Hence, this demarcated land is housing a substantial amount of beautiful birds like peacocks, Eagle, yellow legged green pigeon (Haitha or Hariyal), woodpecker and many more.

Nonetheless, there are around 100 Indian Antelopes or Blue Bull (Nilgai) found at large for years in this area. They have been co-living along with those intermittent residents as if these beasts are domesticated and also become a great source of attraction of that confined camp.

I had an opportunity to study a little about its characteristics and other details from close vicinity during my short stay over there. “Nilgai” is a colloquial name comes from the blend of Nil (“blue”) and Gai means (“cow”). It is a gregarious animal and also replicates roughly a similar physical feature along with cows, the mother animal of Hinduism from the Vedic age.

Nilgai prefer to eat grasses, herbs and also woody plants in a dry tropical forest. It lives generally in herds. It has a slightly long neck with a short vertical mane, a bony tapered head, a cylindrical chest, and it has a cow’s like tail. Males are bigger in size than to its female counterpart.

A column of coarse hair, known as the "pendant" is observed just below the throat which is an uncommon attachment than to any other animal. Both the genders have got similar but unique white markings at different parts of the body. Male possesses two tiny curved horns but female generally not.

Male Nilgai dare to come close to the inhabitants unlike females who maintain a little distance. I enjoyed seeing one of them eating something on Eva’s hand and walked away to another courtyard. This has been a regular occurrence as told by her. Usually it doesn’t happen while they are in an open grassy field.

It seems timid, cautious and scarred at all-time from being harassed. It simply gallops away by seeing a stranger. Moreover, Nilgai keeps its calves hidden for first few weeks inside the bushes to save them from predators until they become matured enough to go for forage.

I feel the threat of its survival going deeper because of rampant poaching, deforestation and habitat degradation in many other places in India. So, it’s high time to ponder seriously for conservation of these beautiful animals from getting extinct.

 Picture 1. Traffic Jam at Subrato Park, New Delhi, 2.& 3 at Vayu Sena Vatika, Gurgaon
 Picture 1. Traffic Jam at Subrato Park, New Delhi, 2.& 3 at Vayu Sena Vatika, Gurgaon
 Picture 1. Traffic Jam at Subrato Park, New Delhi, 2.& 3 at Vayu Sena Vatika, Gurgaon
Picture 1. Traffic Jam at Subrato Park, New Delhi, 2.& 3 at Vayu Sena Vatika, Gurgaon






* Rabin Prasad Kalita wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is a resident of Guwahati and can be reached at rabin1966(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was posted on 27 November , 2018 .


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