The sky is clear today, the sun stronger. It has been raining without halt from last twelve hours. The clouds appear certain about emptying all the water at Meghauli before heading west. Everything has come to a standstill except the drizzle drops released from the sky to bless the baking terrestrials of Chitwan National Park. Sun is also there and I am looking for rainbows, haven’t seen them in long time. Last time was in school I guess. The memories are still strong. The happiness of the soil is diffused in every particle of the fertile plains, and earthworms have come out, finally. Every living thing is in full awareness about arrival of monsoons. We are towards the closing of season. The lodge has been instructed to call out the jeep. The lodge would have done it anyways because our parking area, a small grass clearing on the river bank will soon be flooded. Rapti until last week was sailable and abandoned by crocodiles for it had become shallow. It has now swollen up to the size of a monster. Few Ghariyals have returned and the boatmen have noticed them, dangerous stalkers with eyes peeping out of water. The river which was once clean (so clear that we could see the gravel and big catfish twirl) is now muddy. It has been eroding soil and all that came its way. Uprooted trees, carcass and the unwanted water hyacinth everything is floating with ease with the current. The old couple, from fisherman tribe has finally disembarked. Their fishing hours have been cut short. Kids who used to spend the afternoon perfecting their swimming skills and getting a free river bath as a reward in hot summers have become busy with paddy plantation in their fields. The rains have set up a new motion.
At times the humidity levels shoot nearly one-hundred percent. So, when one hand holds the umbrella the other wipes the sweat. When it stop raining the humidity will keep building up till it’s time for another downpour. Good for the farmer. The weather cools down for a while and the future paddy starts to sway along the breeze. It seems to disturb the paddy field pipits inducing small flight before they settle down again a meter away. The villagers have harvested corn off lately. The grains are put outside for drying up whenever the sun shows up and quickly taken inside when unpredictable grey clouds take over the sky. Being the most fertile region of the country Chitwan sees agriculture throughout the year. With water table at 15 feet in most regions of this area, agriculture is the main occupation.
The national park is open around the year and in monsoons the forest is the harbinger of new generations of all big small creatures. The deer form big herds and hoard the area of fresh leaves and grass. The mating period is towards it end, and the occasional rutting calls break through the forest every now and then. The forest is abuzz with cicadas and many a fireflies that lit up the evenings with natural light. The trees have grown fresh leaves and the grasslands are on a quick march towards the sky.The Rhinos are certainly the happiest, plentiful grass is now viable. Once dried up waterholes are again filled up with monsoon showers. There is no need to travel miles in search of fresh food and water. Assuming that the tourist season has closed will be misguiding. Those who fancy greens head to Chitwan for a peaceful retreat into the quietness of a jungle home during the monsoon months. With ample number of domestic flights doing rounds between Chitwan and Kathmandu that take not more than twenty minutes of traveling time Chitwan is a hotspot for travelers during the quiet months of monsoon. The elephant safaris, jungle walks, village visits and experiential learning by participating in paddy plantation are activities to pick. While many still enjoy being one with the lushness of greens around. It’s a good seclusion, in inclusion of nature.
Courtesy : Vineeta Yadav