Winds of Change

Gazing at the Skylords

Hi All,

Thought it would be yet another great flying day at Shelar for me on Saturday – Paragliding with Hiren Anand, Ashwin, Richard, Colin, Shubhang and Nidhi and then getting back to the guesthouse to watch the 2nd half of the cricket world cup finals on the terrace with the entire flynirvana gang. But there were two big surprises waiting for me at the site. A long billed vulture is back to roost at the Shelar cliffs – now this is great news. I have been on the lookout for them since they left the cliffs of Shelar a few years ago. I have spotted one here and there but to this endangered skylord in its eyrie with the tell tale white droppings gave me hope. Welcome back I called out to it as I soared past.

Will I Walk the Long Road

Now the 2nd piece of news is not something I am very happy about. There is a road all the way to Shelar that has come up just recently. A lot of people are happy that they don’t have to walk through the fields and can drive straight to the bottom of the hills right near Shelar mama’s house but I am not so happy at all. The experience of walking through the fields has many hidden benefits. I have spotted skylarks in action; had lapwings dive bombing me for wandering too close to their nest, smelt those amazing smells of the herbs that waft up to nose level as one walks through the fields after an amazing flight (a smell I call the Shelar smell) Finding my way back to the road on a moon lit night and on a no moon night are adventures too and then getting amazed at the local kids wonderful sense of direction; the chatter, the camaraderie and the sharing on the walk back to the road.

All these and countless more wonderful experiences at the amazing
Shelar site come to mind. Somehow I am just not happy about this road. Roads bring their own fair share of changes and troubles and this one makes me uneasy.

Pray people pray. Our wildernesses are shrinking. We need to take care of our playgrounds.

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul.” John Muir

Peace Bliss & Happy Landings

Astrid Rao