Friday, December 26, 2008


Camouflage-1. The method or result of concealing personnel or equipment from an enemy by making them appear to be part of the natural surroundings.
2. Concealment by disguise or protective coloring.
3. Fabric or a garment dyed in splotches of green, brown, tan, and black so as to make the wearer indistinguishable from the surrounding environment

Camouflage to me is synonymous with field clothes!
It helps one to blend into the forest when on foot, does not disturb the animals to a large extent,it allows you to go closer to an animal which you normally cannot and of course, it can save your life when you are too close to comfort with an elephant or a bear!

Having bought and used a cheap pair of army camouflage clothing from one of the sidelines of Sivajinagar a few years ago, I have done justice to the money spent on it by abusing the tough clothing to the maximum possible extent!
All the while, it has allowed me to stand still and stare into the face of sambars, chitals pigs, leopards and of course elephants and bears!!! :)
About six months back, It so happened that i got a bit too close to a herd of elephants! the herd of elephants, who were feeding on the fresh bamboo shoots were rudely disturbed by my good self and my assistant but both of us did were not aware of each others presence!! to add to the fun, the elephant who we literally bumped into was a well grown tusker who was in Muskth!!!
we were behind the bamboo bush and the elephant on the other side of the same bush- one more step and we would have shook hands with it!! :)
with just moments to share, i turned around and slowly got back 4 steps and from there we got out of the grove with hurried steps then broke into a run to save our good souls!
that is the first and last time that i saw an elephant that clearly and can never forget the encounter!

A few days later, early in the morning, while walking through yet another bamboo forest, a sloth bear who was retreating to his daytime lair decided to cross my path and having seen and heard it approach first, i froze next to a bamboo clump and waited for the bear to pass... the assistant with me was simply petrified and i could see that by looking at the data sheet which he had filled up! all the data fields were goofed up!!! :) Later, i measured the distance with me and the bear,it was exactly 12 m!
yet again, my "camo" had made me "invisible" to the bear....
my love for camouflage has also got me into trouble for all wrong reasons which i shall talk about some other time! :)

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