Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Leech (ate)

You walk with chappals in the forest? What about the snakes and leeches?
I’m sure many of us would have heard or perhaps asked Drs Ganesh and Ganesan when they are out in the field-be it the evergreens of Kakachi or the wetlands in search of birds and paddy fields in search of rodents and owls outside KMTR. They seem to be at ease taking a walk through the forest in “Hawaii” chappals. And to the above question, both laugh it off saying “well, we have been doing so and are still around!”
More than snakes, which are pretty few in numbers in the rainforests, one should be bothered about the zillions of leeches which seem to spring out of nowhere soon after a light shower. I have been witness to both of them being attacked if I can say, by not less than a couple of tens of leeches at any point of time and they unassumingly pull them off as and when they happen to stop to observe something and more often than not, Dr Ganesan carefully removes the bloodsuckers and puts them in the forest rather gently!

It so happened that when we went on a trek on Green trail with Dr Tor. Dr Ganesh, in his usual attire of chappals got a generous share of blood donation done by the middle of the day while others were protected by anti leech socks and Snuff powder. On reaching a stream, TG decided to put the ecosystem services of nature to good use and dipped both legs (one after the other of course) in the stream and to much of our amusement, not less than 200 fishes came and feasted on the blood which had clotted and dried all over his feet and in no time, his feet were as good as new with no sign of blood whatsoever only to get back to the bloodied condition in a couple of minutes later.
Though I must say I have seen Dr Ganesh with shoes at some point of time, I have never seen Dr Ganesan with shoes, both in fact say chappals are better to pick out leeches as and when they climb and are comfortable to walk with. To me however, having been brought up if I can say with camouflaged anti- leech socks when in a forest; walking with chappals, let alone Hawaii chappals sends shivers down the spine and more so, on the thought of scratching the wounds of leech bites like a rabid creature for not less than a couple of months thereafter.

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