Nature

on crocs of Chambal…

crocs in Chambal River, India

crocs, in a sense, are a perfect faunal representation of the landscape of Chambal… there’s an overarching sense of the sedate punctuated by violent outbursts of activity… badlands – geography seeping into the society… serrations in the terrain and caste divides… law of the land that once caved in to dacoity, dregs of which still remain in the dust, and the peoples…

crocs in Chambal River, India

‘tis the microcosm of life in the ravines that crocs seem to embody… as the reptiles lie stone dead soaking the sun, oblivious to the activity of other creatures, Chambal has seen little development, as other parts of all three states that the region spreads across have moved on economically, and socially…

crocs in Chambal River, India

crocs didn’t evolve ‘cos they didn’t really need to, landing it right by making patience the cornerstone of their survival strategy… the people haven’t evolved either, but perhaps they need to… life is not easy in these parts, the ravines slowly chipping away arable land, but it could be a lot less difficult if the feudal baggage could be let go of…  

crocs in Chambal River, India

an amalgamation of two distinct personalities, crocs are benign while basking and sinister while swimming… if not for those menacing incisors, their lazy demeanour hardly reveals those precise and momentary killer instincts… looking at the languid environs of Chambal too, ‘tis difficult to figure out decades of social unrest and deep seated resentments that mar its history…

crocs in Chambal River, India

the crocodile’s dilemma, one of those beautiful paradoxes that blur the line between mathematics and philosophy… ancient sophisms that mirror the complexity of modern societies… if the system is a croc and the peoples the parent, what would the child be… a return to history or a sojourn into the future…

crocs in Chambal River, India

the conservation successes of the region are ironically a factor of its socio-cultural shortcomings… those that stymied any attempts to modernize, or we could say industrialize… the waves of caste-based politics that the dacoits of the yore rode upon have long subsided… but offshoots emerged, and the pilferage continues today, albeit semi-institutionalized, in the form of sand and stone mafia…

crocs in Chambal River, India

crocs can’t chew, and Chambal can’t seem to chew upon its place in the present… crocs can wait indefinitely, and these ravines have been patient too… age has weathered, but not withered this landscape… mooting and muted, life subsists, a never-ending lore of hegemonies, cycles of oppression refreshed by brief bouts of violence, the river a silent witness to the tribulations…

crocodiles in Chambal River, India

Chambal is a river whose mythological curse has turned out to be a blessing in disguise… low pollution level and anthropogenic pressure enable it to sustain an impressive assemblage of fauna and avifauna… this is not a river hurling down from the big mountains straight into the ocean but a murmur of the midlands, rising from the modest Vindhyan heights and casually winding its way northwards to meet the Yamuna, grateful for the rains…

crocodiles in Chambal River, India

what do we say of the crocs then, the reticent reptiles of these muddy waters… squandering most of their life basking and laying swift ambushes to make up for the lethargy… for most parts, the reptile is almost bovine, a gentle giant, yet there is a mutual absence of fear that underlines it’s ambivalent relationship with us… from evolutionary prudence to fashion accessories, it has been a long journey, but there’s a lot of silent tenacity left in those snouts still…

crocodiles in Chambal River, India

musings on Mugger crocodile, Chambal River, Uttar Pradesh

Author: Parth Joshi

Mountain lover ⛰️ | Hiker 🥾| Runner 🏃‍♂️ | Cyclist 🚴 | Photographer 📷... allured by the outdoors, the author is a quintessential lost soul craving for the outdoors while suffering in a desk job...

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