Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Turtle Trek !

My FB friend, collaborator in the Kavikala project,   Chief Paperwalla at Paperwalla Art, Chief planter at Project 35 trees (planting and nurturing a tree each in the 35 states + union territories in India), Hari Chakyar , posted this photo, clicked by his friend Arun Singh , at Velas near Ratnagiri,  south of Mumbai, down the Kokan coast.

Velas is  a remote village in Mandangad taluka in Ratnagiri district. The occasion is the Turtle Festival, a celebration of Nature’s wonder in which baby turtles of the Olive Ridley are released into the sea by Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra’s volunteers. The marine turtle conservation movement has been underway in Maharashtra since the past nine years.

Several folks from Mumbai , including Hari Chakyar and friends, were present in Velas, to witness this amazing trek of the turtles, towards the sea.

I just wondered  what the turtles must be thinking .....
(photograph by Arun Singh )
For years
we did this trek.

nudging each other,
paying attention to our steps,
and we 

stopped when we wanted,
Sometimes to catch a breath,
you happened to like
the turtle
coming up just behind you
simply because
the Sun looked so awesome....

What to do ?
These people
in pink gumboots
and hawaii chappals
simply crowd
around us,
taking pictures,
exclaiming, jabbering,
"awesome awesome",
watch us move our heads in and out;

Some even
kneeling in the sand,
to click us,
as if we are the
Kokan Turtle Fashion Week showstoppers;
and that simply
makes potholes on our land,
which we must traverse.

Ah , potholes ! now I know.
Must be from Mumbai !
Hai na ?


  1. like it...lovely experience..:-)

    1. Thank you ! All inspired by your photograph.... err, I mean the turtles' photogragh :-))

  2. A touching poem that made me see the world from the perspective of puny turtles. The footwear and the pothole are so overwhelming....

    1. I guess we aren't really good at respecting others' spaces .....

  3. I love to read your angle on any picture. Your words make them unique, Suranga and this picture, as it is, is unique! Tiny babies!

    1. Sandhya, I just wondered for a moment, on what if I was the turtle in the photo. Then the poem happened :-))