In the mid of 90’s we were trying to venture into fishery as a business. So we went In search of natural ponds. We came across a society who was willing to sublet a pond which was not in their use. After having a talk with the president of the society, my uncle and dad decided to go and visit the site. Now these ponds were in a village called Bandra, which is on the Nagpur – Jabalpur road and here came the begining of my fishing trip. The village had three ponds one next to village, another little further away and the last in a dense forest. Since, the only one available was the forest one we opted for it. Fortunately, it had the advantage of a panoramic view. During rains the water drains down from the mountains carrying minerals, manure like dung of animals. This enriches the nutritional content of the water in the pond.
After signing the agreement with the society we decided to see whether fishes were there or not. So we contacted the fishermen and went for netting. One fine day we started our netting and fishing trip expedition started. Along with 5 to 6 fishermen with fishing nets, tents and some cooking utensils we set to sail on a bullock cart from a nearby village towards the pond. As we reached there, first we erected the tents and cleaned the surroundings of the tents. Then we decided to lay the nets in the pond. The fishermen had brought old rubber tubes of the truck, on which they sat and floated on the water taking the nets along, tying them across the lake diagonally from one end to another. It took them almost half a day to get the nets laid down. In the meanwhile we cooked the food so that once we were thru’ with the spreading of the nets we could have our lunch.
Being winter we were expecting the temperature to drop very early in the evening. So we collected logs from the forest which could be used during the night hours for burning and keeping us warm. As time passed we could feel the cold creeping into our bodies. The calmness of the jungle was alarming. And now we were getting ready to face the jungle in the night. Since we were told by the villagers that the dangerous animals like tiger, bison,bear are regular visitors of the pond we were quite anxious and prepared to face the challenges. My uncle being a gunman, who was a licensed gun holder. We often called him Jim Corbett and that gave us solace. Then the other precautions which we took were that we made a large bon fire along the side of the tents which would keep the animals at bay. Things started happening the way we had Imagined like the voices of howling of hyena, the sound of barking deer and the cluttering of the hooves of the wild animals we could hear them all. It was scary, but yet it was thrilling and exciting.
My dad and uncle all sat together having local alcohol called Mahau to keep themselves little warm and relaxed. The fishermen called the stuff [akelepan ka sahara] . But it also enlightened their moods. We had a merry time talking about other jungle expeditions, sharing the past experiences about the jungle life singing some folk songs and telling the old time stories. We had frolic and fun till late at night.
Now was the time to say goodnight to everyone and walk inside the tent. Instead of foam mattresses we had prepared peyra mattresses i.e. rice straw strewn down as mattresses. They are quite cozy and they keep you warm as well. This was the new thing I discovered. The night was comfortable.
The dawn broke with the cock a doodle do sound of a wild cock. Though cold, there was fogg around the tent. The sun rays pierced through the gapes of the tall trees. The atmosphere was overwhelming. The chirping of the birds was heartening. The air was filled with freshness. Then we went out from our tents to have a look at our nets. We found at some points the fishes were trapped and were circling around the net. It was an exciting scene the fishes seemed to be of big sizes. There was a gleam on our faces as our efforts were fruitful. With giving thanks to the almighty we started our work of catching the trapped fishes. Again the fishermen took their tubes and went near the fishes to untie them from the nets. The fishes were of 5 to 6 kgs each in weight. They were Rohu and Katla in variety. We took their photographs to show to our people at home.
It was then decided to carry on with netting for some more days as it was giving us great dividends. So our expedition was exciting , thrilling, adventurous,as well as profit making.
Categories: travel & tour