KAA Sirsi

Outdoor trips bring a different energy at Aarohi. No matter where are we going, we spend time in exploring, understanding and imaging via different sessions. Visiting Sirsi was no different - preparation began a week in advance only to understand our goal and purpose. Some read, some listened, some found more information, some researched in depth and some did not do much.
 
As we reached George’s farm, one child exclaimed ‘it does not look like Western ghats, it is not like what I read and imagined!’. Well, he had all the opportunities to EXPERIENCE the way things exist in Western ghats now. The first impression was ‘oh! So, lucky they have thick vegetation’. As we understood more about the area and met more people, we realized, each area has own share of environment issues. Meeting Mr. Panduranga and Mr. Hedge was enlightening to see how one can fight for the environment, Playing in the river gave us the pleasure of their efforts of APPICO movement. If trees would have been cut, the river would not have been flowing in that place and the imagination itself was scary.We have seen many rivers drying, here we saw a river alive with efforts from locals.
 
Playing in waterfalls, running around in Yana caves, making an article with Bamboo and Banana leaves made us realize that nature does not need us, we need nature. A small walk in the stream near the farm gave us an experience of being in nature in the purest form. This brought a lot of dynamics of each other, various surfaces sometimes rock, sometimes slushy, sometimes clear water, sometimes muddy. What we know about the snake is 80% myths or misunderstanding and one of the most common myth is 'snakes are venomous and dangerous and only way to be safer is to kill them'. Other myths are they spit venom, they take revenge, they drink milk, they have a great memory, they dance to the tune of bean and do on. Suhas, born and brought up in Sirsi, studied law and worked with herpetologist to understand snakes. Not a scientist or a researcher, but a simple nature lover. In his presentation, he shared, "Out of 300 species, only four are highly venomous. And God gave venom to save and live but not to kill humans. So, snakes are not born to kill us. They are very shy!" He shared about various varieties of snakes - some nonvenomous, some mildly venomous, some venomous. At the end handling, a rescued snake made all of us come closer to snakes.
 
While the trip was not aimed to teach anything about nature just being there, experiencing it in many different forms, playing around, meeting people and listening to them made us even further sensitive and brought clarity in our roles. Stay at George ad Susheela’s farm named ‘No man’s land’ as our base was a blessing. Kids loved playing with farm animals and going all around. George and Susheela, both are passionate about farming and doing this for last 10 years. Homeschooling their 3 girls. They all stay at the farm. A walk through the farm was an eye opener to know how much goes into farming and it's not only about sowing seeds and watering them. It takes a lot more efforts, especially when you want to work with a sensitive approach towards nature. You can plan to go for farm stay to understand and explore farming or to explore the Western Ghats. Visit them at www.nomanslandfarm.in or facebook page on https://www.facebook.com/NoMansLandFarm Or http://travelanotherindia.com/danandi.html