It was 4 o’clock in the morning and though most of the campus was still awake, there was a group of 85 highly enthusiastic people who had slept and woken up quite early. This was the group of students who were headed to see the rare migratory birds which had flown down to Nalsarovar lake for the season. “The response of the students was very encouraging. We had made arrangements for 60 people, but we continued getting applications till the last moment and thus had to make extra arrangements for all the nature lovers” said Sudeep Banerjee, member of Prakriti -The Nature club of IIM-A and the organizer of this trip.
On reaching the place, the students divided themselves into groups of ten and hired boats to go into the lake. “Spicy food can cause death to these birds, so we make this special spice-free food called Gaathiya”, said a local citizen while selling packets of Gaathiya. Armed with a few packets of Gaathiya, the students ventured to explore the lake and find new birds.
Five minutes into the ride, the group spotted a bunch of Australian Seagulls & tried to lure them by throwing Gaathiya into the water. Smelling food, lots of seagulls started swarming around the boat. With mushroom-like perfectly smooth skin, each seagull would make a dive towards the food and after grabbing the grain, would glide onto the water. The mere sight of so many seagulls flying around the boat was mesmerizing.
Though everyone had heard about these birds and seen them on television, it was the first opportunity for most students to see the actual birds. Though none of the other birds came as close to the boat as seagulls, getting to observe these birds in their undisturbed natural habitat so closely was the most joyous and wonderful part of the journey. “This is heaven for nature enthusiasts. I have never seen so many different kinds of birds assembled at one place. I am sure this trip will increase awareness about the environment amongst the IIM-A community” said Rakesh Shejwal, Coordinator of Prakriti.
On one of the small islands, one group was lucky to spot a few greater flamingos as well as ruddy shellducks. Amongst other birds, the participants also spotted black drongos, wagtails, grey herons, purple herons, black winged stilts, purple moorhens, white breasted kingfishers, and plum headed parakeets. The two hours just flew past while looking for new birds, trying to lure them towards the boat and catching a closer look at them. After this, students grabbed some indigenous food to satiate their hunger and finally, with one of the best experiences of their lives and the memories of the place filled in their hearts, headed back to the campus.
By: Tanishq Goyal, PGP1