B is for Boisterous Fruit Bats

April 2016, Kumarakom, Kottayam District, Kerela, India

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Vembanad Lake
(Credits: The 18 year old)

It was a balmy evening in God’s Own Country (Kerela), as I sat by the banks of Vembanad lake gazing at the cerulean sky, gradually turning into a shade of grey and then charcoal. The girls, DH & I had walked to the Vembanad lake that languorously kissed the banks of our getaway. We were excited to catch a glimpse of the amorous setting sun. But as luck would have it, the skies were suddenly blurred by grey petulant clouds, and the setting sun disappeared into their haze. We dug into some vada-chutney and piping hot masala chai (tea). The DH and I had returned from a relaxing Ayurvedic spa and the girls were engrossed in getting their hands adorned with henna.

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The two of us sat silently experiencing the evening stillness that merged with the occasional sound of the Vembanad waters gently brushing against the water hyacinths along the waterfront. We were waiting for a colony of fruit bats that usually arrived, regular as clockwork with the onset of dusk. As the sun headed home every evening, these creatures of the dark made their way from the jungles nearby, to feast on the innumerable fruit laden trees dotting the length and breadth of the property.

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Flying Fox or Flying Dog or Flying Fruit Bat? (Image Credit: www.munciesymphonyorchestra.blogspot.in)

I decided to walk towards the pier at the edge of the lake, and as I sat by myself revelling in the silence; far from the pandemonium of the city, I was suddenly shaken out of my reverie by the loud flapping sound of wings. As I looked up, I saw hundreds, yes I kid you not, hundreds of fruit bats, the size of small dogs flying overhead. I made myself comfortable and lay on my back. Enamoured, my eyes feasted on the phenomenal spectacle and the sheer numbers that soared the skies in search of their supper. Even though they flew independently; ahead or behind, they seemed so united and in sync with each other. It appeared they were motivating one another to fly faster and make a grab for the supper that awaited them.

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The Striking Spectacle at Dusk (Image Credit: ACM Photography)

This was one truly breathtaking moment! Yes, one that gives rise to sudden epiphanies in the mind and the soul. I thought to myself, if we joined hands as a team; at home, at work, with our families, in our communities we could attain so much. Just like these fruit bats that went foraging for food every evening, together as brethren. These surreptitious creatures also lived by a routine. An equally pertinent habit for us to cultivate and stay in line with – to eat on time, to work on time, to sleep on time and to celebrate the precious moments of life. Nature and all things natural don’t change their course. They follow their body clocks and the rhythm of life. I think we have begun to lose this attribute slowly but surely, engrossed and trapped in the follies of technology, screen, and the break neck scramble of life. Thereby plunging deep into ill-health, stress, communication gap, competitiveness and so on so forth.
Time to pause and think, time to look at nature and imbibe it’s subtle messages, time to live and create a life well lived.

And you thought bats were ghostly and eerie! :-))

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59 comments on “{B} is for Boisterous Fruit Bats: #AtoZChallenge”

  1. YOur fruit bats look lovelier than the ones that used to fly in and eat up all the bananas at home. I remember once a bat flew into our bedroom ( I live in MUMBAI) and I was so scared that I just covered my head and hoped it would fly away. Thankfully it did.

  2. The Fruit Bat falls into the category of the Megabat and sometimes they are called the Flying Fox in some locations. There are locations throughout the world where the Fruit Bat is able to successfully thrive. They tend to live in areas that offer them plenty of food. Where you find thick forest regions with lots of fruit trees, you can be confident they are in abundance. Most of them live in warmer climates where they can take advantage of various fruits that will grow throughout the year.

    I am aware of them as I love animals and All thanks to NatGeo.

  3. Have always liked visiting Kerala, fond memories from that place. That is such a rare shot of sighting so many bats together. Never know what moment of nature awaits you when. Cherish it!

  4. That analogy between the bats and our lives and how we can learn from them is so relevant. Why are we so obsessed with technology? What do we gain from it that we wouldn’t gain from the glorious beauties of Nature?

    As for the bats themselves, I’ve had a close brush (too close) with them a while ago. Should make for a funny story when I tell it on the blog one day.

    • Wow would love to read that Shailaja. I have one funny story too up my sleeve with a really crazy bat. Will share that someday and link it to this post. Can’t wait to read yours.

      Thank you for your blog love.

  5. wow… your description is so beautiful… makes me want to travel right now. The pictures are just as amazing. I love watching flock of birds fly at sunset… they make a gorgeous picture.

  6. Amazing pictures and imagery, Natasha.
    Loved the wonderful lessons your learnt from the Bats. Nature has a way of inspiring us with the seemingly mundane and leaving us in awe with what we often perceive as rather creepy.

  7. Kerala is beautiful and we just went last october. Bat looks scary but a good click by you. Natural beauty makes us happy especially when we don’t get to see it often in cities.

    • The bat picture isn’t clicked by me Deepa, it’s sourced. The sunset is by the Vembanad lake and clicked by my older one. I have grown up living in the lap of nature and yes miss it, though we live in a complex which has abundance of it. Thank you for coming by

  8. You won’t believe this but as I was reading this, I could hear the bats outside my house. 😛 Bats have always been creepy for me for some reason yet I know they can be quite fascinating!

    Sanch @ Sanch Writes

  9. Our town in central Queensland is currently experiencing a visit from the fruit population. On dusk when they fly off making their piping shrieks they are quite a sight. They do indeed fly in a sort of unison

  10. What a wonderfully poetic post! Great B! the pictures and description are superb & make me want to pack my bags and go see this place with my own eyes! What a wondrous epiphany with bats! My existence kind of stopped at Batman 😉
    But you are right, team work and routine – when they come together, are a thing of beauty!

  11. I might have seen bats as creepy and frightening when I was a child, but as an adult, after holding a tiny, shivering warm baby bat in my hands, I feel closer to them somehow. Thanks for your insights!

    • Hello Sue, now that’s so lovely to hear. Did you foster the guy/girl? Tell me more please. I had this hilarious and not so appetising experience with a fruit bat once at the Singapore Zoo Night Safari. The guy peed over me and that too on my birthday evening, while I was looking up pointing at him. I brushed it off as birthday blessing showers though. What else could I have done!!

      • Oh, yuck, what a mixed birthday blessing. My meeting wasn’t a foster, but a Halloween overnight at the Natural History Museum with my young son. A man from a local bat rescue gave a presentation and let those of us who wanted to touch one hold the baby. It was so soft and warm, and it was shivering all over.

  12. In younger years, during vacations when visited the parental house, this was one scene that would be repeatedly seen each evening. then it was a bit scary yet fascinating. Nature is so full of such beauties.

Thank you for stopping by. Do leave your imprints as well. :-))