Subhan and I: My Adventures with Angling Legend of India
133 pages

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133 pages

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Set in the heart of Indian bush, Subhan and I is about angling for the hump-backed mahseer, the greatest fresh water fighting fish in the world, under the most harrowing circumstances, in a swim which many experts believe cannot hold big fish whilst others state that even if they were there landing them would be impossible. It is against this challenging backdrop, two men— Subhan and the author—from socially different backgrounds battle hard to outwit and land the elusive mahseer in the turbulent waters of River Cauvery.
The book is not just a treasure trove of information on angling and life in the bush, it is also about the life and trials faced by the two men, lost in the madness of trying to save the mahseer against all odds. Of special interest to the readers will be the tips on angling. The many anecdotes related to the author’s family and life experiences lend the book its heart and soul. It also traces the position of the fish in history as it flirts with the Gods of our world.
The book is a must-read for not only anglers but also wildlife enthusiasts.



Publié par
Date de parution 20 novembre 2012
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9789351940326
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0500€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


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Saad Bin Jung

Lotus Collection
© Text and photographs: Saad Bin Jung 2012 Photo of Subhan with John Wilson is courtesy John Wilson.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission of the publisher.
First published in 2012 The Lotus Collection An imprint of Roli Books Pvt. Ltd M-75, Greater Kailash II Market, New Delhi 110 048 Phone: ++91 (011) 4068 2000 Fax: ++91 (011) 2921 7185 E-mail: Website: Also at Bangalore, Chennai, Jaipur, Mumbai & Varanasi
Cover: Clotilde Francillon Cover photo courtesy: Ali Shaaz Jung Layout: Sanjeev Mathpal Production: Shaji Sahadevan
ISBN: 978-81-7436-877-5

I dedicate this book to the all the beautiful mahseer which rest in heaven with my best friend, Subhan.

Mteuzi Haishi Tamaa.
(A connoisseur never comes to the end of desire.) A Swahili saying

Subhan: My Mentor
Eek! My Blue Streak
You Never Forget Your First Big Bang! The Highs and Lows of Mahseer Fishing
A Lifetime with the Mahseer: Tips and Tricks in Mahseer Angling
Conservation and the Mahseer: Reflections on a Life in the Service of the Environment
The Fishy Business of Gods and Eternal Laws
About the Author

W hen I was asked to write a foreword for Saad’s book I said, ‘Oh my god! That would be like writing another book on Saad, and smilingly added, ‘It’s going to be difficult to write about his life in a paragraph or two, and therefore, as a compromise, and in order not to overly scare readers, I was allowed a page, not bad, and sneaked in a couple more!
I met Saad in 1983 when, at 23, he was very self-assured, charming, with a hint of arrogance and a great sense of humour; all that would make a young girl’s head spin, and spin it did. I was swept off my feet into his world of adventure and excitement, but most importantly into a simple way of life which he adopted after having experienced the glitz and glamour of the cricketing world.
We married three years later and soon after moved to Bangalore to build our life together. Although we had absolutely no idea about where and how we were going to live, I thoroughly enjoyed every moment! It was special living with Saad, his passions, his dreams. It was both fun and exasperating at the same time because nothing ever went right. Life could never be ordinary with Saad, and why should it be? He had extraordinary ideas and took risks with every breath, right from setting up a six-room guest house in the middle of nowhere to interacting with the local tribals without knowing a word of their language to setting up a camp to fish for mahseer in the heart of Veerappan’s territory on the banks of the River Cauvery.
Wildlife and adventure sports was what Saad throve on and lived for, and alongside he developed a great love for the local people and cared a lot about the issues they faced, which were critical to the conservation and protection of the forests and wildlife; he integrated with them and learnt a great deal in the process. Living amongst them was not easy but he did that seamlessly, which was amazing to watch yet difficult to comprehend. With time however, I, of course, began to understand it and his remarkable journey with Subhan.
We understood this in the ‘Saad way’. You can love it or hate it, and fortunately for the kids and me, we loved it! Whether it was swimming with crocodiles or jumping into rapids without a care or taking the coracle down the river without knowing its course or camping under the stars with wild elephants thrashing around and big cats walking through, we do not know exactly how and when but we fell in love with the environs and the people.
Subhan was a very small, thin, wiry man, and I poignantly remember my first meeting with him. He was smoking a bidi which he quickly stubbed out when he saw us approaching the last shop at Sangam. Looking at Subhan one could never imagine how he could handle the ferocious rapids of the mighty River Akravati, and I almost turned back when Saad introduced us and said that he would be taking us across the flooded river. My first impression of him was his dismissive attitude; he probably thought that he had to deal with a spoilt, lily-livered, city girl who had no business to be there in the first place. I had to prove him wrong and we set out down the river in a flimsy coracle with one paddle with me balancing myself on a bucket placed upside down and holding on to my bag and my wits. Wow! What a ride it proved; for a man of his size, Subhan’s sheer skill, strength, and stamina on negotiating the river were unbelievable. He steered us through the rapids, past dangerous rocks; guided us down like a master; and landed us safe and sound at our first campsite. It was a breathtaking and unforgettable experience.
Over time he grew fond of me and taught me a trick or two about the great mahseer. His knowledge and understanding of fishing was immense. He was familiar with every nuance of the fish, how it would play, which rock it would use to snag the line, and how both the fish and the river would periodically behave. He tested me, and, of course, many a time I longed to throw him into the river. He had no patience for my mistakes, and I will never forget the time he left me on my own for forty-five minutes during a heavy downpour. I had no idea where he had disappeared and later found him sitting completely dry beneath the coracle. I was furious, but he shrugged it off by saying, ‘Well, if you can’t keep your focus and lose me as you lost your fish earlier, what can I do?’ I sulked all the way home, little realizing that I had learnt one very important lesson: never lose focus. That is perhaps why, strangely enough, both Subhan and Saad got along so well and worked so effectively as a team. Both were focused and fiercely passionate about their love for the great sport of fishing, though for different reasons, one for conservation and the other for survival.
Saad and I have been very fortunate, to say the least: life can be lived in many ways but to live one’s passions and dreams and share these with one’s family and friends can be very fulfilling, and I must admit that for a girl like me it was an enormous turnaround for the better—giving my life an entirely new dimension. It taught me that less is more in this very material world and this philosophy instilled wonderful values in our kids. Most important of all, however, it taught us all the importance of mutual respect and love in every relationship.
Living free and being spirited is the essence of life. It keeps one, like the wilderness, pure and unspoiled, and this is what I admire most about Saad and Subhan. I hope this book can change a few perspectives, as it changed mine, and help people to take pride in what they believe in. Living with Saad and working with Subhan I understood their way of life and, above all, I learnt to be fearless and to face any challenge in life, for nothing is impossible.
Sangeeta Jung

I ndia has done everything within its democratic and some might argue, non-democratic powers, to reduce its ancient mystical and mythical culture of monarchy to a pathetic nothing, where some of the once powerful and proud maharajas and nawabs now either hide in far corners of the world or parade in front of tourists to earn a living. The traditions that formed the very foundation of our religious scriptures, our very ethos, and, of course, our governance were reduced to nothing by a government frightened of the mighty votebank of our monarchy. It is in the light of this changing face of India that makes the support that I have received from my family and friends in making my fight to save the mighty mahseer from extinction so utterly rewarding. That I was blessed with the many chances of cuddling the mightiest of the mahseer in my arms only to see them swim away with that powerful flick of their mighty tail fills me with untold joy. And therefore I must thank all the people who made this possible from the bottom of my heart.
Needless to say that this book would

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