Bangalore: A 56-year-old man from Karnataka has left behind his civilian life and has been living in his ambassador car for the last 17 years.
The dense forest which Chandrashekar has chosen as his abode is located between Adtale and Nekkare village, near Aranthodu of Sullia taluk, in the district of Dakshina Kannada.
One would find an old ambassador car about 3-4kms inside the jungle, resting under a plastic sheet used as a roof, with old Hindi songs playing from the car's radio.
However, the idea of living in isolation deep into the forest did not come naturally to Chandrashekar. The old man has lost his farm and his home to the bank after not being able to pay his loans. Earlier, Chandrashekar was a proud owner of over 1.5 acres of land in Nekral Kemraje village. He lived a satisfactory life growing area nuts on his farm. But after falling into debt in 2003, his farm was auctioned by the bank.
Having no choice, Chandrashekar drove straight to his sister's home only to leave a few days later after engaging in a domestic rift.
It was then Chandrashekar made the decision to live in isolation in the forest.
However, the 56-year-old man does not take anything from the forest for free. He works hard and makes a living by weaving baskets from dried creepers. He sells the creepers in the nearby Adtale village shops, using his bicycle as his means of transport. He receives grains, sugar and other groceries in exchange for his basket.
He is determined to live an honest life and says, "I will lose the trust of the forest department if even a small shrub is chopped."
The District Collector had also once offered him a proper place to live in which he refused.
He was later visited by Aranthod Gram Panchayat to be given the COVID-19 vaccine even without owning an Aadhaar card.
Chandrashekar still hopes that one day he will get his plot of land back and imagines himself driving back to his home in his favourite ambassador car which has been serving him all these years.