Yes, it was a humbling experience. I, who had always taken casual pride in being near the top of every crew during the first 6 years of my treeplanting career now found myself at the bottom! Previously I would take regular naps during the day, or take strolls with camera into the neighbouring uncut forest, and still walk into camp after a long day to receive praise and respect from all the slower planters. Now though no such breaks could be permitted, lest I’d be forced to eat my humility to greater measure. After a long season of analysing what the key to their numbers were, I came to the conclusion that perhaps I had grown too accustomed to doddling my sweet way to the next plantable spot. I suppose I could have pushed myself to the limit as each of them did every day, and I’d like to take a second crack at it, if I can convince my aging and brutalised body to listen. After all, I find myself joyfully kicking the young spring buck around the squash court, so physical limitations need not be the problem. But a willingness to push one’s mental limits and efforts to the extreme. Relentlessly and without break. Skakti is an ancient Hindi concept for force, power and energy. The crew seemed powerful indeed and was a great source of inspiration. If you’d like to work with this industry’s elite, feel free to contact the owner. It is a young company, started by a hiballer, for the hiballers, sucking in his elite friends from across the industry. But if you’re a rookie, perhaps beware. He doesn’t like them too much. In fact, he eats them for breakfast!
If you would like to see what other treeplanters have said about Shakti, or add comments yourself, please refer to the Treeplanter’s Database.
Update: Overall I had a good experience with the crew but would just like to say that I was rather severely shortchanged by the owner. He asked me to design accounting software for him, half the reason I made this website, but changed his mind midstream, without paying me. He also did not pay me for a lot of construction work I did for him, deducted half a fine for a piece he himself pulled me out of but did not complete (he did not mark it properly and the planter he sent to fill it could not find it), and deducted a massive amount instead of simply filing my income to the government (I would have probably gotten most or all of that back because that was my only income in Canada during that year). In the end he shortchanged me at least $2000 and the other half of the reason I created this website – to provide a free forum where planters can post their comments regarding the payment practices of the companies they work for, in the hope that the treatment of planters will improve across the industry.