Leap Year

Mirchani female cub leaping at Patpar Naala, Bandhavgarh © Santosh Saligram
The Mirchani female cub at Patpar Naala, January 2010

At the threshold of the Chinese Year of the Tiger, a cub leaps in play on an island of isolated wilderness, a small relic from a glorious past, which has somehow escaped the ravages of man, slipping out of his damning grasp. The much-hyped turn of the year was to herald a hope for the tiger and its homes to leap forth from the clutches of darkness into sunshine bright and sanguine, but although half of it has passed, the only thing that has leapfrogged is time itself, and progress seems to have slipped to negative in the balance. Clearly, mankind doesn’t seem to take giant leaps very often because it is seldom ready to take the small step forward.

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