In the dead of the night great orange visions formed in the mind that I couldn’t but shrug off. A big handsome bloke filled the scene and stole the show. He had stocky arms, a trunk-like neck and a great mane for his kind. Withal, he seemed to have invoked the pause button, for this visual got stuck and didn’t refresh. He settled down and sat heavy on the ground and on my senses.
Dawn cracked and door tapped, the tea came in. This steaming beverage I consumed post-haste, zealous urgency being always the prevalent mood on safari mornings, of which this was the fourth of this trip. Splashing cold water on my visage, I bore the burden of my optical gear to the vehicle, which in turn, steered ably by Ajay, bore mine to the gate with alacrity. With this ended the vivacious flow of things and there began a great wait that tested the patience residing deep within.
For half an hour we waited with no sign of the entry permit. More moments lapsed and we watched mutely as others entered the park while we waited on. Time slipped by like leaking mercury as the heart pounded to be in the temple on this infrequent annual pilgrimage. A haze seemed now to form on the great vivid visions of seeing him sprawled across his domain like a lord of all, prompting me to turn the fog lamps on. Doubts that arose in the mind were released with difficulty, and pessimism was escaped by seeking asylum in sangfroid. Patience was drawn and trust bestowed in the lord, the greater and the lesser all the same.
The wait was now for the priest to grant what God had already given with grace.
When that time mercifully came a full 35 minutes behind schedule, plants, trees and birds alike, subdued by the overcast sky overhead, greeted us with sweet whisperings asking why the delay. Mind agog with the joy of being in my favourite tiger-woods, the excitement had yet to attain digestion when a crowd gathered just beyond the “AC” (the Chakradhara Tiraha for the uninitiated where routes B and A part ways), intently watching something in the meadow to the right. Their focus suggested that some subject worthy of observation must be afoot in their direction of sight but when we turned right and proceeded, a profusion of spotted deer greeted us with the maiden anticlimax of the day.
With our prematurely awoken brains perplexed, we pressed on confused when we encountered another cluster of vehicles carrying cat-seekers. There were at least six of them standing in a single file, with the rearmost one carrying a group of kids wherefrom, upon seeing us, a sweet little girl ventured to gesture furiously to us to hurry up and transfer our behinds to where she stood, prescribing a minimal expense of time in the process. In other words she endorsed a near-instant change of location through copious amounts of acceleration. We traversed the short distance in a jiffy and looked to the right.
Sitting in the open with the authority befitting the ruler of sixteen empires in platinum prime was golden lad Adonis.
|Thus sat Adonis. He spake nothing but said it all.|
With our advent he looked lazily in our direction and before getting down to work, I said “Wow!” and mentally texted ‘God’ for this confluence of Providence.
A reply came promptly, which I later read:
“This date and time I chose and so we met.
What you see here is what you get.
Know now though never to fret.
For whatever happens, happens for the best.”