Morning Blessing

The bounty of some days makes up for the drought of others, and on this day, another page of the Kinarwah chronicles was to be turned over for our reading pleasure.

Just as we saw the Banbehi female off on the Banbehi Nallah Road, Vikas turned back to drive to Mirchani and then complete our route, but even before we could reach Rampur Tiraha, we were detained again, this time by the son of the tigress who had just made our morning special.

The teen tiger – a very handsome young chap I had seen early one morning a year before as a cub gambolling with his sister at Sita Mandap – sat on a bed of grass right in the middle of the picturesque meadow near Kinarwah, as the sun, by now mighty but still low-hanging,  lit the scene golden.  The result: magic.

Banbehi's first litter male cub sitting in Kinarwah grassland, Bandhavgarh © Santosh Saligram

At ten past six the next morning, we had the third consecutive fruition of dream at Kinarwah, when the male cub was seen again, this time walking exactly in the same place as his mother had 24 hours earlier. 

After skirting the bund, with the waterhole nicely reflecting his form, he crossed the same stretches of road as his mother had the previous morning.  Only, he didn’t have cubs to tend to, but had other appointments to keep.  

Maybe his mother had made a kill, or maybe he wanted to pay a visit to the cubs – who knows?  The tiger is after all an animal about whom you don’t know what is left to write and how much is left to know, except that every sight of one is a blessing.

More images:

Banbehi male cub in Kinarwah grassland, Bandhavgarh. © Santosh Saligram
Banbehi male cub near Kinarwah, Bandhavgarh. © Santosh Saligram

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