A ‘Boaring’ Digression

One late morning at Sukha Talab, the Pateeha female, having watered herself and her two girls, had risen to a stately squat, ready for departure, when one of the cubs’ attention was diverted by a sound. On the firm conviction that it behoved him to investigate, the cub walked away from the water and positioned…

A Tiger’s Way

The wheels rolled into Rajbehra one searing afternoon, and we learned that one of the Jhurjhura cubs had taken throne on a rocky outcrop behind the dam. As I sat in brief contemplation, the following advisement from an eminent photographer cracked the silence at its seams: “Kaunsa lens hai tere paas, bhai? 300 hai, na?…

Portrait of a Lass

A rejuvenating shower reduced the summer blaze to a simmer. When the sky had run dry of cold tears, a freshness had flowered. A grey francolin, drinking its nectar, stood on a log calling oft, as though, through a broadcast of the pleasant status quo, inviting all parties concerned to partake of the toast. A…

A Tale of Two Stars

It was late afternoon when Star assumed a seat by the lakeside, and despite the fire in the sky, it seemed to get brighter by his presence, and the howling dry wind, just a little warmer. The day was longer because of his lingering, yet time verily shorter. Light had slowed to the speed of…

Lines on Water

There was a veneer of grass on the forest canvas, and it was ruffled now by the hot wind, as though tousled by a dragon’s breath. The earth heaved as the sun drank from the lake, like a giant sucking honeydew off a dying man’s plate. A mirage had centre stage. I sat watching the…

The Prima Donna

Thus stood the prima donna, enlightening the soul. I had heard a lot about her from Old Hag. But it was the instant the prima donna broke into reality from the dreamworld of the thicket with quicksilver dazzle, like an exquisite flower had dropped from a mystical tree, that I fell in love with her….

A Midsummer Day’s Work

A cloud veiled the harsh sun and a breeze abducted the gentle heat radiating from the earth.  Watched on by the swaying trees, fallen leaves rallied around drifting in the slow wind.  No rain hung in the dry air; just a low-pitched swoosh of the wandering zephyr. It was spring elsewhere in India but midsummer…

The Intrepid Athena

The morning was young and the sun gentle when we hit the cheekily nicknamed Aloo Bonda Road. The track is known by this curious moniker for it takes you to Hardia, where you can throw in the towel mid-safari, and having relieved at once your bursting bladder, devour an assortment of toothsome revivers, chief amongst…

The Death Walk

He was so big that he had his own gravitational field. And the moment when he pressed purposefully forward with a quarry in his sights and the smell of a kill doing the death dance in his nostrils was a rear-loosening one. There are times when tigers look cuddly. This is the majority of times….

Kinarwah Chronicles

In the pursuit of wildlife, fantasy is a constant companion.  With ambition as its close ally, the mind goes about weaving dreams at every corner, and causes the heart to wistfully sigh when they don’t come true.   One such long-nursed dream was to see a tiger at Kinarwah, the manmade waterhole at the fringe…