Dates with a Star

When I draw under starless skies memories of midday mimes, on sunlit days and a fairy land, the fondly kept tell vivid tales of a deathless date.  For the present is so vast that in it even the past resides. There was an untanned patch of hallow ground, from which there sprang grass green and…

How does it feel to see a wild tiger?

So how does it feel to see a wild tiger? I could tell you that waiting for a tiger to emerge feels like watching raindrops trickle off a roofline while awaiting your beloved – a wistful longing fanned by sweet anticipation. But that wouldn’t let you know what it’s like to melt in your own…

The Apples of My Eyes: All the Bandhavgarh Tigers I’ve Seen

Since I discovered the immensely pleasurable activity of watching tigers in 2006, I’ve had the privilege of visiting 17 tiger reserves, and each of these has been special, but none towers over my consciousness as a certain park, in an overwhelming sort of way.   Bandhavgarh. That name occupies so much space in my heart, that…

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…

Survivors at Sunrise

It was the last safari of the trip, an intentionally truncated affair, since we had a date to keep with an annoyingly punctual flight at the end of an 11-hour drive. 25 safaris, including 19 from the previous trip, had passed that year without a glimpse of Kankati’s cubs.  Back in May, the first-time mother…

Mirth

My perch in the tree-house creaked. I sat heavily on my feeble rump, feeling in every breath the pangs of a bereaved man. “Old Hag knows the cause of your melancholy,” said Old Hag, who, turning around I noticed, was seated legs folded, roughly two feet off the floor in thin ether. “But let me…

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?…