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…

Watcher on the Wall

  Between the banks of night and day, she stands gazing at the undual, still in the flow. Seasons come and phases lapse, but her vigil flies aloft. It reaches beyond man, beast and plant, and touches the source of all.But she’s not a hoarder of beliefs, collector of memories or weaver of dreams. She’s…

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….

Revelations in the Dark

I’m the water for which you thirst, the fire in which you burn, and the air that fans it. I’m the quiver of your lips, the throb in your belly, the blood in your cheeks and the stutter on your tongue.I’m your frown of frustration and squeal of delight.I’m the spring in your step, the…

The Heart’s Eye

Two gleaming gems. Like polished marbles from the Welkin’s riverbeds. By day they hide, at noon they rest, and by night they glow in the lonesome bight. Yet, by morning they’re gone, set with the moon, down horizons unknown. Sparks from tinder, brilliant but short, fanned by the wind. How bright they glow! How bright!…

Bandhavgarh in 60 Seconds

After a 17-month gestation period, I have finally managed to edit the footage I shot in Bandhavgarh in May 2013 entirely with a GoPro Hero 3 into a minute-long montage (many thanks to my good friend Phillip Ross for lending me the wonderful camera.) I present you ‘Bandhavgarh in 60 Seconds’: Watch in full HD…

The River Tigers

The ‘River Tigers’: The Mirchani female and her male cubs at Damnar Their gleaming eyes haunt the lonesome night, cutting like fire lanterns through the dark and balking at owls screeching to a silvery moon. Only stars bear witness to their opulent jaunt. By morning they snake back to their mythical abodes through bushes that…

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…

Rajbehra Reminiscence

I’m just back from Bandhavgarh without a single photographable tiger encounter at Rajbehra, my favourite meadow in Bandhavgarh along with Chakradhara. In fact this entire summer, I know of only four times the Rajbehra Female (Dhiti) or one of her highly photogenic cubs have put in an appearance there during our work hours. This is…

From History to Eternity

I sometimes wonder if history can repeat itself. But I realise it doesn’t have to, when it lingers forever. 19 May was the fourth death anniversary of the Jhurjhura tigress (left) I fondly called ‘Auntie’. She wasn’t the prettiest tigress I’ve known; that is clearly a position concretely held by her smashing sister, the Chorbehra…

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…

An Ode to a Girl

To her who can – evoke a smile for no reason; hand a ‘happy high’ sans spirits; yet with her single glimpse raise… sky-high a dead man’s spirits; To her who can – with her beauty set even a stoic heart aflutter, and make the most articulate tongue stutter; bring spring to a barren soul,…