Soul of a Cat

Jujju Junior is not just a tiger cub. She is the kitten that resides in every cat, the youth, energy and the spirit of inquest that remains active in every feline soul. Mediocrity is not a standard that satisfies her, and knowledge incompletely gained is to her a totally unacceptable compromise. It is her life’s…

Eyes of Innocence

Past the rocks that flank the road Dawn by dawn I pass her abode Whose visage adorns the tendrils and leaves Through them her form beams and sieves. In the eyes that glitter There is an eloquence atwitter – Unspoken but unrepressed, It presses on me the trying test. And I on my part, with…

Sangfroid

On the bridge at the stream at Siddhbaba, Vikas halted our hauler, guided by the belief that Chorbehra Female slept in the damp, cool marsh of the meadow. The sambar, who seem to love standing in the cool current here and chomp their way through the succulent botanical victuals, were scarce in attendance. Only the…

Idol Worship

In all my limited wisdom, I claim to be secular, and that is not by the connotation that we Indians have conjured for our political furtherance, but in the actual unalloyed lexical sense as known in the Occident. I concede that, during embattled times, as the unveiling day of the frighteningly ugly exam results drew…

Splicing the Extremes

A one-time father would have felt the pangs of nostalgia in the abyss upon the sight. The hearts of police constables would have turned wistful, and night-watchmen would have pitched in relating to the situation, for we paced up and down a jeep path in Badhaini Patpar as though our lives, or someone else’s, held…

Trick Boxing

In contrast to the glamorous sports of the human world, which erect stardom, fuel passions and ignite effigies, break backs with frayed tempers, weld relationships and engender scandals, halt countries and drive lucre under cobwebbed wooden tables, there is in this much pecuniary labyrinth yet a sport that is untouched by the wand of fame…

Indignation in Paradise

When a cheeky jackal paced up and down the opposite side of the lake by which B2 was resting, the latter’s reaction was not what could be described as “mild and passing” by any means. His reflexes were swift, the emergence of disgust to the face prompt and the action immediate. He rose with a…

The Light of the World

  Just the other day I read astounded the report of a ‘dead’ baby “coming alive” after his mother put him to her bosom and told him her grand plans for his future.  Doctors were suitably gobsmacked as they saw the very infant they had pronounced as being in an eternal rest hours before, coming…

Twin Wins

  When I had a sobering drink at night, quite to the extent that I could see twins of everything, and yet rose in the morning like I’d consumed an invigorating potion, with double the vim that I show on a weekday morning at work, I knew I was in love with it. This creature…

She Grabs You!

      I have always believed in the power of dreams. I dreamed in school, for example, snoozing in class and it saved me the uptake. I then dreamed straight through the laboratory periods at college and that did me a lot of good too; saved me the malodours. When my liaison with tigers…

Reverie at Tea

“Chug chug” rumbles the train. “Cluck cluck” protest the rails as the heavy wheels roll on them. “Right-ho, Jeeves” lies open beside. All is dark. There is a gentle zephyr. Restful. Nice, cool. There is a lull. Then there is light. Not bright, dim. Soothing, not intrusive. Somewhere in a forest. A bunch of stripes…

Entrée

The ride was penultimate, the time was short and my dubious record of having not made for my library even one image of a tiger crossing a clear jeep track scorned at me with a perfectly detestable air of surety about its continued reign on my haplessness.  Mukesh’s intuitive style of work was my only…

A Game of Chess

  It was very early on a Tuesday morning. Even the usual harbinger of daybreak, the jungle cock, hadn’t crowed his raucous call yet to silence the crickets. Spotted owlets still screeched at the gate, as groggy faces and eager minds strode in with wide eyes to absorb the dim light.   Route B mandated…

When a Tiger Walks…

It was our last ride of the trip and we had barely seen a chital that evening. Not to slight the herbivores with their lovely spotted coats, with the male of the species sporting superb head-gear in the form of magnificent antlers and the female, when not emitting her strident, high-pitched alarm, displaying a grace…