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…

Contrasting Childhoods

Contrasting childhoods, but a common future? My itchy feet are yet to travel the world, but my imagination, added to the television footage I’ve seen of various extraordinary places on the planet, leads me to believe that the Rajbehra Dam in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve has to rank as one of the most magnificent natural sites…

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…

Enter the Goddess

The Banbehi female, after descending a hill and crossing the road, walking as though on a mission without once pausing. Our conjecture was that she was out to fetch some breakfast for her tiny tots. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see them, but when she first appeared on the hill in the bushes, betraying her…

/Home\

  A female cub from the late Aunt Jujju’s first litter, photographed sleeping at Rajbehra on my first ever safari in Bandhavgarh. In those days the unsightly eyesore of the watch tower was not in existence and the water surface that season was flush with the top of the dam wall, making the already pretty…

Laissez-faire

Miss Mirchani Female Cub – an ardent ambassador of laissez-faire She saw, she came and she sat.  Doesn’t exactly sound like a world-domineering conqueror’s magic trio of words, but that is exactly what makes cats, the equitable monarchs, so very special; they conquer the heart by merely being. After this Mirchani female cub’s initial enthusiasm…

‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’

  The Chorbehra male cub smells a tree on the heels of his sister’s departure from the same spot a few seconds before. One hopes that despite their mother’s crippling injury and eventual demise, they’ve learned life’s lessons during their teen months and can pull themselves through this extremely critical period when they must face…

Less Equal than Others?

  This Republic Day, I wish that we can offer our magnificent felines, the symbol of our natural treasure, the same liberty and protection that we, the simian citizens of this country, enjoy, so that, amongst other things, they can cross roads without the fear of being mowed down by mindless juggernauts. Happy Republic Day!

Days of Insouciance

When the sun shone bright and life wore pink, And the armour had in it no chink. The world was free and the world was fair, And we had in it not a trivial care. Life was a song and life was a dance, And for misery there was but no chance. Now those times…