The Black Star

In a wilderness in northwestern India, much closer than the sun, lives a star. He was born nine years ago not from a supernova, but his parents’ ‘Jeans instability’. Every morning he rises – to the occasion. And every evening he sets – the stage on fire. In between, he births new stars. Without dying….

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 Search

  When the beads of her thirst turn into pearls of percipience, and she befriends the unknown; When the morn dawns early and she ventures forth bravely through the cold and the dark with nothing more than trust in her path, and no more the false hope of sweet fruit;When the stubborn fog of her…

Spawning

I knew that at the end of every dark night there was a radiant morning, and all that, but this was an exceptionally exquisite one last winter in Kanha. And yet, in a moment, it’d be gone, the rising sun washing away the scene like writings on the beach are purged by the evening tide….

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…

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…

A Feeling Called Tiger

I’ve felt it far more often than I’ve seen it. In the rustle of the leaves it’s resident, and the thunder over the distant hills brings its euphony. The inchoate buds issue its fragrance, and the sway of the windswept grass talks of its silent jaunt. The frenetic calls of alarm evoke its presence, and…

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….