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?…

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…

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…

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…

The Orange Ghost

Pigmented in Paradise, her aureate skin resonates with ether, as her fiery eyes pierce the soul. The spectre of the dark morphs into a spectacle in light as the rock beneath her feet throbs to the touch of her cushy paw. Her fur, coloured sienna by the caressing grass, escapes the folds of vision like…

Tawny Diaries: Summer Slam

The gate opened and I streamed in. I could barely wait to see her at the stream. The path cut through a slice of heaven. Dew-drenched leaves were strewn beneath giant, tall trees as brilliant shafts of sun-rays filtered through the gaps in their canopy. Birds chirped and flitted between branches and their songs rang…

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…

Esprit de Corps

Auntie with Dhitti (left; now called The Rajbehra Female) and Chhoti (top; now called Kankati)  This sight was very common in that magical summer of 2009 when Auntie and her two female cubs were seen almost every afternoon at the Rajbehra Dam. Sometimes she’d lead the way and the cubs would follow and at other…

/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…