Survivors at Sunrise

It was the last safari of the trip, an intentionally truncated affair, since we had a date to keep with an annoyingly punctual flight at the end of an 11-hour drive. 25 safaris, including 19 from the previous trip, had passed that year without a glimpse of Kankati’s cubs.  Back in May, the first-time mother…

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…

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…

‘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…