Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My life-changing tigress

This is the most beautiful tiger I've ever seen. My photographs don't do her justice at all.

She crossed the path about fifty feet away from our gypsy, in Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve last year. Around 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning.

Even after centuries of civilization, the aura of the top predator can still turn us into jelly. The one word that kept coming to mind as she passed was "flawless."

All too soon she disappeared back into the forest...leaving us gaping and speechless.

Once we got our speech - and our breath! - back, we could talk of nothing else all day. Seeing that tigress was a high point in my life, and for my friends too. In fact she was also a turning point for me, because she made me decide to work for tiger conservation.

I've never seen her again, on subsequent trips to Tadoba. But I keep looking.

And I'm eternally grateful for those few fleeting moments when her world overlapped with mine.


iRat said...

Hi Guys,

Good story. I realise that tigers have become very rare now. I've been to a couple of tiger reserves.

My thoughts about conservation have changed over the years. Earlier I used to flank these jungles as a tourist hoping to see a tiger. After a few unsuccesful attempts, Ive now realised how our selfishness and callousness has infact braught us to a stage where these wonderful creatures are nowhere to be seen.

Lets hope we save planet earth before many of these amazing birds and animals disappear from its face.

The Satpuda foundation is doing a good job too. Keep it up.

Rajashree Khalap said...

Thanks! You are absolutely right, the disappearance of so many species is entirely our doing and nobody is free from blame. We can still correct some of our mistakes if enough of us are interested.