9th May, 2008, Friday.
(Just when life had convinced me that I am jinxed..that no matter how hard I tried, the elusive tiger would remain elusive, I finally saw one! A grand male, a rich brown in colour with a great white face. Location: Chik Halla Dam. Time of sighting: 11.05 am – 11.55 am. Smita of course, did a one up on me, and saw two more tigers (one male and one female) on the same day, near Ombetta and 50 point...bringing her count to THREE tigers in one day!)
Well, what can I say...a tiger needs to do what a tiger needs to do! In spite of what these humans think, I think a tiger is the rightful king of the jungle, and not the lion (considering the fact that there aren’t many of those left in this country as of now). I am King, and a proud one at that. And when I need to cross the road, I need to cross the road. But surprise surprise, what do I see? A large black monster making as much noise as can be made to utterly paralyze the likes of a lesser beast (say, cheetal or sambar, yummmm). But the king of the jungle isn’t that easily scared. I was bang in the middle of scent marking a tree, with all intentions of crossing the human made road to the other side where supper awaited me (live sambar...yummmm again), when a most non-animal like howl went up inside the black monster. I suddenly saw the dark, excited faces of five humans peering out of the monster’s sides...they were making a lot of ruckus (they were the dressed-in-forest colours kind, whom I’ve often seen wandering in the jungle...they generally make a lot less noise than the other kinds who go around my forest in another green monster, and wear all kinds of silly reds, oranges and yellows).
“well”, I thought, ”now that these nuisances are here, might as well wait for them to pass by before I cross”.
So I went down the slope, towards my beloved vyal, to wait them out. But no sooner had I made that decision, I heard a most frantic rustling of leaves, and loud panting and felt the nauseating smell of human flesh permeate my nostrils. What a nuisance indeed...they were following me down the hill! Which obviously meant that the black monster was standing alone and motionless on the road...and which meant that the coast was clear, and that I could cross the road in peace. Back on top, I realized, no such luck! Two of the buggers had stayed back to look out for me! I ran back down, to the dam with the sand mounds that provided good cover. I rested there for a few moments, and had a great drink of water. I thought I would wait it out there, give them sufficient time to think that they’d lost me, and then resume my mission of crossing the road.
I was just pacing around the dam, when I saw them again, out of the corner of my eye. These humans don’t give up easily do they? I had had enough! If they were going to follow me, they would have to follow me back to where I would cross the road this time...far far away from where their monster was. I bounded up the hill again, quite sure that the two footed humans would never be able to keep up with me. Just when I thought I had lost them, I heard voices ahead...humans on the road...they of course, pretended to be the grass and the barks of trees. Oh how I detest these lowliest of the low of Mother Nature’s creations, these lesser mortals who pretend to rule the world. I gave them a hard cold stare that conveyed pretty much all my thoughts, but somehow, I don’t think the message got across. This time I had to lose them....or I’d never be able to cross. So I did a neat trick...I pretended to go down the hill again, and went as far as to make sure that they completely lost sight of me. But here’s the cleverest part...I did a neat u-turn, went right back to where I had wanted to cross the road initially...and since I had led the humans far away from that spot, I could easily cross the road in peace. How’s that for a clever plan huh humans? Mission accomplished, I felt rejuvenated, a new tiger altogether!