It is said, through folklore and legend, that a TIger spots you much before you spot him! Something
similar happened with our group who had set out to explore the verdant Kanha jungle last December!
It was a frigid morning and we had a safari in the Mukki zone! Within minutes of entering the jungle,
we were engulfed by alarm calls from all directions! We soon found out that there were as many as 3
different cubs (siblings) on different sides of the road. The thick winter vegetation had hampered the
visibility and thus they were trying to communicate by means of growling! Many an experienced driver,
who had seen tens of winters and summers in this iconic jungle, had strategically placed their vehicles so
as to get the best photographs once the cubs cross the road. A thrilling hour passed, with calls and signs
galore, but no visual evidence of the brilliant black and orange stripes! Patience soon started running
out! The big canons and nikons were ready for `The` image, and yet the tigers refused to greet us! Many
of the gypsies started moving on, cursing their bad luck and the tigers` inertia! They would later regret
their impatience, but that`s another story! My jeep was parked at the start of the said road, with me
sitting on the left hand side, waiting and praying for a glimpse! The charisma and the aura surrounding a
wild tiger has to be experienced atleast once in life!
Half an hour more and even the most patient photographers started giving up! There are many more
tigers to see, they said, and left the road! Our driver was still convinced! He knew, in his heart of hearts,
that the tigers were very close by. He could sense it, smell it, feel it! He remarked something about
trying for one last time and took the binoculars and trained them on the dense bushes nearby! It was
then, in that charmed moment, that with a sudden jolt and a stifled exclamation of joy, that he saw
a tiger sitting 5 feet from our jeep, almost completely concealed by the dense thickets! Talk about
camouflage, talk about stealth! He later conjectured that the tiger was sitting at the same spot for the
entire duration of our wait! What a magical gift Nature had presented us with!
The tiger was barely any distance from our jeep and this is what I could capture through the dense
shrubs. His stare, his persona made our day!
Before long, we left that charmed spot and spent the remainder of the safari with a contented smile on