The Big Cats and I
The first time a tigress in the wild, in Bandhavgarh I saw,
I was amazed by just looking at her huge paw.
Though I was on a vehicle looking down at her on the ground,
Amazed at her beauty, and since then I am spellbound.
Our eyes met when she looked up in annoyance for disturbing her,
My heart missed a beat and made it leap up with a soar.
The next tigress, T17 or Sundari of Ranthambhore as she is called,
With a tag collar around her neck she did not look fearful at all.
Suddenly getting up from her resting place she decided to stroll,
Came right next to our vehicle which was not at all droll!
She walked around calmly, after all she was strolling in her park,
Least bothered about the people around and thought of it as a lark.
Another eye contact with Kankatti, in Bandhavgarh, sent a thrill all over my spine,
Thankful for making such a beauty by nature divine.
She lowered her head and looked directly at me,
Our eyes locked and I could not look anywhere but her I see.
Under a tree was Bamera her beau the most handsome of all in the animal kingdom,
You get to see such a majestic beast very seldom.
Kankatti came down to him and teased him with her tail,
Knowing that this would make Bamera want her without fail.
Getting up and hurrying after her from under the tree in the shade,
For wanting to grow his brood he did not want her desire to fade.
On top of her he went and was startled by her roar,
He scurried away – Yeah female power I said and wanted some more.
Banbai the tigress which is another of Bamera’s muse,
After her pregnancy she was to him of less use.
Heavily pregnant and looking for a kill she was roaming,
She was with us for forty five minutes, now your mouth may be foaming.
I learnt a lesson after seeing her walk all the way,
Never will I say I am tired as an excuse from duty and walk away.
I cannot stop talking of Bamera from morning to dawn,
I want to be a tigress after death and when reborn.
Roaming in Indian jungles I shall be found,
Looking for my Bamera with honest profound.
Lord will my dying wishes be ever answered,
Hope my sins in this life will not get it hampered.
Now to Masai Mara in Kenya to tell about the other big cat,
Called the king of the jungle, after the tigers (I am biased) may I ask, what is that?
I hope I am excused to say that lions are lazy and rest all the time,
All the grooming, killing and feeding are done by the female feline.
Mara is the wildlife lovers’ and photographers’ paradise and a delight,
Many animals are found everywhere and they are hardly out of sight.
When asked, a leopard climbing a tree is on my next bucket list, I told,
Lo and behold I was awestruck seeing my dream unfold.
Climbing a tree and on the branch dangling her legs she lay,
The elegant cat gave everyone many poses as though it was a play.
Licking her paws and moving her head from side to side,
She was a photographer’s delight and so were to those with only eyes.
As we rolled in the savannah we saw a pack of cheetahs feeding on a kill,
I whispered my thanks to god for granting my wish at will.
“Karibu, Karibu” and “Hakuna Matata” was all to thank in Swahili I could say,
I must learn more and correct words and phrases before I go back some other day.
After getting our heart’s content and thanking the people and nature we all returned,
Till another trip, I hope soon, this trip we adjourned.
The thrill of spotting a big cat is something one has to experience to know,
In front of these majestic creatures I hope the future generations will get to bow.
Approximately 3,200 tigers roam today in the wild out of the 100,000 tigers since 1900 year,
The food chain may break and I hope this will make you panic in fear.
As fellow creatures in this earth let us take a vow,
We will take care of the big cats not from today but from now.
~ Shovna Upadhyay
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