April 2, 2014

Befriending a Tiger

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I didn't know how far I had come inside the forest.

Being a top implementer of development schemes, the Naxals had kidnapped me to secure release of their comrades.

I had escaped providentially in the pitch dark night. I had no idea where I was.

Still I kept going as far as I could. As fast as I could. For I knew they would be on my heels the moment they woke up from their tired slumber.


It was a group of five. A break-away faction. They admired my work. But became violent at the thought of torture of their brethren by the security forces. They vowed to torture me if the government did not unite their brethren with them.


http://images.jagran.com/naxal_sl_23-11-2011.jpg
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I assured them that's not true. Law was taking its course. Their comrades could be free too. But they were unrelenting. Worse- they asked me to shut up. Or face the bullet. Development be damned. Admiration be damned.

The last call I had made was when I was blind-folded and on the way inside the deep jungle. That was my last contact with anybody outside of the Naxals. The last time I saw my phone. That was two days ago.

Now I just had to flee.

As I was running and panting, I came to a relatively clear area. In the dim moonlight I saw something move behind the giant bushes some metres away.

And then I was stunned. I froze. A tiger stood in front of me. Yes- a whole huge tiger. Brilliant golden body. Killing black stripes. Burning bright.

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTBEan2_Pbs4efUtVaWAKg-hPMFngaKSpxUnS4sRrm9WLsqmXEaKQ
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 It roared deafeningly. My heart had stopped.

The tiger's eyes were bloodshot. I prayed to God. I either had to die at the hand of Naxals probably closing in on me. Or torn by the tiger. Death was moments away.

I closed my eyes. I was in a trance. Reliving all the good times of my life. Sending out my wishes to my loved ones. A great flashback. I imagined dying people must be having this.

And suddenly I felt no fear. I opened my eyes, charged with the energy of the fearless one. Probably the tiger sensed it. It majestically walked towards me. Sniffed me.

And did nothing. Just stood there. Could I see a faint smile on its face? Most probably yes.

I could not believe it. I had tamed the tiger! I kneeled down. In real life I'm scared of even dogs. And here I was, caressing the mane of this giant tiger......!

http://onlyfreewallpaper.com/walls/magic-fantasy-girl-caress-the-tiger-artwork-HD.jpg
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Then I heard rapid footsteps and noises. Wait. It came from two directions.

The Naxals caught up first. The tiger encircled me and roared its loudest. Almost in a position to pounce. Poor chaps froze in their tracks. With guns in their hands.

The security forces were more cautious. They immediately hid. And just as I heard them training their guns to shoot (at the tiger first I'm sure) from behind the bushes, I shouted- "STOP. NO ONE WILL FIRE".

They gauged the situation fast. The tiger was protecting me.

They moved fast and encircled the Naxals. Handcuffed them and covered their faces. And marched with them ahead- towards the van parked probably some distance away. They knew I'd deal with MY pet.

I gave a huge sigh of relief. The tiger looked at me with benevolent eyes. I caressed its majestic mane and back. So smooth. So elegant.

Yet I had to leave my pet and go. I felt so sad. I whispered in its ears- "Thank you brave one. Thank you for saving me and the nation..."

The tiger licked me lightly. It felt like a waterfall over my body...tingled me till every cell...

I waved at the tiger as two security personnel had come in a separate van to take me. The tiger smiled ever so lightly under the first rays of the sun.

http://www.natureartists.com/art/resized/39_758a-tiger-at-dawn.jpg
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I hoped the tiger- our national animal- would forever live. And protect the fearless...the builders of this nation....




**This is my post for the A to Z Challenge 2014. Today's letter is 'B' and I thought of - "Befriending a Tiger"!! :)

From 40,000 tigers half a century back, India has just 1400 tigers today. This endangered animal must be saved by protecting its natural habitat and ensuring there is enough prey for the tiger in its habitat, so that it does not turn into a man-eater. Infact, humans are not even natural food for tigers.  

Let us do all we can to save this magnificent animal, which is also India's national animal...

"Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright,
In the forests of the night....."

~William Blake

16 comments:

  1. Ooh I loved this. I remember we had a save the tiger campaign back in school. Also the poem by william blake is one of my favourites. Reminds me of the hustle and bustle of school!
    Although dont know how immortal shall tigers be now

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    1. Hey thanks soooo much for your comment! That was fast! :) Yes...tigers are really in danger...man-wildlife conflict is huge....:(

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  2. A very interesting post. A great way to help spread awareness on saving the tiger. Very well done, Amrita!

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    1. Thanks so much Beloo! :) Delighted with your appreciation!

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  3. liked it.Interesting screen play

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  4. You didn't mention how did you manage to dodge the Landmines naxalites bury every foot in jungle they live in. BTW, you got a real nerve to write on unconventional tops. Three Cheers for you.

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    1. Ha ha! Probably I was just lucky! :P

      Thanks so much! :D Three cheers for U for cheering me! :)

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  5. I loved the way you descried the friendliness of Tiger. Tiger's are always portrayed as the savage beasts. But I guess, if we allow them to live in a protected area and interfere less in their surrounding they won't be of any harm to us. With the diminishing numbers they are at threat, our national animal is endangered in our nation. This is bad. Recommended this post on Google plus. :)

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    1. Thanks so much Namrata for your detailed comment and sharing! :)

      Yes....our national animal is endangered in its very home...its a shame on our country....we must reserve more forests & stop all encroachments at every cost......

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  6. Brilliant post Amrita ...loved your imagery ...it was a visual treat to read this :) And the tiger....it was definitely majestic ....

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    1. Thanks so much Sushree! I'm delighted! :D

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  7. in real life you can not see a tiger and remain alive. A tiger follows any lone living being from a long distance. However the living being gets constant warning from the Monkeys and Barking Deer.

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    1. Thanks Sir. Nice info...:) This post is pure fiction...:D

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