Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Spotted a tiger in the wild! Awesome.

Our safari in the Bandipur forest was turning out to be a damp squib. We were almost 50-60 kms into the forest and had spotted a few bisons, elephants, deer, stags and a few other animals that are rather common in this forest. It was almost 6:30pm on a cold October evening and the sun was setting real fast. The tracker and driver had given up hope of spotting a cat that late in the evening. Maybe, it was even fear that we were in their territory, that got us to start the return journey. The clouds were getting darker and rain looked imminent. Darn!

We had given up our search for the evening, and just then the forest went completely silent. Pin-drop silence. The birds stoppped chirping, the owl stopped hooting, the deer ran into the forest and the monkeys started making a weird noise. The tracker sat upright! And then, we all saw what we were hoping & waiting for; a bright orange colored animal saunter in front of us! We were within 10 meters of a TIGER! A REAL TIGER! In the wild! The look on our faces at that very moment was that of of anticipation, excitement, fear & awe. Definitely more of awe.

Surprisingly , the tiger wasn't that shy. It walked right on the trail for the next kilometer or so, until it decided that it was done posing around for us. It then headed off into the jungle and then... the rain came down.

The purpose of our safari was done and it was time for us to head back. And as we drove away chattering nineteen to a dozen about what we saw, what we experienced; it was about a millionth of what we could capture on the screen of our camera! To say it was awesome, would definitely be an understatement.
The safari was worth every minute of the 3 hrs spent traveling into the jungle and back. There was no better way to end the trip, than to spot a herd of elephants & its calves on the way back home. This will truly will be one journey that I won't forget any time soon.

PS: You might have noticed, this post has nothing related to HR. I'm not even inclined to draw an analogy from the safari. Except for the thought that there's life outside of work and it's worth exploring.

** Please note that the images of the tiger are the sole property of Praveen Siddannavar.