Green forests. Dense.
Tall grass. Just a few metres away, a tiger could be hiding and we wouldn’t even know. Anticipation is thrilling.
Spider webs glinting in the sunshine. A huge black spider poised on her web eats a grasshopper.
The black ibis with its red hood and impressive beak pecks away in the grass.
Sambhar – first the doe, then the stag – cross the road in front of us.
They pause in the middle of the road to look at us.
The way we go look at the animals, maybe they thought they’d step out today and look at humans.
A yellow oriole flies above us, below the screeching green parakeets.
The chestnut-headed bee-eater, flies and lands, flies and lands. In Marathi, they call it a ‘crazy parrot’ because of its peculiar habit of flying so briefly and perching again, time and time again. It doesn’t seem to know what it wants.
A crocodile, still as a log, floats in the water.
An Indian gaur munches away, oblivious to people standing around, dressed in obscene colours of fluorescent pink in the forest.
We return to the gaur an hour later and it’s cheerfully munching the grass, proving once again that it’s definitely a cow.
The sunshine filters through the leaves.
The smell of tulsi is everywhere.
The sounds of the jungle fill my ears.
The dew drops fall from the trees on to my skin, making me shiver.
The dust fills my nostrils and mouth with fresh jungle tastes.
When all my senses are satisfied, do I need to see the tiger?