- Nandini Sengupta
The blue cow, the barking deer
Updated: Apr 12, 2022
Simi went for a safari with her troupe of four friends into a non-descript jungle of Karnataka. The woodland was the shelter to a halo of wild animals who find their cocoon in the dense jungle.
A jeep was hired in place of a bus as that would add icing to their long-awaited adventure. Narrow winding paths, meandering through the interiors preceded them as the jeep went on. Long golden grasses reaching up to a few feet adorned the edges of those paths.
Simi was ready with her camera. Her large expressive eyes looked around enquiringly for animals behind those tall bushes and eucalyptus trees.
"I can't find a single tiger or leopard," she grimaced as she uttered those words.
"Look, there is one deer grazing behind that bush. Quickly take a photo or it will disappear," Missi hinted at her.
Just had Simi located the deer and was about to click, it turned back and only its short tail was visible.
"I missed it for a nanosecond," she riled
The tour guide consoled them that there were more animals to be seen as they enter deep into the jungle. A peacock was visible en route followed by a few monkeys, one balancing from a tree on one hand. "Quite a stint," Simi reflected.
As she and her friends thought of getting down from the jeep, the tour instructor apprised her of lions and leopards on the prowl.
"I can't even see a single deer properly and you are talking of lions," she retorted forthwith.
On the other side of the jungle was a different story. The animals had a meetup where their leader had passed a decree that they should camouflage themselves when any human species were discernable even from a remote distance. Only a few herbivores would peep up at random as a reassurance to the visitors who had come that far. This decision was initiated in keeping with their mental quietude and mating season in place. This would lead to fewer visitors and lesser inconvenience.
As the group neared the exit gate, dejected and feeling awful, they found a Nilgai and a barking deer staring at them as if bidding them Adieu!
"When steps recede
and darkness descends
the roaring of the king
*Tremendous encroachment in the green zone has led to the depletion of endangered species. Animals too feel disturbed by continuous human interference in their daily life--the noise, clicking of photographs, and so on. They seek freedom too.
By Nandini Sengupta