Monday, 1 October 2012
a wild romance
We went for a trip in the jungle. Quite literally. A safari trip was planned well in advance. An extended family consisting of uncles and aunts and grandma and grandpa & his siblings & their kids plus dozens of kids who called each other cousins, first cousins, second cousins even third cousins who hadn't seen each other in decades gathered at the decided spot from where we would leave together. People who had fought over petty things, played along the law of the jungle using might & money to overpower each other, people who flaunted their possessions including better halves and children to show off in front of others, sibling rivals all gathered to enjoy each other’s annoyance in the jungle. Poetic justice at its human best.
And among all the girl kids I happen to be the eldest child of the tribe. So naturally I was appointed, forcefully appointed, baby sitter of the occasion for all the kids except the boys elder to me.
We reached the national park well in our own sweet time, by almost late afternoon. We were put into four buses. I obviously got stuck in the bus with the kids so that I could watch over them. And the buses rolled. Finally. I managed to pair up every one in my bus into non - combustible groups arranged in ascending order of height from the window so that no body could complain about the partner or the view. I finally settled down into my seat all alone, to enjoy watching the animals I guess. Keeping my ears open to the inside of the bus I let my eyes take in the beautiful exteriors. I had never imagined the national park to be so well kept , fine so the image in my head was a huge contrast to the one I was seeing right now - consisting of animal poop everywhere, smelling like a slum, with some few animals roaming about and another few animals guarding them with taser guns or something. But this was really a good thing considering our government spends so much money in the whole welfare & protection scheme for wild animals.
However my appreciation was soon lost in the amazement as soon as the animals were sighted. My Disney backgrounded fan girl was furiously delighted. A beautiful pack of deer, grazing peacefully, there was even a fawn trying its own paws for probably the first time. Bambi. Then elephants at the local bath. Dumbo? Bears - mowgli's bhaloo. Then leopards & panthers- bagheera. The hippos, zebras, snakes - Madagascar. And so on until we reached the lion kingdom - the fan girl in me squealed with joy at the sight of the pride. So many lions & lioness & cubs. I have a strange fascination for lionesses - they just kind of symbolize feminity in a very raw form. The sight was breath taking- Lions & lionesses just chilling out in the grass sprawled under the setting sun - cubs chasing each other as if practicing the hunt, it was a scene out of a Disney movie. As we moved away from the lion kingdom towards the end of the park - the driver was put on alert about a lion having escaped the caves. I hoped with some of my fan girl insanity that the runaway lion be somewhere near us so we would get a glimpse - and you know how they say there is a moment every day when whatever you ask for is granted - must have been that moment because no sooner did the thought cross my mind we felt our bus being jumped on. My rebellious lion king had just jumped on top of our bus. I was still trying to get a glimpse in the side mirrors of the bus. And he roared, loud enough to get our hearts racing while the driver told us to stay away from the windows and keep calm. Then he jumped in front of the bus and tried to claw at the well barred windows from the side, my side to be precise. So close to me I could have fainted with joy, the gorgeous lion with his big eyes and thick mange looking at me, separated just by a window and a few bars, mere centimeters away from me. The driver pulled me back by the hand blabbering something about the smell of human flesh arousing their Hunter instincts and yada yada. I was so mesmerized by ironic situation we were in - the nearness of danger and the safety of my situation that I could barely control the impulse to go near the window again. By then the gun men had entered the territory in a jeep with the tasers. They aimed and fired and he dodged like a ninja. Mufasa.
After a few rounds of his dodging and my hooting at his ninja skills we heard another roar, not ferocious but definitely very fierce and feminine. We looked around to find a lioness by the fence. Beautiful and regal, demanding his attention, her eyes only on him like luring him into hypnosis. And as if by some unseen connection almost as if there was a telepathic link between the two, he stopped. He looked at her, the guards stopped firing to watch this amusing interaction. She raised a paw to the fence and purred almost seductively. The lion king froze in place. And then let out a whimper like he was trying to beg her to allow him the thrill of the fight. She nodded in negative. He whimpered again. She turned away from the fence giving him a longing glance and began to walk away from the fence when he burst into a run and in the blink of an eye was by her side, caressing her face with his licking it every now and then. She placed one paw over his strong torso and licked him back with affection - Affection that made me want to tell the kids to cover their eyes and made me almost look away to give them privacy. And they walked away into the wilderness in the backdrop of a beautiful sunset to wrap up their day with each other.
Another observation - women rule, always.