As a child I loved watching cartoon films and serials. Jungle book was a favourite entertainer on weekends and I was always astonished to watch "Sher Khan" roar. His persona and his attitude was always an attraction to me as a kid. Lately I saw a feature film with my old favorite Sher Khan in a lead role and this time he was called "Richard Parker". What a name isn’t it? :)
Not going much into the details of the name here, my friends, I am going to take you today with me on my so called adventure trip to meet Richard Parker in person this time.
On a bright sunny winter morning of an extended weekend we decided to spend time a bit differently. After a long research and discussion, we decided to go out on an excursion and explore wild life photography. I had a hidden intension to find Mr. Parker there as well, but i did not disclose my intension to anyone. We packed our lunch packets, picked the camera and left for the excursion to a wild Life Sanctuary.
Reached early by 10 AM and decided to take the jeep that would guide us through the sanctuary and keep us safe from wild animals too. As we started moving into the so called jungle, we saw a small pond with a few white and beautiful ducks that we captured and moved on, a bit more into the jungle and we found migratory birds, although they were not many but those few that we saw were just beautiful and we had not seen such birds earlier. We kept clicking pictures and moved on. One very obvious observation that we all had was the scarcity of trees in that area. We could really see plains often instead of a green jungle that we had expected. Suddenly we saw a jackal strolling near a tree finding shelter to sleep. I had always learnt that a jackal was a clever animal and he finds his prey with all his brains. But this poor jackal looked slim and malnutrition. We moved on and in some time reached a place where we saw variety of deers and Neelgai, our guide told us they are called so as the male ones have a little blue blemish near their nose area. This was a beautiful site as they were running and playing around although as our jeep approached they tried to run into the jungle. These beautiful animals were spending their day together playing although we did notice them being malnutrition as well. Half the day was over but my desire was still a desire. Richard Parker was still no where. We had our lunch in a shade and discussed the living condition of these animals. Although they are in a jungle but still, it seems they do not manage to get good diet and the main reason we could derive was deforestation.
Anyhow we moved on a bit more into the jungle to find Parker but although we saw few other animals we did not find him. We decided to start returning back and I was really sad of not meeting my childhood fascination. Suddenly the guide made us look towards our left and about half a kilometer away we saw him, Yes Richard Parker, and although I was happy to have found him i was scared too. The image i carried of him in my sub conscience was of a self confident animal with great attitude who can kill anyone for his prey and rules the jungle.
Driver took the jeep a bit towards Parker and with all my nervousness on I pulled out my camera to get some good shots of my dream friend/idol ?? When I zoomed the lens and saw him in my camera, I could not believe my eyes. He looked gloomy, very tired..., deprived of food and clumsy.
After clicking a few pics we decided to go back. But on our way home, instead of being excited of a successful excursion that day. We had several thoughts rushing through our minds.
*In such a big jungle, we could find just 1 tiger that also was not in best of his spirits.
*All other animals looked malnutrition and less in numbers.
*Lack of trees and habitation around to keep the wild life conserved.
I will leave you all with this thought and would urge all of you to do your bit to save our forests thus saving wild life and also nature. Let's plant trees and respect animals and not kill them.