Page 19 - Seniors Today -Volume no1
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the wild. There is something about being in
        the expanse and enormity of the wilderness
        that puts things in perspective. I was lucky to
        experience my love of nature with two of the
        most important people in my life: my father
        and my husband.

        My journeys began rather young: my father
        was forever bitten by the travel bug.  When
        the courts shut, it was vacation time! And             Tigers cooling off in Ranthambore
        vacation meant travel, and travel meant
        wildlife sanctuaries. Back then, words like
        “wildlife” and “sanctuary” were meaningless.
        All I knew was that the wilderness was
        vast and deep – far more beautiful than any
        playground the city had to offer – and it
        awoke in my young heart a thirst that has not
        yet been quenched.
        It was only years later, during my travels
        with my husband, that I slowly began to
        understand the nature of my yearning.  Being
        in the expanse and enormity of the wild put
        things in perspective.

        Since then I became a regular traveller to
        the African wild and the Indian natural
        reserves. In Africa’s vast expanse, I learnt
        to appreciate how small we are, how
        insignificant most of our daily tribulations.
        I learnt how Mother Nature meted out her
        choicest gifts – even the smallest animals
        were provided with some form of camouflage
        for survival; the largest were prey to disease
        and death.
        In India, my favourite forests to visit are
        the tiger reserves of Pench, Ranthambore,              An owl in Ranthambore
        Kanha and Tadoba. Here began the next big
                                                             relationship in my life – with the majestic tiger.
                                                             It was during one of our earlier expeditions
                                                             to Kanha, when, after a rather disappointing
                                                             day, I caught my first glimpse of that elusive
                                                             animal: stealthy, striped, orange, black.
                                                             Slowly, she emerged from between the bushes,
                                                             into a clearing.  Her eyes, yellow and black,
                                                             penetrated deep into my soul.  It was for but a
                                                             brief second – it felt like eternity!
                                                             When you become a regular visitor, the tigers
                                                             become family. You follow their lives, with
                                                             almost the same joy and concern, that you do

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