“Why did you have to get me in the first place if I must live inside a box like this?”
Lens was sounding very agitated. He was upset because for many weeks now I simply have not had the time to look at him; far less, take him out. It has been one thing after the other since the Nyenrode trip. So, I tried to make peace.
“How about going out this coming weekend”, I suggested.
“I do not want to shoot another sunrise” . Sometimes he is like a child. He does not want to admit that he is actually happy about the prospect of going out with me again.
“How about Kabini? Let’s go to the Cicada Resorts by the river and shoot some wildlife”, I said.
Wildlife is every 500 millimeter lens’s dream. Lens included.
So, off we went on a Friday afternoon, stopping en-route at Mysore. That night, it rained and rained some more. When Lens and I woke up on Saturday morning, the rain had left the sky a dazzling blue, the flaming gulmohars and the road ahead were together in a state of celebration.
I thought I heard Lens sing a Japanese song.
We reached Cicada Resorts by the Kabini in less than two hours from Mysore by road. This included a curious stop to inspect wild bees, another one to drink green coconut water and a short, impromptu and lovely bullock cart ride.
At Cicada, we were received warmly by Vijay – the man who runs the place. Lens immediately knew Vijay was a Pro’s Pro when it comes to wildlife photography.
So, come Saturday afternoon, we all went on a boat upstream the Kabini dam and there, by the banks on either side were the egrets, the fish-eagles, the majestic serpent-eagle, the painted storks, the blue jay, the kingfishers , a snake, a huge crocodile, herds and herds of elephants, deer and bison.
Lens was happy after a long time.
Next morning, I took him inside the forest on a jeep. And what did we see? We ran into a pack of wild dogs; the pack had just hunted down a big stag and was feasting on it.
I love wild dogs for their team work, intelligence and pride. They are shy of humans but even the tiger gives them the right of way for their ferocity. Lens and I spent an hour just watching them feast, run to the water hole to get a drink between two helpings, return and jostle and take turns to guard the kill while others, and that includes the pups, ate!
On the way back from the jungle, I asked Lens, “So, what did you think?”
Like a teenager whose gratification is as instant as its passage, Lens simply shrugged. And then he said, “I did not see any tigers.”
By the way, here are a bunch of pictures Lens said, I could share with you all.