[This poem was written on 28th Dec 07 at the Mongpong Forest Bungalow, it recounts our jungle safari during our Gorumara tour of December 2007.]
When civilization slumbers
The jungle awakes--
Hungry hearts in search of the wild
Explore the forest's density.
Dust and winter leaves welcome them,
They have come hunting--
Ready to shoot at the slightest stir.
From daybreak to dusk
The probing eyes survey the lands
From the tower--
The freezing stream that flows below
Turns crimson, and
Only peacocks call
And strut on the sand;
And beyond the tower lies
The unchartered forest land.
The grassland gives an illusion of vision,
There is some din, but the hunters are deaf
To all noise--
The eyes strain to catch a speck...
But hope survives.
'Shoot!' Comes the order.
Shot after shot--
The one-horned rhino releases itself
From its camouflage
There is pride, wrath and revenge in its gait--
The hunters enjoy the victorious moment!
Two more of the family follow suit--
And they are shot too.
Three mammoth tusked elephants pursued the rhinos,
Chased them into the open,
On two strips of sand
Stand the rivals,
Warring with their eyes.
But there is deceit in this victory,
A guilt in the jubilant voices,
That so long waited in hushed silence.
The hunter's gear lies on the bed,
The vision in her eyes like a dream.
The moment's fled,
But she strives to capture it--
She has done it once with the camera,
And now with a pen!