It is of no surprise, that when I meet people and talk about my experiences, the incidents that include wild animal encounter, creates the best of buzz. Of all animals, tigers the most, captivate the hearts of my listeners, as I share with them my moments with the majestic big cats.
It is also very eminent , that when I talk about the tigers , my eyes glow , and a different energy vibe through my words and sentences. A lot of times , those who heard me explaining them about tigers told me " You really love your Cats, Deep! " My listeners can always feel how much I adore and worship the wild cats that forever changed my love for nature and jungles.
It is their I realized how much sins , we commit by visiting zoos and such captivity where the animals are but only the skeleton of their real image. Before you read my blog, it is earnest request, avoid visiting zoos and tourist tiger sites , such as tiger temple. I know you probably feel divine about your picture with the animal, half dozed off with drug, but it only adds to your ill karma.
Only if you see them in the wild, you will know why this felines in their natural form, and you will be able to learn about them, to love them truly.
Hands down, tigers are the coolest creature, to have walked the earth and here is why I Love Tigers So Much !
My first beholding of this beautiful cat was in Kanha national park back in 2012, when I went there to visit and stayed about a month working as a language interpreter for a resort. It is in this time, that I learnt about the beast that is adorned and feared at the same time by people. Opposite to general belief , the tiger doesn't kill unless it is hungry.
It has been seen quiet a numerous times that in playful mood they appear very casually in front of it's prey. Obviously, the prey, like grey faced langurs and spotted deers ( Chital ) , are cautious and go in a frenzy spotting their embodiment of death. Yet the tiger casually just walks by taking all the fun of being most sought after being in the vicinity.
To understand how much attention it gets, one must visit the wild forest , where other than the animals , we humans clog in our jeeps to catch a sight of the majestic cat. Every person goes into a devotion like state waiting for the tiger to appear. Photographers of most , reach levels of orgasms when the sighting happens.
Ask anyone who visits a national park , and you will see , how less I am actually bragging about the reality!
This exclusive importance comes from it's majestic way of living and the image of sheer power that it dictates. A tiger is Biggest of all cat species! Yes, I know you think it's the Lions, but go check again and you will know! I don't blame your ignorance , since maybe you haven't had the luck to sight a wild tiger yet.
With such a huge body , it is super athletic. Try imagine being a cat and catching a monkey for food! You know what I am talking about when I say it embodies power and flexibility! Also add to the fact they are solitary predators which means there are thousands of odds acting against it , when it goes for a hunt. Which is why it's success rate of a kill, is one out of ten. I tell you it isn't easy being a tiger, yet it does damn well to live and not just survive.
The hunt of a tiger is something incredible owing to the patience and persistent it performs. It takes around an average of two hours, to stalk the prey and make a kill. In the hunt , the tiger moves slowly towards the target.
The tiger is a master of disguise , which is why , if it sits a twenty metres from you calm and quiet , you wouldn't even know. With such it lays down and one step at a time moves closer. It's stripes which are brilliant in colour actually helps it to disguise itself in the grasses that it crawls through. You see , unlike primates , other animals do not have colour vision, and for that the tiger has a benefit, as most animals never see it coming.
A very wrong notion is that tigers hunt with it's speed. It is not the case. The tiger depends on it's hind legs with it's powerful muscles to lunge and jump on it's prey. In average a tiger can jump twenty yards !!!! If a tiger ever participates in long jump, it will clearly win and break records!!!
The tigers are also the cat that loves water very much. They are fantastic swimmers and generally prefers to chill in ponds during hot summer days. If you ever visit a jungle during the hot humid months , go straight to the water bodies, you will find the cool cat taking a beauty bath always.
The tigers are ferocious lovers. It has been recorded that a tiger in search of a mate have crossed hundreds of miles in average to be with their partners. With their extra smell and cunning minds they can be found directing through unknown landscapes be it hills, rivers or mountains. Many a tiger has been recorded for using the railway track as a road to move.
With more and more it's natural habitat getting lost to human civilization, it is forced to walk hundreds of miles sometimes even for a search of a right and appropriate places. It is indeed sad, that we are probably among the last generation to be able to see the tiger in wild. Unless though , we really do something about it. Which I don't think our selfish species is capable of though sadly.
There are so many things about the tiger that holds the heart and I can't simply write it all here. It is eminent that this majestic cat captured the top spot as the favorite animal in the world, beating even dogs in the public voting. I can't agree more with the opinion, as if you have seen a wild tiger in the jungle, not only will you be a devotee , but your entire life , you might be spending a good load of money trying to find the big cat in the wild.
For people who haven't seen the tiger in it's habitat might feel it stupid , that we pay so much to see glimpse of this royal cat for a minute or two or at most twenty. However, I can't justify ( at least in expressing) what it is like, to see them in wild. The only thing I can say is , how much money do you think justifies if you had a chance to see the God itself????
Hope you do see a tiger in the wild , as it is surely "once in a lifetime" experience to do before you die. And for those of us , who are already devotees of it, I hope you all get more sightings of it in your next safaris.
P.S - All pictures are mine , unless mentioned in the caption of the rightful owner. You can always consult me to plan a perfect wild tiger sighting trip! I give a money back grantee for tiger trips!
Once over a heated argument with my father on the maintenance of our house in Calcutta, he said " I know , it doesn't matter to you. This repairs and all, you would just vanish , if the problems remain. That's what you do best. "
I wondered about it for long and then accepted it.
My kind of people, often depends on travel , to get out of the face of an impending stress in life. I know a hundred and more people, who would just pack off their bags and leave when life knocks a little out of them. I am also included, in this list. It is true often at times , when I feel it is too much shit to deal with , I Vanish!
In years I have also believed that, this is my super power. This super power is called ESCAPISM , and in psychological term means " mental diversion from unpleasant or boring aspects of daily life, typically through activities involving imagination or entertainment. Escapism may be used to occupy one's self away from persistent feelings of depression or general sadness. "
So does this necessarily meant I or my kind of people , mostly all those who long for travel, or find our way out easily without being attached to problems, are depressed or sad ? A brain storming session had to be underway.
We also admit that we believe travel as a form of escapism, but it doesn't make us feel bad.
When I asked in Internet yesterday for opinions , about how they felt using travel as a escapist method, most people justified , it is necessary sometimes to go and take off. I mean just leaving with your backpack to some distant destination, is kind of the best " F Off " that can be given to current problems in life. It was also justified as a healing process , rather than lamenting over a certain place and bearing the different waves of stress coming at us.
However, like every story, there's different sides to it. And I had conversations with those who thought using travel as escapism is sheer stupidity and evokes much problem.
Even if we escape our reality through travel , the transformations that we seek in our surrounding doesn't happen truly on the road.
It's just a phase , our journeys , untill we reach back in our lives again . Same family and friends , pull you back to your identity that you were. You might have outgrown for the time you traveled away , but now when you came back , you are looking right into the things that sparked you to escape. The problems never really go, you need to solve them. The only thing travel does is delay the inevitable facing.
That was mostly the summary of the reason from the people , who thought travel as an escapism is not a good thing.
For them , the true lifelong transformation in humans come by the daily habits and practices we do everyday when we find ourselves settled. It is realizations and actions and solutions that enhance the process , and not walking off, in search of a better view.
An acceptable perspective indeed. Glad I took opinions on my network through facebook and instagram, it does give a variety of outlook, and perceptions to think on.
It is true that when we come back home, we find everything as before. This is why most travelers go through a thing called Post Travel depression. If you ever take a long trip and come back , you will feel like crying. Thinking nothing is exciting anymore in life. Everything that is good has gone with the trip. This is why travel as an escapism might be futile, indeed.
However , there is more to travel. A lot of people also do travel for the sake of knowing things and places. It is a purpose of our otherwise inconsequential life , to seek things beyond our grasp. Life beyond the known, is what makes our time worthwhile. It also enhances their abilities and makes them a better person.
So in one sense , travel for escapism surely, is situational too. We can't only put travel into the shadows of escaping our mundane. Some people truly are in love with their home, as much as their quest for foreign lands and balance both of them out quiet well.
It will be unjust to call them escapist I believe.
Finally I would like to put a perspectives here, for the ones that believe travel as escapism isn't a stupid or bad thing to practice. I will admit , I fall in this group , and would like to clarify our point of view.
I agree it isn't a good idea to just shut your problems, or to delay it. Having said that, I also believe, we NEED to choose our problems. Let this sink in a little bit.
Throughout school and living in society, we might think that every human needs to necessarily fix some issues in their life. After all that has been the lesson for years, that has been what we saw or been tutored about. But who is to say , the lesson has been wrong all along.
If you studied in 14th century , science would have taught you that earth was the Center of Universe, and the people believed it. But now we know, the truth.
Similarly, the problems or issues a human must face according to social and schooling lesson, need not be true for all individuals. You might not necessarily identify some grave problems as issues to be important enough to attend in your existence. And that is absolutely okay, I believe.
In the end, just like the different God's we believe in, we can believe in different approaches to life, and so look for our different problems and different meanings to it.
So, if some of us think, facing an relationship issue is less important than solving through the visa process for a foreign land, it is absolutely fine. It is fine as long as we don't demean the ones who are passionate about their relationships problems.
In the end , life and all it's aspects are to be lived exclusively as per our liking. That is what, makes us an individual. Our thoughts are different and yearnings too. Accordingly to our happiness, escapism can help us to bypass some problems that are simply not worth our attention or precious time.
And more than often times , the travel you take , equip you with better wisdom to solve the problems that you might discover still growing in life. It also induces the habit and change of perspective for the long run evolution of us, the transformation into a healthy existence, or how we seek to be.
Hence, it is absolutely okay to walk off, anytime you think life isn't as you want it. It takes the same courage to walk off , that it takes to face a problem. And why even face a problem , that is not worth your while!
A few days ago, in a conversation with a friend, I mentioned , how I am so used to the slow mountain life. The life I chose, away from the ever ambitious chase of things, in some corner of the Himalayas, in the tiny village I live. How without that I cannot survive well. However, to put me in my perspective, my friend made me question how did I then spend now more than hundred days in a city. I do not even remember when was the last time I did such. Probably when I was yet to graduate from my college, and had no choice but to. Even now, my choice is nothing but a survival mode, however, it does me good to retrospect, how am I actually surviving.
I am not going to sugar coat the frustrating times, however, it is also true, life in this survival mode, has taught me things or two. What is funny though is the observations , and things that have been happening with me. Here is a try to put them in one article, so may be some of you might message me and say " Oh yes, Deep, I had the same feelings in recent days. " .
It's a whole different landscape, in a city. Architectural wonders and a man made concrete jungle covers the vast expanse of the eye sight. There is no end to it. It is of such contrast for someone, who lives in a naturally beautiful village in Himalayas, where the greatest mountain range in the world covers the earth mostly.
Every day in the evening during the sun down , I go up to the roof, to have a little workout session ( Isn't helping me against being fat , yet keeps up the fitness ). Then I try to comprehend how men used so much of their valuable time and energy to build up such unnatural settlements for their own species, and now when we live here, we want to run away. Safety and security surely , our species has provided for, surely, with our strongholds, and easily accessible lifestyle. Yet it does not quench the thirst fully. Makes us always feel incomplete. In such sense, even when I am living with more luxury than I ever lived on mountains with for last seven years, yet I find myself delusional. Walking around , secretly, waiting and asking for a glimpse of a mountain in the far horizon. At times the clouds somehow, shape up to give myself some hope. I also if not fully content, try to be as much as happy as possible. Isn't that what all of us living in cities do, " trying to be as much happy as possible" ?
While the lock down has eased a little, markets have opened up. Here I find a nice time that intrigues my brain , trying to differentiate between the different products on offer. More than you need to live, yet your life is incomplete without having them. That seems to be the motto of the exchange in city markets.
To start with the morning fish market, is good to see , all the different kind of fishes, albeit names of which I do not even know. that seems " could be tasty to cook." . I see people coming in from great distances now, to buy fishes and varied other items. Mostly , all of us are home, and cooking a fine meal to satisfy our appetite. It is seldom found in cities, people having this very luxurious item to use, it is called TIME.. Having it now, due to the situation, helps them to live like how they want to.
Also free advice from strangers on how to cook a certain fish or crab helps. After all, advice are always free around here.
Most of the people , have been indulged in the "work from home" scenario, and are the ones who are mostly happy to be staying at home and enjoying what seems like little pleasures of life. After all, it has been long since they actually spent time with their families or partners, cooked meals together or even enjoyed every bit of space of the apartments they pay hefty EMIs or Loans for. It is indeed good to see, some of the humans rejoicing, Makes a day bright ,ain't it ?
With lockdown being lifted, I also take excursions in the city. Places , I had no plans of visiting before, seems interesting now. It is due to the fact that, I had taken this parts , granted. Now after being caged for so many days, every wild flower that comes out from anywhere seems beautiful, and I look at it with same intent as I did to the orchids on the forest of mountains and national park. Suddenly when , I have no option, I started taking care of things I have, rather than seeking the far away beauties. Is it a mere coincidence or basic human nature, to think greatly of things that lie away, than for gifts we already possess.
Fault surely remains with me, to have never given the appropriate attention and importance. This made me realize, spring is as beautiful in the city flowers, as it is in the meadows of the mountains.
It also helps, that most people are still weary of the virus that plaques huge amount of victims, and keeps to home, avoiding unnecessary travels. With less human interactions, the nature can bloom to its original glory. All I have to do, is give my finite concentration to feel it's beauty.
People like us, who are always on move or outdoor activities, can be considered worst addicted to our habits. Our minds overthink, when our energy levels cannot be put to use in activities that burn the energy. Same happens to me , as I am in city, devoid of hiking or swimming. The city parks and walking in it comes to the rescue surely. What is funny though , is all of us, are wearing mask and practicing social distancing with fear. We survey each other, with utmost suspicion , as carriers of a deadly virus. We neither smile or greet , and politely pass off. After all, we are a culture who is expert in practicing social distancing , since we are used to our age old heritage and laws of untouchability and its practices.
As if, to our reward of social pretentious faces and fine performances of putting a act, in this life, our karma has blessed us with the use of beautiful masks, that gives us more days of life on earth now. Surely, it is enjoyable for us, that we have a apt reason, for not having to talk or smile to people that we absolutely hate, now. Hding our true faces in the mask.
While my natural way of life has been lost, a "neo-normal" life has also come into practice. Just taking a road trip somewhere, that is green and natural is enough to calm the soul for now. It is like a lullaby to a baby , who knows now how to sleep in this chaotic world.
The road trips do not need destinations now, like before, all it needs is road and some company. The google map helps you get lost, and then you find a spot for yourself. Without a reason, just to halt and take in whatever possibly you could. You do not need a mountain, or a beach, just anything that you have not experienced, is enough for now to feed your explorer inside. You silently understand, there were more to every kind of life, than you realized or ignorantly passed off. Judging them by value, by profit, or by what it adds up. Now, even if it adds up nothing, you consider it beautiful just for it's existence.
This time. it is yet to end, and the future is still unsure. I do not know for how many more days, will I adapt and see through this life that I completely ignored. When the survival matters, I will choose to do things that I took for granted, and still be happy. I hope I remember this, when all is well again, and when I can tell this story of how I survived in the place , that I thought I never could. T
Do connect over, if you had same thoughts like me, in the last 100 days. Also connect if you are used to a life of wander, and now stuck in survival like me.
Note from the Author,
" Travel made me rich and free. Magic and miracles are true , once you wander on the roads to places different and divine. I have collected so many thoughts and stories while being a Tour & Trek guide for last seven years. Sharing with you all, those memories and stories , and wishing you all , that someday you guys travel far and wide too. I am not a great writer , so ignore my grammar and spellings, read it with feelings, and you might just be affected with the wanderlust to hit the road"