Amidst our four day road trip, we found ourself on an impromptu safari in the middle of Gir Forest. The home of the asiatic lion, the king of the jungle, among other animals. Safety regulations trapped us inside the jeep, with my not-so-trusting friend holding me by my shirt, keeping for jumping to the right angle for the perfect shot. Spontaneity often curses the photographer to use the oh-so-not-good enough smart phone instead of my trusty DSLR.
“But the deer is looking the other way!”
“It’s not going hold its pose for you!”
But , you see, animals are incredibly responsive. The deer turned its head 😉
And then, we found Bambi 😀
And then, the herd 😀
As if to prove my point, enters the Black Buck. Sitting pretty in the perfect pose, I didn’t even have to instruct the beautiful animal, unlike humans, where to look. An interesting fact about the Black Buck is number of twists in its horns show how old it is, and they grow darker with age.
The vultures were kind enough to demonstrate the different flying techniques. Also, how they glare at those who disturb their peace. You have to search for the flying vultures in the photograph, but you know “those who seek shall find”
I have saved the best for the last. The Lions. Our guide informed us explicitly how lucky we were. You see, people take the same safari six times and never see the Lion. And I happen to run into the king three times. The males travel in twos, the lioness travels with her cubs, or they travel as a family. The family we saw was getting ready to lie down after a hearty lunch, but the photographs kept disturbing the head of the family. He pawed at his wife. She rose, warning us that they didn’t have a problem eating lunch twice in a day. Lions don’t really monitor their weight.
We took the road less travelled and changed our tracks as our guide received message of another lion sighting. Lions perhaps the most responsive creatures of all, or maybe he was just thirsty. The lion who greeted me the second time, rose to give a sitting photograph and then went back to sleep.
My favourite lion was the one we saw next. It lay on the fallen trees, too lazy to sit up, but not yet asleep. In the middle of the forest, we were two feet from each other, eye to eye, who blinks first? My friend grabbing my shirt tighter than ever, convinced I was going to jump out. Her hushed voice instructing me I mustn’t call it nearer.
“The reason,” she said, “the lion is called the King of the jungle is because it always attacks from the front!”