We, human beings, are sometimes the strangest creatures, and often find ourselves competing with each other in the race of life. However, there is one thing that binds us all. We are blessed with treasured and the most beloved memories from our days of childhood that give us the most soothing vibe of nostalgia every time we think of them.
Just like each one of us, my little heart too lights up every time I think of such memories of my formative years. I clearly remember how I and my siblings used to wait in anticipation for the summer vacations to arrive and plan a trip to different locations every year. As kids, we didn’t realise at that moment that we were weaving memories. All we knew was we were having fun. On one such occasion, our parents, drenched with a strong urge to make us experience the charm of Mother Nature closely, announced our holiday destination for the season, and from that very moment, began my journey of unveiling my inner self to the beauty of India’s largest wildlife sanctuary, ‘The Jim Corbett National Park’.
So, just within a few days, we began our family expedition to our chosen holiday destination. After covering a distance of few hours on road, we finally reached the Jim Corbett National Park and checked into our resort. Little did we know, as kids, that the place would turn out to be a blessing in disguise, as we were taken aback by the splendid view and the fresh scent of lush green forests, so much so, that we even wished we had come to this place earlier in our lives.
We were lucky to catch the glimpse of the early morning sunrise as the rays of the sun filled the entire landscape with its yellow and golden hues. That was the sight truly worth remembering. Shortly, after getting a call from our room service, we headed towards the lobby downstairs, where we could see people in groups, waiting for the jeeps to arrive, that were arranged by our resort for our early morning jungle safari. Yes, you read that right! In a few minutes, excitement was all over my face as I found myself experiencing the thrill and exhilaration of my first ever jungle safari adventure.
Surprisingly enough, even to this day, the reminiscence of that day is still embedded deep down in my heart. I can recall that each jeep was provided with a travel guide, who was well versed with every inch of Jim Corbett National Park. Our guide, Mohan Uncle, like we fondly addressed him, was so good at his job that he gave us a clear insight into the sanctuary and the booming flora and fauna of the region. He told us that being one of country’s most popular wildlife sanctuary, the Jim Corbett National Park is home to various exotic species of wild animals and at the same time, is quite popularly referred to as the “Land of Tigers”. Just like every other teenager, my heart pounced as these words rang into my ears and we expressed our desire to catch a glimpse of the tigers too, to which he happily agreed. It is then that we learnt about one of the oldest and most popular tigress. Mohan Uncle was completely accustomed to her routine and habits. He knew the exact time and spots when the tigress paved her way through different parts of the woods and the man of words that he was, our dream of seeing the beautiful tigress right before our eyes, just a few meters away from us, turned into a reality.
Years later, as I still find myself immersed in the fond memories of that adventurous and extraordinary journey. With my inner travel instincts, I have learnt a lot about the royal tigress of Jim Corbett National Park. Turns out that the tigress is a proud mother of four cubs, 2 of which are females and 2 are males. She adheres to a customary routine every single day and has our hearts melt out to see how protective she is towards her cubs, and does all that it takes to make sure they are well fed at all times. She has such an aura in the woods that she has very precariously marked her own territory in the region, and maintained her pride and strong domination in the woods. She seems to have decided to pass on the same legacy to her young ones, thus setting a perfect example of being a perfect mother to them. It is quite strange how at times, even the voiceless species give us some of life’s most important lessons. This beautiful tigress still stands out as the most responsible mother figure, who, in spite of the adverse jungle conditions, never shy away from protecting her loved ones, and has established herself as the indisputable “Queen of the Woods”.
Ever since that I have experienced that blissful sight during my childhood, as a well educated grown up, I now find myself intrigued by the depth of the beauty that the nature has in store for us. In the words of Sir Jim Corbett himself, “Those who have never seen a wild animal under favorable conditions in his natural surroundings can have no conception of the grace of movement, and beauty of coloring, of this the most graceful and the most beautiful of all animals in our Indian jungles”. I feel blessed to have witnessed the amazing place, and also the enchanting tigress in the woods, for which tourists flock in large numbers from far and near every year. I still hold countless childhood memories etched close to my heart but beyond doubt, I can say that this memory has been my all-time favorite one!