T19, On Broadway

T19 kill 1 © Scouring the east bank of Rajbagh lake in Ranthambhore, we hear the nicest sound one can possible imagine under the circumstances – a sambar alarm call. It was sunrise on a chilly January morning and even the Painted storks in the lake stood like icicles, too frozen to move. The lake looked golden with a soft mist of condensation rising towards the sky – like a giant cup of freshly brewed coffee.

We were beginning to hear sounds of a struggle in the sun-dappled cluster of Dhonk trees to our right. We rushed towards the sounds, and so did a bevy of other jeeps, each jockeying to outmaneuver the other. As we closed in, we were greeted by the the magnificent sight of T19 ( Krishna ) dragging a freshly killed Chital doe . This scene reminded me of a Broadway play. A beautifully designed stage covered in purple lichen undergrowth, almost like a rich velvet curtain with sunlight arching through and piercing the trees, spotlighting the performer(s), all set to the music of the bird life on the water.  What a spectacle!T19 kill 2 ©

It was obvious to me that T19 was going to drag her kill across the jungle track and into the clumps of dry grass alongside the lake. Luckily for me, the jeep-herd thought so too and raced ahead trying to anticipate where she would cross, leaving me alone to capture this scene with a 500mm lens, in its entirety. Though I did follow the jeeps eventually and got some close ups ( above ), the first image is the one I was the happiest with.

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