Sometimes being in the jungle is a bit like being a spectator at India’s Republic Day parade.
An archaic vestige from a time when the country took inspiration from all things Soviet, India celebrates the birth of its constitution by a parade of its military might and its cultural heritage. Regiments, tanks, armor and ethnic dances march by. The high point is the finale which is a fly-past of aircraft, whizzing by in tight formations.
Many hours can be spent without seeing anything in the jungle, just twiddling one’s thumbs, being at peace in the comfortable embrace of nature. But sometimes when such a parade occurs and there’s a steady stream of critters, big and small, marching by, it can all get a little too much.
You are a watching a tiger stealthily stalking a chital deer, upon whose back is a Drongo bird riding piggy-back, desperately trying to balance itself. On the tree behind which the tiger is hiding, a python creeps towards a bird’s nest. The frantic bird is squawking noisily trying to ward off the snake, which makes you look upwards, only to see a silent and smooth formation of painted storks flying overhead against the sky.
All serious photographers go into the jungle with a specific purpose and objective. They are disciplined enough to ignore all temptation and stay focused ( no pun intended ) on the job at hand . It is idiots like me who get all worked up and react to everything, often spraying my camera all over. It hardly ever works. This one time, I think it did.