“The book of nature has no beginning, as it has no end. Open this book where you will, and at any period of your life, and if you have the desire to acquire the knowledge you will find it of intense interest, and no matter how long or how intently you study the pages, your interest will not flag, for in nature there is no finality.” ― Jim Corbett
I read this quote in the book Man-Eaters of Kumaon by Jim Corbett, and I was blown away. I always believed I’m more of a beach person, but then in 2016, I visited Jim Corbett National Park. The National Park is a Project Tiger Reserve, which is located in Nainital, Uttarakhand. It covers an area of about 520 square kilometers, embraces by hills, muddy land, a huge lake, riverine region, and grasslands. This National Park is a home to more than 650 rare species of birds and other animals, elephants and four to five endangered species of deer and of course a kingdom of Royal Bengal Tiger.
We took a bumpy safari ride, and lived the saying, ‘you can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes’. When you enter the house of nature you will be first greeted by the chirping of birds. But, by the grace of God, we saw something which I bet no one will ever want to miss, is the dancing peacock under the blue sky.
We spotted a few deer, Hog deer, Sambar and a family of Elephants. However, we waited for almost 30 minutes for someone I just adore and who is a master of this house; the Tiger. Jim Corbett once said, the Tiger is a large gentleman with boundless courage and I witnessed every bit of this notion. It was worth waiting because for the first 20 minutes we were playing hide and seek. Then he came and he really conquered our hearts. Walking like a real master and I was watching him through my lenses. Moreover, all I was doing was smiling endlessly. In that span of three-hour safari, those 30 minutes were really special.
However, I really feel sad about the fact that, between 2017 to till date we lost almost 275 of our tigers. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Now we know why India is still a developing nation. In all these years we couldn’t take care of our natural treasures. All we need is the best policies to protect them.