Thursday, 26 April 2018

Male Showstopper

Ever heard about a male showstopper? Normally showstoppers are performances by singers, super models or celebrities which attract prolonged applause. Most of the times, the showstopper is a female performer. In this case who is this male showstopper?

In the world of animals and birds, Nature has created some of the male species which are more colourful and attractive. Peacocks, flycatchers, Indian Robin and tigers- to name a few. This story is about tigers one of whom became a showstopper. 
Ghumakkad is delighted to carry this guest story from Koushik Gopinath who has recently been bitten by the 'wildlife' bug! The pictures, video and the story are all by Koushik. Thank you so much Koushik for sharing. Koushik's words- Ranthambore ki kahani Koushik ki zubani- रणथम्बोर की कहानी, कौशिक की ज़ुबानी :
It is said that at 40 you definitely go through a mid-life crisis. Couldn't agree more. The anxiety to live every moment of your life seems to be making me go an extra mile to fulfill all my life's desire. 

It was over a few drinks that we four friends (Dilip, Sam, Vineet and myself) decided to go to Ranthambore again within a span of a month as we didn't get a chance to see the big cat within close proximity. The tickets were booked before we could even pay the restaurant bill and we went home all excited with a hope that this time around we would be lucky.

In this excitement I ordered for a brand new Nikon D5600 with a Tamron 150-300mm zoom lens. Vineet ordered for a 70-200 Tamron for his Nikon D5500. 
Our families were as confused as we were as we kept throwing them surprises. Safari, Camera, Zoom--ab aage aur kya अब आगे और क्या was the obvious question from my wife Parul. Aage ka haal break ke baad आगे का हाल ब्रेक के बाद was my reply to her.

It was a bright sunny early morning in Ranthambore on 20th April 2018 as we prepared our bags..checked our lens, battery and camera. The guide and the driver came on time at 5;45 am sharp and the news about sightings gave us a glimmer of hope. 

It was Zone-6 (the whole park is divided into zones) and within five minutes of entering the park we saw Mala or Noor (T-39) enjoying the early morning sunshine near the Patwa ki baori पटवा की बावड़ी . The whole three hours (of permissible Safari time) we just followed her and she gave us some photographic moments which we shall never forget.
Take 2: The afternoon session was special as we had booked for a private free zone safari which entitled us to visit any zone of our choice. Our guide Meenaji was a two decade old hand in Ranthambore and he was joined by Lalji our driver who knew the exact positions for some perfect photographic moments. 

We started with Zone-2 and in six hours we spotted six tigers, two of our sightings Sultan & Jhumru, the young tigers less than 2 year old,  were a treat to our eyes. We literally were available for their afternoon lunch, such was the proximity.

 Here is a short video clip of Jhumru at a water hole. Tell us if your heartbeat picked up seeing the video.

The trip was about to end with just one wish still unfulfilled. I just said to my friend Yaar kash ek baar kabhi aisa ho ki koi tiger apni gypsy ke saamne se aae यार काश एक बार कभी ऎसा  हो कि कोई  Tiger अपनी  Gypsy के सामने  से आए ! And bingo that wish was fulfilled. Lalji shouted...Tiger in front...and we just couldn't believe our eyes...Here was Krishna a beautiful male tiger right in front of our Gypsy...we stopped, paused and stayed calm and here he was walking right in front of us.
"He was definitely a celebrity for us. YES HE WAS THE SHOWSTOPPER!"

Readers who would like to read more about Ranthambore, may browse the following links:

Cohabitants of Tigers at Ranthambore

Once again, thanks to Koushik this story is up within six days of sighting in Ranthambore!

Thanks for browsing. Do share your experiences and/or pictures.

      - Harsh-the-Ghumakkad with Koushik Gopinath/ 26th April 2018

#Tigers #Ranthambore #ProjectTiger #Mala #Jhumru #Ustad #Sultan #Krishna #KoushikGopinath #GhumakkadHB #GhumakkadHarsh #Showstopper