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3 safaris. 2 Tiger spotting. Arrogant VIP vehicles
Jan 14, 2021 05:13 AM 478 Views (via Mobile)
(Updated Jan 14, 2021 05:15 AM)


Local Sightseeing:

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Took 3 safaris. The government website is extremely efficient. Zone 2, in the morning, we saw nothing. In the evening we roamed about for 3 hours in zone 3 and no movement happened. Zone 4 was just WOW! We were with Siddhi for 3 hours. Our driver. Kamlesh and guide Mr. Zakheer were excellent. They spotted Siddhi right in the beginning and then we kept seeing it sleeping, then strolling, then attacking, then marking territory!! It made up for our fleeting brush with Sultana in the zone 3 safaris. And the arrogant behaviour of VIP vehicles.

On our way out of zone 3, we all gave up hope except our enthusiastic guide Mr. Harvinder (Bobby). Since the beginning he said, I will show you the tiger today. Out of zone 3, on the fort road he heard a monkey call and made Shahzyada (driver) turn around, he pointed at a faraway peak and said there is a leopard, there wasn’t any. Again disappointed we sat down. Now we were looking forward only to our dinner at the Taj.

My son was packing his camera equipment and suddenly our guide said ‘Tiger Tiger', I looked up cynically and couldn’t believe my eyes. The beautiful animal was only 5-10 feet from us, just before the entry of Maingate! My son snapped a picture once and we had barely soaked our eyes in this beautiful moment when 2 VIP jeeps of the government came and their people started shooing all the ‘lesser mortals’ like us away as we were blocking their ‘sahebs’ way. Much to our irritation, they threatened and abused all the onlookers away from the spot to clear their view. So our ‘mehnat’ for 2 full days and the success was short-lived.

My son had his first brush with the brut attitude of the government, he couldn’t believe he was not allowed to see the Tiger as some government office people with sticks forced us out of the sanctuary. I being older and used to being a second-grade citizen in my own country, explained to him, it took him a while to settle down his anger. All thanks to Mr. Harvinder who didn’t give up his positive attitude till the end. I hope that when my son gets his children, the system and attitude of government officials would have changed from the ‘British Raj’ attitude.

In zone 4 also we were happily viewing Siddhi till the government vehicles came and started taking all the best spots for viewing. Luckily the tiger doesn’t discriminate and Somehow Siddhi gave us the best views for so long. We left Ranthambore in a happy state of mind thanks to the beautiful animals yet with a tinge of bitterness at being treated as second-grade citizens after being dutiful law adding, tax-paying citizens of the country. But we will come again because our love for natural habitat cannot be bound by red tape!!

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