The Backstreet Girls & Boys of Tadoba

With good rains round the corners of our orange city…. Entire city has turned green… In the midst of tussle between development of city and its originality, Nagpurians are witnessing a paradigm change in their hometown.

Not many years ago, when we were school going kids, our morning alarms were birds chirping around early morning. Don’t know what kind of urgency they used to have so early morning… No schools, No tuitions, No homework…Yet, the birds waking up and moving early in the morning…. I never understood that. Always used to say to the koelsinging on my rooftop that he was extremely lucky, he just has to impress his lady love by singing… not much of a work for that dude!!

Years passed by, irritating alarm clocks replaced that pleasant chirping birds… and not much has changed. Only that our school, homework related tensions were replaced by tension to earn more than our peers, Corporate Games we play, never ending EMIs we pay, getting settled & planning for foreign vacations etc. But, the koel is still impressing his lady love… the birds are still waking up quite early and chirping pleasantly. Though, their population seems declining. But, still, its good in Nagpur, than other metros.Its just that we don’t listen to chirping birds nowadays. Early morning, either we listen to new age bhajans or start a day straight away with rock concert in our ears. No natural sound. But life goes on. Our city is moving on. Our city is getting ready for 2020 indeed, with better infrastructure and other opportunities.And a fine balance between its original looks and modern transformation.

Sipping a cup of tea, looking out of window during the rains at my home in Nagpur, I was wondering what it would be like in October once rains take sabbatical.. We would welcome our biggest festival of Deepawali and look forward to cool winter. Well, pretty much routine. There will be another sly debate on whether to use firecrackers or not. Better I move to my core… the Jungles. Yes!

Jungle!! Where I am lost to the wilderness. Yet, I am with Myself. I am real me. But which is the best place to get lost … certainly its Tadoba near Chandrapur this year!

Well… well… well… no one can imagine, how much I have missed my princess girl Maya the tigress and the emperor Matkasur !! While I know they both mated just before the closure of park, I am expecting third litter from Maya by October!

Maya is real Queen of Tadoba and Matkasur has earned the entire territory on his raw Power. They will be proud parents this season. A new chapter in their life indeed.

Tadoba is the place to watch out for at least next 24 months. Not many years ago, they were struggling to set themselves up in this big forest. And look at them now. Sure, time flies.

While Matkasur is real King right now, but its not all black and white with him. This handsome 7 year adult has his erstwhile girlfriend Choti Tara (tigress) and her 2 male cubs are fiercely defending their territory from any transgression by this haut couple!!

Come towards Telia lake and the first name it clicks to me is of SONAM.. what a beauty she is.. and well she’s also favorite with BBC people! Yes, she is the same Sonam from the documentary “tiger sisters of telia” With her second litter of 3 cubs, Sonam is guarding her Telia Territory quite comfortably. Male tigers… better watch out !! The other Sister, Madhuri, mother of 4 is ruling the beautiful Agarzhari area… she & her family is quite an eye candy for all visiting tourists.

One of the most revered Male Tiger, Bajrang is sometimes around Telia. Though, his territory is mostly in the non-tourist part of the reserve. Sighting of Bajrang does make your heartbeat miss for sure. For men, they miss their heartbeat by simply seeing him as a robust male, a kinda sallu bhai and for women, do I need to say when we talk about Salman bhai …. Why do girls love Salman !! ? Wait, did they see Bajrang Tiger of Tadoba and then made Bajrangi Bhaijaan !!

Bajrang, the noble Tiger mated Sonam junior last season. Will be interesting how they are going along.

Scarface or Waghdoh Male is around Devada and Junona buffer area. Should be interesting to see his moves this season. Waghdoh female with her 3 cubs in and around waghdoh area will be quite fun to watch kids growing up.

When I enter through Kolsa gate of Tadoba, 4 cubs and their mother, Shivanjhari female welcomes with their unique movements around. They are quite tourist friendly.

Lastly, Khali… yes the same guy whose staring eyes and alert posture clearly convey that you are not welcome in his area… Agarjhari range. He is the guy to watchout for sure. I just hope Khali, Bajrang, and Matkasur never fight each other at all… otherwise it will be no less than world war without nukes here.

Nukes…. Ah, the worst application of science and the biggest threat to our nature. What do we want … that we as humans threaten other humans for some land or some economic interests by compromising mother-nature…  Lets learn from these big cats… They settle their dominance amongst themselves, not by damaging nature. Can we learn a bit from them? Let’s grow, Let’s Rule our profession, & Lets live Kingsize but Lets live a responsible life by honoring mother-nature, not compromising it.

And while I was still sipping my tea, I just realized that whatever may have been the situation these rockstars of Tadoba… led by Girls like Maya, Sonam, etc meticulously follow laws of nature, yes. Also, the chirpy birds who still wake up early in the morning around me, are following rules of nature. Do they eat any food after sun set ? Try offering them in the evening. Do they eat ? the answer is big NO.  Mother Nature surely gives us signals like eating dinner before sun set, getting up early in the morning, listening to natural sounds which will ignite compassion and also, survival of the fittest criterion for our professional lives. But look at us…Our party begins at 10 PM and continues till wee hours … Eat and Drink… unlimited…. And then, we say, we drink tea without sugar or I prefer green tea. All Nautanki !!

Those chirpy birds, and those backstreet girls and boys of Tadoba taught another lesson of life so subtly to me…. ‘Follow the laws of Nature’. Period.


Himanshu Bagde.

“A wildlife safari professional, India “

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