MEMORIES of MAYA
Saevus|March - May 2020
MEMORIES of MAYA
The author recounts his enlivening encounter with the tigress Maya, one he had seen and photographed seven years earlier as a sub-adult.
AMITAVA BANERJEE

A SOJOURN IN THE LAND OF MAYA

In Tadoba Andhari National Park, Maharashtra I discovered a realm of pristine nature, lying quite unruffled and unhindered by the toxic cacophony of life outside.

The ripples of brimming blue water in the Tadoba lake, shining in the mellow morning light; the robust tree line of the forest afar taking on a mystic look amidst the thin haze of winter. It captivated me and I gave in to the hypnotic charm of the wilderness and its wondrous inhabitants forever.

MAYA AND A PLEASANT REVELATION

My last visit to Tadoba, seven years back, was quite eventful and memorable. I had the rare opportunity of witnessing and photographing the killing of a wild boar by a sub-adult female tiger cub at Ambepet talao. On returning to Tadoba in June, 2019, I narrated the episode to my gypsy driver, Anish. He listened with utmost heed and then much to my surprise said “Apki woh sub-adultwali cub hi to aaj ki Maya hai” (“That subadult cub of yours is today’s Maya”) and then went on to add “Woh uski first kill thi” (“That was her first kill”). This sheer coincidence really astounded me and I was eager to see Maya again.

At Tadoba, I could feel the overwhelming presence of Maya, the tigress of Pandharpaoni. Almost all the discussions revolved around Maya, providing a succinct narrative of her gallantry, her impeccable role in rearing her past litters in challenging circumstances and many more.

AN EVENTFUL MORNING AND FROLICKING EVENING

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March - May 2020