The tour of the jungle in an enclosed and protected bus began. Every one had been strictly advised not to use their cameras, if they spotted any animal. The first hundred meters, all were very quiet. Pin drop silence which children maintain in classes was very much active in the bus. No one spoke. All were anticipating that a lion or a tiger might be nearby and the situation might get scary, though we were in an enclosed bus, the conductor took his business seriously and was looking at each and everything with such strictness and vigilance that I felt he was the man who was suited for the job.
It was completely a jungle but the bus driver knew where he was going. The bus came to halt and an antelope was seen after two minutes. The bus slowly went ahead. Two deers were sprinting and they vanished from our sight. After that the bus moved nearly two hundred metres in a slow speed but to no avail, not a single fierce animal was seen. We were feeling a bit sad that we couldn’t spot any lion and tiger.
With the bus moving at snail’s speed we kept moving at snail’s speed, we had lost all hope of seeing any big animal. The conductor spoke-“this is the last section of the tour. We are entering the lion’s enclosure.If luck is with us then you can see a lion or two. If the whole herd is visible then we all are truly blessed and lucky.”
The lion’s enclosure covered a very big area, but the bus only went through the outskirts. Seeing or spotting a lion was like watching a cricket match from the top of a building which was hundred meters away from a cricket stadium. The enclosure was thick with dense vegetation. Very very slowly the bus came to a halt and lo! straight ahead infront of us at a distance of nearly eight metres, a male lion with a huge mane was sitting.
Seeing him, we(ma, baba and me) were filled with awe. I had goosebumps all over my hand. A lion is the king of the jungle and seeing such a one is a privilege, an honour and a brilliant destiny, which very few get. Believe maybe one person in two hundred to five hundred people get an opportunity to see a lion who is not in a cage. The ratio may even farther widespread. I felt as if I had met a King of some country.
We were strictly prohibited from taking any pictures but the memory is still fresh in my mind. All the children in the bus got very excited. Each and everyone were trying to see the lion as best he or she could. We strained our necks too see if there were anyother lions, who could be seen but only that big male lion was visible. The lion slowly stretched his legs and placed his heads in between them. He saw the bus once, but he didn’t even appear bothered about us. I felt as if it was regular for him to see tourists watching him from a small bus.
The conductor was standing at the door holding a door’s rod. Given the size and strength of the lion, the I felt as if the bus was very tiny and in my heart appreciated the fact that he was a courageous and brave man
The bus brought us back to the main gate of the jungle. We bought few souvenirs from a gift shop and got into the hotel bus.
On the way back I fell asleep on ma’s shoulder and all three of us indeed had fallen asleep as the journey to the jungle was an exciting and memorable one.
When we reached our hotel, I saw that nearly everyone had fallen asleep.
At five o’clock in the evening, we stretched ourselves a bit and had a beautiful tea made with jasmine and chamomile tea leaves in the hotel’s open restaurant and watched the sun set.
Such beautiful experiences are really rare.
The other part of the journey will be narrated by me tomorrow.