April 18, 2010

Save our Tigers

Present day 
The author is currently recovering from a rather strenuous past couple of months, studded with swimming classes, football, a bottle of Jack Daniel's, a bout of acute pharyngitis, Victor Wooten in the flesh and a monumental trip to Kanyakumari, interspersed with a few 100 hours at the office. He is sweating bullets as he types feverishly, in a feeble attempt at finishing a post he started about 4 months ago. His posts, it seems, are becoming about as infrequent as an Anil Kumble leg-break or a Toyota that can be stopped. All his energies are focussed on battling the overwhelming urge to sleep.

About 4 months ago
What does a bespectacled, underweight, habitually lethargic and occasionally slothful engineer do on his weekend off, considering that his favourite kind of government holiday(the weekday kind) already gave him a chance to unwind? Well, apart from trying to secure balcony seats(for just under half his daily wages) to watch a trinity of fools, or movies in 3D(not to mention the painfully infrequent blogging), yours truly had not much else to do on a Saturday morning.

So it occurred to me to awake in unison with the sun and travel more than 10kms to engage in a sport that was essentially invented by the British, only to be perfected by everyone but the British. Football. Cricket. Badminton. Hockey. Lawn Tennis. Table Tennis. Snooker. Proof, if any was required, that somewhere off the northwestern coast of continental Europe, a significant number of Caucasian islanders had a significant amount of free time on their hands. A rich history of steady sporting invention, no doubt, matched only by an even richer history of subordination in the sport just invented.

But badminton it was. And as expected, nothing of great consequence happened on court(read: glorious wins against first-timers followed by an inglorious annihilation at the hands of more fancied opposition). Exhausted after more than two hours of much-needed exercise, I summoned all the Gods I knew and notified all the antibodies in my system for what lay ahead. Fresh fruit juice near National Market. I am pleased to say that I survived the ordeal, but the combined effect of vigorous racquet sports and murky watermelon juice on a Saturday afternoon, generally tends to surface early the next morning, as my parents prod me to attend the 7 a.m. mass. Which brings me, rather circuitously, to the subject at hand.

As we guzzled aforesaid fruit juice, I noticed a tiger on the prowl. Its unmistakable features conveyed purpose, but the same features rendered it conspicuous. What it lacked in terms of camouflage, it more than made up with opportunism, speed, cunning and efficiency. For an instant, my heart raced, but I consoled myself with the knowledge that I had taken all the necessary precautions.I also remember noticing that it looked frighteningly famished. All around it, stood unsuspecting, hapless prey---most of them domesticated---varying in form and speed, but unified by the tiger's ruthlessness. The prey had been warned beforehand of the tiger's presence, but they had paid no heed. The tiger seemed to be in a very foul mood that day, devouring everything it came across, sparing only those that had maintained a safe distance. The tiger's body was clothed with innumerable cuts and bruises, that it had presumably sustained from a previous undertaking. Hungry as it was, the tiger seemed to be toying with most of the prey it had snared. Needless to say, several of the helpless victims were severely mutilated and battered before finally being consumed by the rogue tiger. Several owners had noticed their pets being captured, and were trying desperately to rescue it from the tiger's grasp. We witnessed all of this from a distance, with a unique combination of sympathy and sadistic pleasure at the misfortune of the victims. As we were getting ready to leave, we noticed that my friend's pet had also gone missing. It had to be the tiger. After a great deal of inquiry, we eventually managed to locate the tiger's den.

What we saw there was extremely alarming and not for the faint of heart. The carcasses of several hundred victims lay unclaimed outside the den. From the extent of decay it was clear that quite a few of them had been captured many years back. Most of the victims were either dead or maimed for life. The only ones that stood a chance were those that had been captured that day. As we looked around at the carnage, it suddenly became apparent. This could not have been the work of a single savage beast. Closer observation confirmed our fears. There were at least four or five tigers, identical in size, appearance and gluttony, but displaying varying degrees of brazenness. Clearly, these were no ordinary tigers. Perhaps, they were initially reared with the intention of maintaining a healthy respect among erring victims, but with the number of victims exponentially increasing, these tigers had clearly exceeded their authority.

Now, the small matter of wiping them out. Slowly and painfully. How do you stop a group of ravenous, marauding tigers? Stop feeding the bastards---and watch them die.


  1. Super post! Loved the build-up. The name's just a coincidence, but have you read The White Tiger? Cops keep mangled/unclaimed vehicles and use those number plates to replace hit-and-run vehicles' plates, so the guilty owners don't get into trouble. All for a certain fee. I love my India.

  2. Sajiv, your selection of words and phrases is really impressive. Keep going.

  3. @beautiful fetish: thanks, the tiger analogy was a rather tricky one. I haven't read The White Tiger, will pick it up when my love for India is waning :D

    @sushil: that means a lot, coming from an experienced blogger like yourself

  4. I am final, I am sorry, but it does not approach me. There are other variants?

  5. Yes, you have correctly told


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