The jeep’s engine was the only sound I could hear. Everything else was quiet. It was like all the animals and birds were sleeping. Only they couldn’t be sleeping. It barely dusk. The sun was still shining, albeit softly. It glowed an innocent golden, the kind of colour that just soothes the eyes.
It was there, in the Kanha National Park in India, that a feeling coursed through me. I’d never felt like that before. I got to my room and the first thing I did was pull out a pen and a diary. I wanted to write the feeling down before I lost it. Here’s what I managed to record…
Inspired… no other words.. completely inspired. I spent the whole ride smiling. We didn’t see any tiger. But I’m not sad, even though I wanted to see one. But I was distracted by the silence. It is winter but the air wasn’t cold, surprisingly. In fact, it was comfortably warm – like a hot blanket wrapped around you on a snowy day. And the animals and birds in the forest were quiet too. Not silent though, it felt like they were whispering to each other. I don’t know why but in that moment, during the whole ride, I was at peace. There was nothing else in my mind, but bliss. When the ride ended, the driver asked me something I couldn’t answer, “Sir, why are you smiling? We did not see any tiger”.
But this doesn’t even get close to conveying how I felt in that moment. Maybe it is because I’m a bad writer. Or may be.. just may be, it is because words fall short of describing in perfect detail, how we feel. Even today, I never read the diary. I don’t need to read the diary. The moment is frozen in time with me… and it is an immensely cherished memory of mine.
Every time I think of that day, I feel a little bit at peace again. And in retrospect, it is a very happy memory – not because I was truly happy, no one is ever truly happy. It was a happy memory because I was in the moment. I heard the whispers of the forest, saw golden sun and felt the warmth the forest had. If I’d been looking for a tiger, I wouldn’t have seen a Tiger anyway.. and I would have missed a piece of bliss.