Ghost of the Grassland -
Tiger of Ramganga, Spirit Of Corbett & The Son of the Earth.
In my numerous trips to the Land of Roar, Trumpet and Song,
Making such an image was again a unspoken wish that corbett fulfilled in my recent visit.
My Belief of coming to a corbett with empty heart of wishes, has become a truth.
Around 5.00 AM, I heard calls right from the grasslands, as my room was on the boundary of these grasslands.
Right at the break of 1st light we were the 1st ones to start from FRH gate and to hit the grasslands.
It was a misty morning.
Me and my driver Waseem, according to our logic, Cubs were still in the grassland.
So we positioned our vehicle at 6.25AM and the wait started..
I watched the empty frame through my view finder and
decided what i need to do if it happens. I was ready technically, physically and emotionally.
Many Vehicles came scanned the car road and moved to thandi Sadak as Safari elephants were scanning the area near thandi sadak.
But i was somehow sure that, its today :)
And many a times, this feeling surpasses all logic, calculations and manipulations.
Flashback - An Apparition in Grassland.
Till date, in all my visits to dhikala,
I sighted tigers number of times in these grasslands..
But it was like a ghost who used to run, jump and disappear in these grasslands within a moment.
Sometimes only tail or ears or just glimps of stripes.
I always called it "an Apparition".
It was like imagination of seeing a tiger in those golden grassland, and this time Corbett was all set to turn it into a reality..
My record till date was only a pair of ears once and a tip of the tail once.
Time 7.00 AM-
After waiting for almost 25 mins patiently without any movement.
Waseem said - Sir, shall we go and quickly check thandi sadak as there might be a possibility that it could have crossed
already. But i was some how knew that its still there in the grasslands .. :)
We just finished our whispering ...and
(Time 7.04 AM) Waseem - Sir.. Tiger !!!
An Apparition was standing right in front of me in the whole flesh n bones n stripes
in the golden light, amidst golden grass, on the Green Carpet, in the backdrop of blues of Ramganga, in the backdrop of dens saal of Corbett.
Later whatever happened was..I can't explain as I was not in all my senses. For 2 to 3 seconds I was in some other world where the only thing i remember is a shiver..
A Tiger was looking right into my eyes,
and saying - I might be an apparition for all others but for you I am the Tiger of Ramganga, Spirit of Corbett and The son of the earth.
It walked slowly at its comfort, couple of steps towards me, perfect eye contact.
My delayed response to the fingers to press the shutter caused me to miss few moments of his walk.
My shutter blasted at 8FPS only when he decided to stop on the green carpet to allow me to shoot him in its full glory of Golden Grasslands, Blue Ramganga and Saal Crown of Jungle.
I shot different compositions at 200mm, 300mm and 400mm, total of 38 frames out of which 26 frames came out to be keepers.
Later, a good friend of mine who reviewed my images revealed that shooting lasted only for 4.5 secs :)
For me its enough to make the images which will stay in my memories for the lifetime.
The importance of this frame is the elements of nature and various signatures of corbett included in the frame.
A tiger, Grassland Ecosystem, Dense Saal Forest and Ramgana River.
Like all the times, this time too, corbett again proved and strengthened the bond which i and corbett share. Blessed by Corbett !! :)