By : Dr. Suhas Kumar IFS (Retd.)
Former PCCF MP

The Jungle

Until the dark
let the kakad bark
as the sun slips down
where horizon ends
and the darkness descends
the jungle wakes up
to the howls of the jackals,
the music of the crickets,
the hoots of the owl,
and then suddenly
to the pook of the cheetal
and the honk of the sambar
I stiffen in my track
now as the twigs crack
under the footfalls of ‘Baagh’
for the king who lurked
hiding from his prey
in brown and grey
has been seen and the jungle
reverberates with lifesaving calls.
alarming others beware don’t fall
a zephyr rustles
through the moyan leaves
touching gently my cheeks
a snake slithers past my toes
brings sweat to my brows
Oh! it was so close
then like it all had begun,
suddenly the jungle goes quiet
Now it is only me and the
heavenly light
not even a murmur is heard
except for the crickets’ chord
and at this time, I imagine the ghosts,
hear banshee behind my back
stopping in my track
brushing aside the game
my mind wants to play
I find a ledge overlooking the valley
from where I see the silhouettes of
hills, thickets and trees,
a huge lake spread before me
washed in the silver
that pours from the sky
and looking at the hoary moon,
counting countless stars,
I listen to the whispers
of a gentle breeze
and all this happens in my crease
I am the jungle of Pench

Suhas Kumar, 2012

Kakad- Barking deer, Moyan
Lanneacoromandelica, Baagh-Tiger

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