The best thing about nature is its limitlessness. There is no boundary, the beauty of it cannot be quantified and there are infinite surprises that can ambush you anytime. Yes, during one of my latest trips a Black Magic that shall remain a highlight in the constellation of my memories. This is the story of a recent account with a Black Panther (melanistic leopard) in Kabini.
Previous to this trip I was in Bandhavgarh, which has been my second home for over a decade now. The recent spate of strikes by the guides union there ensured a rather hasty exit. This pre-scheduled arrival in Bangalore ensured I could join few of my friends who were already camped in Kabini. I had not an aorta of clue that is rendezvous was masterminded by the Nature Gods and that it would be one of the most special days in my life.
We left for Zone-A in the park currently the domain of Black Panther. While the heart quivers to think of the possibility of a chance sighting the mind puts you on the tracks of reality. With these contrasting thoughts we surrendered to the forest and soon enough got the glimpse of a Tiger chasing Deer.
As the heartbeat tried to keep its pace with the ongoing action did the next jolt of dream come in the form of a shadow. We were near KV Road when we saw a female leopard crossing the road soon to be followed by its King- the ruler of dark beings, our Black Panther.
With a warfare in my blood vessels and fingers trembling like a flag in the storm did we start our moments.
What followed next was 40 minutes of madness as the Black Panther crossed over the roads thrice and each and every time we successful to track it down by premeditating its next move. What the guides believed was the fact that there was a kill somewhere near and the fact that he was following the mate was giving us visual and phonic clues to track.
Every track where we waited-did a tempest of thoughts overshadowed our senses and then each and every time our guesses paid off as we encountered the individual multiple times in the day. It was like a script made of dreams, when eventually the female leopard came up and rested on the branch and in the ambit of her love did the black magic stay in another tree looking at her love counting hours before darkness blanketed him.
Nature teaches you lessons of humility and today probably was one of the best chapters that unfolded in front of us- a truly memorable encounter.