Always the Tiger

To the visitor: Many tigers reside here. Be patient. If you don’t see a tiger today, rest assured the tiger has seen you.

When I was told Naresh would be my driver/guide, the owners of my hotel near the Bandhavgarh preserve were very enthusiastic. He came from a community near Umaria, the endpoint of my fifteen-hour railroad journey from Delhi, and he loved his job. They were helping him with his safari vocabulary and encouraged me to do the same. So much we can learn from the park, from the visitors such as yourself, Naresh told me.

But his main concern was the lack of interest in anything but the tiger. I assured him that he wouldn’t have that in me, that I was interested in anything he cared to impart. You must listen, too, There is much to hear.

We were soon waved on to the main path. Please, he instructed, pointing to his ear. We heard a repeated honking call. Sambardeer. He ran it together as one word. A favorite of the tiger. When you hear this call again and again, it is sure that tiger is not far.

About the author

Linda Umans is a Manhattan native and ardent traveler, most recently to the Canadian Arctic, southern Africa, northern India, the Galapagos Islands and various…

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Issue 16 · October 2012

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