On life and its vagaries

Stretching your hands across the divide

with 10 comments

How life bores you sometimes, yes it’s the truth! You might think you are alright and is the luckiest of individuals around, then suddenly the laughter goes out of your soul and you become moody as hell. There could be immediate reasons of course, but that is not very important. Its how the thing grabs you and make you it’s own that is startling. It’s as if a whole continent of antagonistic intentions is in your midst.

You dislike the feeling intensely, you want to get away from it and you think of the first option around. In my land that would be the movies.

This story goes a long time back. I was in my teens, in college as an under graduate (we used to go to college to get through the undergraduate course in this blessed land at one time). I was staying at a lodge near my college and was preparing for the final exam. It was around eight of clock in the evening that I felt a definite urge to get away from myself.

So there I was watching a movie at night in a nearby small town. The movie was an old one and deeply melodramatic. I suffered it in silence and when it was over stepped out into the clear moonlight. The college was some five miles away, and in the night one had to walk all the way back.

I began my walk. Almost immediately the small crowd which came out of the Cinema thinned away into nothing. I found myself all alone on the road barring some heavy trucks whizzing past every now and then. The highway was not difficult for it was lighted all along. But when it came to the turning to the very less frequented road to the college things changed. The road was narrow and was heavily shaded by trees on both the sides. I had three more miles to go. In the little shack at the junction I had seen some very shady characters. Some of them were laughing. I was seventeen and was not definitely a body builder.

They did not follow me. But something did. It was sometime before me and sometime behind me. The night was misty and slightly chilly. The thing looked like a cat but somewhat larger. At a turn of the road there was a burial ground for the poor, long unused.

In the moonlight I saw what it was. It was a Leopard; it was standing at the middle of the clearing looking back at me. We looked at one another silently, like two lost souls.

I thought it smiled at me, like cats do. Of course I could not respond in kind. I still was the human and it still was the cat. The both don’t meet anywhere socially. It then slightly stretched itself and departed. I stood there for some time and took myself home slowly. Its effortless grace had caught my fancy. I thought myself ugly and graceless before it.

The cat seemed to have killed a policeman before it was finally shot dead; it was in the news on the next day. Till now I have never mentioned the encounter to anyone. I thought something sacred had passed between us. I still do, though time has passed, and the feeling of awe has long gone.


10 Responses

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  1. Another good story. surprising end. My husband was followed like that, at night, but by people, probably with machetes. a passing motorist whisked him away and told him off and dropped him back home. T

    tessa moss

    August 10, 2009 at 6:51 pm

  2. Thank you. There are such folk in this land too, the ‘machete’wielding types I mean. It seems a universal phenomenon.

    Glad that he escaped.



    August 10, 2009 at 9:10 pm

  3. you were really lucky! first for seeing a wild leopard and second he spared you.


    September 6, 2009 at 4:45 pm

  4. Thank you. But really he must have thought of me as a kindred soul! He had come to the small town riding on a goods train bringing in logs from the forest. Some times the sons of the forest do that. Once in the town the poor guy must have felt so alien and out of touch with its version of reality that it must have been frightened to its bones. In the incident where it is said to have killed a police man, it had hidden in a shed with a half wall running across length of the construction. He was sitting on the wall. People surrounded the place and a police man was foolish enough to show his head inside. Out of fright it pounced on the man and began rolling with him on the ground The other police men opened fire and unfortunately killed their comrade first in their panic. It was ludicrous and was concealed from the public for some time. The autopsy later revealed that the policeman died of the bullet wound rather than any wounds resulting from the fray.

    But all the same yes, it could have attacked me, wild cats are more violent than others in the forest, but it didn’t, either out of my luck or out of its animal caution. It was not large like a tiger, may be it did not think itself big enough to overpower me.

    Well, I still wonder at it sometimes.

    Thank you so much for your caring words.


    September 6, 2009 at 7:45 pm

  5. oh, so they tainted an innocent creature instead of rescuing him and sending him back to forest they killed him… 😦


    September 15, 2009 at 6:55 am

  6. If foresters were there they could have tried to catch it and release it some where. But there is another side to that. It would have to be released to the same forest it came from, other wise it would be as lost as in a city. And might pine away to its death. Yes it could have been taken to a zoo and kept there.Killing it was unnecessary. It also resulted in the death of a police man. Alas that is how frantic we are sometimes.


    September 15, 2009 at 3:50 pm

  7. yes.. and i really feel miserable when WE the MOST INTELLIGENT SPECIES kill these stupid animals without reason.. 😦


    September 18, 2009 at 12:21 pm

  8. I thought you never used capitals 🙂

    Honestly I consider the animals better off than me. They at least sense danger in a moment and I can’t :). I would have liked to have that sixth sense with me.


    September 18, 2009 at 5:51 pm

  9. i used it in this one, 🙂 to emphasize the words…

    well i have that sixth sense and it saves my neck from time to time..


    September 20, 2009 at 3:21 pm

  10. That’s nice. Only very few among us have the ability to sense danger 🙂


    September 20, 2009 at 6:23 pm

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