What are you doing in my territory?
Honestly I didn’t have the answer to that question. I looked into his eyes and I felt that he really meant it that way. I thought – yeah really. What was I doing there anyway?
When you are on wheels (well, this applies for walking as well) you don’t mind spending some more time exploring different routes and paths. So our little family chose to extend our usual route a little further and see what lies ahead. Taking frequent breaks for tea and some interesting conversations we went ahead beyond the usual construction sites, high rise apartments to see something unusual — agricultural fields beyond the city limits.
I got off my bike to get a closer look at the fields, and that’s when I saw them. A small herd of deer-like animals. “Black bucks” – the wife told me. I tried to reach a little more close and suddenly saw that their leader – a large male, taller and stronger than the average city horse – staring at me without blinking an eye. I was speechless. He was some 200m away staring at me, ready to charge at the first instance of my movement. May be not.
There was this conversation going on between us the silent way:
The Silent Conversation
He: Who are you?
Me: I’m a cyclist, trying to reach out to peaceful roads. Anyway I don’t think it would make a difference. You would look at me as just another hostile human being.
He: This is my territory. My home. I’m born and raised here. What are you doing here?
Me: My apologies. if you think I’m intruding into your territory. I didn’t want to cause trouble to you or frighten the ladies and the little ones. I was just passing by when I saw you and wanted to say hello. That’s all.
He: The large objects that cause noise here…do you know what those are, and what they do? They don’t seem to be helping the growth of plants here.
Me: I’m sad about that, captain. These are machines. They mix cement. And the ones that run on wheels – they are called trucks. They are not here to grow plants. In fact they are brought here by my people to make buildings – places to live. They clear the trees and plants from the area and fill it with concrete piles of different sizes and shapes.
He: So that means your people are clearing up my home to make homes for their children? I’m sad that I’ll have to keep running from place to place to keep my family safe. Well. At least your people have homes to live. But can you please ask your people not to kill my family?
Me: I’m equally sad to know I’m not able to do anything about it. Well, one thing I promise you: I won’t live in this concrete jungle made my clearing up your home.
He: Bye, stranger. We might not meet again.
Me: I’m not sure about that. At least I’ll keep visiting here all weekend.
On that note we parted ways. I still keep visiting that stretch during weekends, but haven’t met the captain or his team again. Not sure if they were driven away by the ‘developers’ of the area, or some film star has shot them off.
Believe me, I did keep visiting the same road and even kept waiting. Hoping that I would have a glance of the herd once again. They’ll come, my heart says.
Have you had the luxury of crossing roads with wild animals? I would love to hear your experience.
Image Courtesy: http://www.thewildlifeofindia.com