Mangala is the new star at the Periyar Tiger Reserve, Kerala, India. The tiger cub, abandoned by her mother was discovered by the forest officials, who nursed her back to health.
Now, as she turns two, she is about to be released back into the wild, where she really belongs. So, here’s to Mangala – the tiger cub set to get back home !
The green sparkle in those eyes,
Soft fur in stripes of gold,
What you be ? Oh ! Mangala ?
A cub missing its Mom, or
A ferocious beast-in-making ?
You belong; not here,
In man’s tiny domestic world,
But out there, in the vastness of the jungle.
There, the leaves would greet you,
Amid the wind that caresses your skin.
The cicadas sing you their melodies,
The soil would yearn your touch,
And, the brook beckon you,
To its deep bosom.
You belong there, Oh ! young one,
You are born of the jungle.
Mighty, kind and unfettered.
So, Welcome home !
©Anakha K Vijay. All Rights Reserved.
The picture was published in The Hindu, on April 11, 2021. Copyright acknowledged.