On 1 January 2002, in the jungles of Satpura, a beautiful Leopard cub was born. The only child of the leopardess Roma, he was a beautiful Leopard. Very powerful, a keen hunting instinct and a fitness level that only the prince of the jungle can have, Raja (as the Leopard cub was called)loved the forest.
The forest provided him everything. Water from the perennial streams and the ponds, the antelope and the boar for food, camouflage from the hunters and shade from the sun.
The Forest was Raja’s home.
He never ventured towards the city, because he had no need to. He did see the funny two legged monkey like creatures, making funny voices and riding strange things many a times, but he had learnt to keep safe distance from them. They carried a strange black stick which used to make noise and animals used to die because of this.
Many a times the funny two legged monkey (also called the MAN) used to be in company of cows, buffalos, dogs and other animals, which the Man seemed to have mastered. These animals were FOOD for Raja, but Raja ignored them because he did not want to come in direct confrontation with Man.
In the jungle Raja was the King. When he used to go prowling, monkeys and birds made loud warning noises. When he roared after a satisfied meal, there was a pin drop silence in the jungle!
Raja was indeed ‘the King’.
But the land developers came and large tract of land was taken away by them to make dwellings for the funny two legged monkey like creatures. The movement of the man increased and the jungle shrunk and so did the capacity of the jungle to support the King of Forest.
The forest got bisected by roads.
The fragments of the forest that remained segregated the male Leopards from the female Leopards by the hearing distances. (When the mail Leopard gives a mating call and the female responds, the two get together and the breed grows).
Now whenever Raja gave a mating call all he got was confused sounds of the vehicles running and the cattle bellowing.
Once Raja had received a reply to his mating call. It was across a busy road. He tried to cross the road and was almost run over by a Truck. He did not try it again.
Raja was getting FRUSTATED.
Earlier, whenever it rained, the catchment area would get wonderfully drenched and the rivulets would be full of water, teeming with fish, the ponds would get full and surrounded by deer…. the food for RAJA. But now since the roads and the settlement had dissected the catchment area for the rivulets, the ponds and were drying up. The antelopes and the small game was dying or moving elsewhere. The wild boar had started attacking the agricultural fields. They were avoiding the jungles. And Raja was avoiding the contact with MAN.
Raja was HUNGARY.
Raja was THIRSTY.
The forest was now dissected. the Vehicles moving on it were making lots of noise.
On top of that dust levels had increased (More traffic, more movement, less rains gto settle down the dust). Man and hes cattle were moving more frequently in the forest.
not to mention the poachers!
Raja was STRESSED.
Now , in 2012 Raja was 10 years old, weaker than before, less agile but hungry and frustrated.
Initially his first prey in the Funny two legged monkey’s domain was a DOG. An Easy prey and no reaction from the MAN.
Raja got bold.
Hunted a few more Dogs and then a calf.
After the calf hunt, it was the first time he realise that the MAN was vindictive and had started stalking Raja. The hunter became the hunted.
Now even hunting dogs was getting difficult. Leave alone the succulent calf.
One day Raja saw a drunkard moving Zigzag on the road who then got hit by a running truck.
The smell of the fresh blood was too much for hungry Raja to handle. He went and tasted the dying man.
He liked the taste! AND IT WAS EASY…
and he has become a MAN-EATER.
(This is a total imaginary story with no reality in the simplistic narrative. I am trying to find a suitable end to it…….. Can someone guide me as to what should be the befitting end to this story… Regards, Jawahar)