Sunday, May 20

Simhaavalokanam (Reminisences of the Lion)

The Lion, the king of the forest, (somewhere in
African jungles or Sundarbans of India), after his sumptous Luch (at midnight), lies on a boulder near his Home Cave and starting his 'siesta' starts reminiscing. It is called "Simhavalokanam" in Indian Language--TELUGU.

In this, he while he remembers--scene by scene--the previous day's happenings--whereby, like on a television screne, the scenes move one by one to create a perennial movie for him, as well as for us, if we can see with our mind's eye.

The opening scene starts thus:

The forest is silent more or less. The Sun is setting in the West. The birds are reaching their nests, making all sorts of sounds, their off spring welcoming them with the same sorts of sounds. The snakes start hissing to frighten the birds. The other animals, who take their meal in the day (including humans) are returning to their abodes for a night's rest in the hope to start the next day with renewed vigour.

The Lion, the king of the forest, lazily wakes up and roars mildly and irritated by the insects etc. in the hairs on his head, trys to shake them off by roaring louder. The entire forest becomes 'stand still'. The siblings of the lion, having their early break-fast of milk from the lioness, the queen of the forest, start to moan and the lioness admonishes, "No need to wake up so early. His Royal Highness, your father has just now woken up and it is his warning to the forest and his 'people'. You continue with your task and I will wake you up on time."

TL, tkotf, gets up, stretches his body, yawns, and as the forest sounds are being resumed, 'Rrrrrroars...' again loudly to signify his presence. The small 'people' like the hares, rabbits, mice, rodents, squirrels etc., searching for their food by then, move rapidly to their hide-outs in fear. The deer, gazelles, sambars, foxes, jackals, hyenas, zebras, the elephants near the water front recognize the significance of the roar and move fast, making their own sounds.

TL, tkotf, starts its 'morning chores' (Don't ask me 'do the lions brush their teeth?'), attends calls of nature, goes to the pool, immerses in the water, relaxes and 'Rrrrrrroar...............s' in a self satisfactory way. Then comes out, moves to the cave to visit the lioness, tqotf.

The siblings, having filled their bellies, start playing around. At a distance is, still asleep, the Junior Lion, 'The Prince of the Forest', thinking whether to wake up or not at this time.

TL, tkotf, comes around, licks on the face of the liness, as if fondling her, asks "everything OK?", roams around, looks at the JL, 'tpotf' proudly and sits leizurely overlooking all of them.

One of the siblings says, "Momma, shall we have good lunch today?" and another says, "I want to have a deer" and another says, "I want a bison" and the others "so......on". The mother says "Shush....... Let papa go and find out".

By then, the JL, tpotf, fully awake, stretches, move out to attend his 'morning chores'.

Meanwhile, TL, tkotf, concentrates on his sense of listening; hears movment of a 'herd' somewhere, about a Kilo Metre from the den! (Don't ask me--'Do lions know to measure the distance in KMs?). Suddenly, a pang of hunger moves in his stomach. "Aaaaaaaggggrrrrrhhhh"
he roars and thinks---"Yesterday was not a good day......had to content with the lame zebra, which could not run fast with its herd....had to eat the meat around its thighs & buttocks! The family had to contend with the remnants..............No. Today will not be and should not be like that..........have to have a sumptuous meal.... have to feed the family also, a meal they will not forget in the near future............"

Again, feeling another pang of hunger, jumps up, looks meaningfully at the JL, tpotf, just entering the den, and moves out on a run.

JL, tpotf, understands and follows his father also on the double (or have we to say 'quadraple'), enthusiastic of sharing the hunting experience.

Running, stopping, crouching, hearing, moving slowly, sniffing the air, changing direction, running fast again etc. for half a Kilo Metre, observing for any 'huntable' animal, it finally stops behind a thick bush, observing a cloud of dust moving in their direction from a few feet of distance. They also hear the trumpets of the elephents, who were cause of the cloud, moving, jostling each other, in a melee. Lo! ahead of the herd is the King of the elephants of the forest!

TL, tkotf, with still more reddening eyes, stares at the KOE! continue