By Kay Tiwar
Since the beginning of the new year the skies in Bandhavgarh has been slate grey with occasional rumbling storms or days of unrelenting drizzle, enough to keep tigresses like Vijaya indoors and out of sight.
There is little news of the one-eyed tigress. She continues to remain elusive. Rumours had suggested she would appear with a new family at the beginning of the New Year, but no hint of such happy provenance has been forthcoming. Forest guards suggest that she is not even pregnant, yet her maternal-like behaviour in December suggested otherwise; that she had indeed given birth and was hiding both her den and her youngsters from prying eyes.
It’s not unusual for tigresses to take ‘time off’ between mothering litters, but mostly it is to do with their own security concerns, for a dominant and stable protector is critical to their success in raising cubs to adulthood. It’s a problem that Vijaya is wrestling with at this very moment.
Who can Vijaya now look to as the father of her next litter?
There has been no sign of the mysterious Rahasy for months and neither the broad chested Jobhi nor her previous lover Shashi have been spotted in her prime homeland of the Chakradhara meadow recently, though they are both moving on her territorial borders. Add the threat of Pushpraj, Wakeeta first son to the scene. This young man, could indeed father a litter himself and he is tracking everywhere right now, even being seen in Chakradhara on more than one occasion, but stable and secure he ain’t.
Has Jobhi come to the conclusion that he has enough on his plate in his Maghdi kingdom and decided he simply cannot cope with more wives in his harem. Besides he is having to deal daily with young intruders in Magdhi and Khitauli, ensuring he neglects his Tala borders.
Vijaya is playing the waiting game. The questions she needs answering is ‘Who deserves to be the father of my next litter?’.
Credits: Tiger Nation