Jungle Book: The Call of the Wild

Wildlife photographer, Mamta, takes us through different sanctuaries and jungles, showcasing the wonder fauna on our Earth. She shoots, composes poem and writes. Here’s Different Truths’ special feature on the Earth Day.

Focus on the eye, I’ve been advised, but what does one do when there’s dried shrubbery precisely on the eye. Shifting position is not an option because the slightest of sounds will scare the animal away. So, focus on the eye I did, and said a small omg!

Focused on the antelope again. This time I had to shut my eye in pain. And then I noticed a few extra legs. As I released the shutter the little one made a sideways lunge at a juicy something. It left me smiling.

We live in interesting times.

Nilgai mom and baby at Bhindawas

Nilgai mom and baby at Bhindawas


And there I was walking along, enjoying the early morning, breathing in some very fresh air, soaking in the greenery. As the rays of the winter-sun bounced off. It exposed rock faces warming up a misty day. The wild berry, ripening from a green to a crisp yellow and then to a sweet rusty-red.

The Bulbuls perched atop the Babool trees and the White Throated Munia feeding off the tall grasses with the gentle rustling of the breeze, ushering in another beautiful day.

And then I spied a Kite swiftly swooping down in a sharp curve, then taking off again like a pirouetting ballerina gliding across a stage. Some more elegant maneuvers bring forth the realisation, it’s probably time for her breakfast. A sweeping glance around the landscape and I spot a family of Mongoose, or is it Mongeese, also enjoying the winter sun while cleverly staying just out of reach of the hungry eagle.


The chipmunks at Boston Commons are a real friendly lot. They walk up to you, box you in the shin and demand their treat.

This fella, however, questioned us from atop a tree, “Heylo ladies, whatcha doin’ out on this cold day?”


As we gawk wonder-struck, the King decides to take a better look at the visitors. Lazily he turns to his side with complete nonchalance. This is my world and I am the king stance, kneel visitors!


The Sultanpur Sanctuary had been shut for the duration of the agitation, the parking lot was absolutely deserted. The ticket window too was shut. As I waited to buy my entry ticket, the sound of hooves caught my attention. A mommy Nilgai with her brood galloped past in a cloud of dust followed by two mongrels chasing. Not trotted and cantered, full throttle gallop … dum utha kar daudna kisse kahtein hain, ab samajh main aaya.


I’m a lady, and a bird
nothing about it is absurd
I will do my business, undeterred
Bug me not, Sir, she purred
all lines of decency will be blurred
my cosmos, my world
there’s a reason, black and red colored
shall return the favor with a few selected words
I am a lady and a bird.

~ Anjali’ka


An evening walk through the jungle
leisurely paced, lest we stumble
towering pines stir feelings humble
mist rolls in, clouds grumble.
The ground shakes, a mighty rumble
nerves overwrought, tightly in a bundle
at a clearing, an old pine crumbles
responding to gravity, a slow trundle.
Deeper we go on, nary a fumble
wildflowers dance, crickets mumble
life, as usual, despite the tumble
just an evening walk, in a pine jungle.

~ Anjali’ka

I spotted a streaked laughing thrush in Kodia jungle, Kanatal.

I spotted a streaked laughing thrush in Kodia jungle, Kanatal.


Pure in white
sure in black
orange tipped
warning of attack
riot of colour
striped of pattern
feast on nectar
the only concern
fearlessly confident
slow in flight
breezily flitting
grit and delight

( red pierrot at Ggn)


Pix by Author



Mamta Muttreja

Mamta Muttreja

A lecturer with over two decades of experience with young adults by profession, post graduate in fabric and apparel sciences by education, an aviation consultant by choice, a writer for better or for verse, a photographer and birder by addiction.
Mamta Muttreja

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