Fair of Face

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Ok, so this photo may or may not have been taken over a year ago. In my defence: #TBT. Or #TBM. Whatever.

Still, this remains one of my most treasured moments from our trip to Kenya.

Continue reading “Fair of Face”

The Unusual Universal Phenomena of Altered Consciousness, Relatively Inhibited Sensory Functions, and Inhibition of All Voluntary Muscles

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…otherwise known as sleep. Because, strangely enough, that’s something the most fearsome predator of the African savannah experiences as well. Who would’ve thought?

(Actually, lions are amongst the laziest creatures on the planet, and not just the males – they sleep for up to 20 hours a day, being largely nocturnal creatures. Most of us don’t even get a fraction of that. This lioness has no right to yawn.)

And with that, I’m off to bed. This undeserving mammal may be expressing her annoyance at having woken up – I, instead, am going to do the opposite, and happily embrace the state of altered consciousness, relatively inhibited sensory functions, and inhbition of all voluntary muscles.

Journal Journeys: Lion Pride

When one thinks of Africa, it is inarguable that the first image that comes to mind is that of the ‘king of the savannah’, the African lion– the classic Panthera leo. Adjectives used to define them encapsulate confident, proud, arrogant– but not vulnerable, or threatened. But that they are. Of the 100,000 in Africa in the 1960s, only 32,000 remain. With the growing human encroachment of their habitat, they hold a tentative future.

Sunday, 20th of July, 2014

The grass is golden, and so are the lions. They glow in the newly-risen sun, their stride confident, their head held high. The jeeps eagerly watching them are not even spared a disdanful glance.

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Image courtesy of Sarath Champati (sarathchampati.com).

The male that heads the pride, scraggly-maned and arched-back, walks with single-minded pupose; the lioness that accompanies him is his equal, if not superior, in style, poise, and grace.

Image courtesy of Sarath Champati (sarathchampati.com).
Image courtesy of Sarath Champati (sarathchampati.com).

She pauses not three feet from a jeep that resounds with the delighted clicks of at least ten animated shutters without a sideways glance. A small cub dogs her footsteps diligently, and following it are two more females and two more young ones. The cubs are ecstatic from their meal, now abandoned in a handy depression for the vultures that are already gathering. They burst into random sprints and stop abruptly, their full bellies wobbling precariously below them. One lioness, till then watching it serenly, mock-pounces the small lion.

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Its delight is obvious; it immediately rolls over onto its back.

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She licks its face, pretending to bite its neck– their play continues till the cub gets too boisterous and is silenced with a quick swipe of paw. Then they sit together, content, and survey their domain with a self-assured ease. The sun, behind them, is fresh and new in the sky.

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Journal Journeys: Lioness

Here I bring you another Journal Journey, chronicling Africa’s most famous creature.

You know what they don’t mention in wildlife documentaries about Kenya? The flies.

Saturday, 19th of July, 2014

She’s resting the shade of a shrub: her fur glows in the afternoon sun. Her paws are twice the size of my hand and somehow beautiful in an indescribable way. Her face, though, is covered in flies, and she twitches it languidly to get rid of them.

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