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Mumbai
Sunday, October 25, 2020

Jungle Queen

Bhairavi Goswami
Bhairavi Goswamihttp://theindigoworld.com
Bhairavi Goswami is editor of ‘THE INDIGO WORLD’

This blog was written over a decade ago.

It takes all sorts to make this world. I’m the kind who won’t think twice to hit someone when I’m in one of my raging tempers but I will carefully step over an ant not wanting to hurt him. I have always been crazily, insanely mad about any & every kind of animal. I love anything and everything that has 4 legs. My entire life I have wanted to be a wildlife conservationist & I spend most of my time trying to better the life of animals. My most enduring passion is horse riding & I try to spend every possible moment with horses.

The racecourse is beautiful in the monsoons. Lush green, knee-high grass, leaves freshly washed, lots of snails. Snakes too – I went on the cross-country track a month ago & my mare suddenly stopped. I looked down & saw a big black snake pass right in front of her legs. My heart was in my mouth and I wanted to scream but my throat was dry. I turned around & galloped back to the stables as fast as I could. I never went on that track again. The snake was probably not poisonous since most snakes are not but I have a childhood phobia of snakes & nothing terrifies me more.

On tree trunks there are lots of snails, along pathways too. I would stop & look at them, sometimes take a photograph. My friends are amused with my snail fascination. My childlike enthusiasm makes me watch them and follow their trail. I would sit down & observe the way they move their tentacles, I learn so much from watching animals. Animals have taught me everything I know. I live by the rules of the jungle. When I see an animal I can read their thoughts, I can have an entire conversation with them. One day I know I will return to the jungle and live with them forever.

This morning I had finished riding & as I jumped off my horse I heard a noise – crunchhhhpatchakkk. I looked down & saw that I had landed on a snail. My heavy riding boots had crushed him. I was filled with guilt and deeply disturbed. A beautiful, wonderous creature that I had spent the past month watching had died beneath my feet. I was inconsolable. I couldn’t bear to look closely. As tears streamed down my face I ran to my car & came home & cried some more on my pillow. It may seem strange to people & it did to everyone around but how can I explain that animals make my life happier, they mean so much to me.

Animals mean the world to me. They have taught me everything I know. These selfless creatures live instinctively. No animal will ever hurt you unless threatened. Animals are faithful till their last dying breath. They are my sole joy. I can’t imagine my life without animals. There is nothing I want more than to live in the jungle, sleep in a cave or under the stars, play with them. In my head I am one of them. When I see a pride of lions I feel I am one of them. I almost want to step out of the jeep and join them. It’s a powerful, overwhelming feeling that courses through my veins.

The smell of the Earth, the green of the jungle, insect noises, animal mating calls, the water bodies all beckon me. I find buildings ugly, even the fancy ones. I crave living with my brothers and sisters. In my mind my family are animals.

I love you my dear snail & I can’t tell you in words how sorry I am that I killed you, completely unintentional but still your life ended because of me. I’m sorry & I will miss you more than you can imagine.

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