Tigers ka bhi Covid Check Karna Hoga (Tigers too have to be checked for Covid)

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“Chhiter bhai, is it July? I feel it has come too early!” T20 asks from behind the bush.  Chhiter, the forester, whispers, “no no, it is March only.”

T20 is joined by T50 and T61 in the area. They too are confused. They all request Chhiter for an explanation, “It is already 7.30 in the morning. We have not seen a single vehicle. There is not a soul around.”

Chhiter informs them, “See, the Park has been closed because of Covid 19.”  He adds to the disappointment of the tigers, “There is going to be no tourists for some time.”

All the Ts ask in unison, “Is Covid 19 new president of USA? Is he visiting Ranthambhor? Has the Park been closed for his security?”

“Poor guys. You do not read newspapers. Neither, you listen to Arnab or Ravish. How would you know?” Chhiter thinks aloud. Ts are not sure, what Chhiter has on his mind.

Chhiter himself is not sure, what to tell these (illiterate) tigers, for he himself does not understand what this Covid disease is? Yesterday, Manoj sir has come to Jogi Mahal. Chhiter has overheard him talking to Mukesh sir about something called virus. He has heard that this is some SARS…, a living organism. It is killing thousands of people.

Tigers are still looking at Chhiter for an answer. Chhiter simplifies it as per his understanding, “Dekho ek naya janwar, jiska naam SARS hai, aa gaya hai or wo lakho logo ko mar raha hai!” (“Listen, one new animal species has arrived in the world, whose name is SARS, which is killing tens of thousands of people.”)

Ts huddle together and brood on what’s this going on. ‘We have not heard of any such animal. And why kill man? This is again the law of nature. No animal kills man unless it is seriously threaten by him. Is it some non-ethical monster?”

In the meanwhile, two tigers, T 13 and T 45 have come all the way from Bakhola looking for tourists! Seeing others Ts together, they decide it is no time for hostility. They realise there is some serious issue under consideration and debate and, thus, behave seriously.  

T 20 summons courage and asks, “Chhiter Bhaiya, we have not seen any animal stronger than us. Have you seen SARS?”

By now Ramu, another forester, has also joined the discussion. He has been following the issue a little more closely. He explains to Ts, “Listen, this animal is very small. It cannot be seen by eyes. It’s an invisible dragon.”

All Ts have a hearty laugh. “Thanks for your joke, Ramu Bhaiya.”

On a serious note, Ts are curious. They are amazed that some small animal can kill men. They wonder how this is possible. They further explore and request Ramu for more information on SARS, ‘how big canine, how sharp nails, what speed…’

Ramu is not clear on details but he is good with What’s App on his mobile and read out from a post, ‘A positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus (or (+)ssRNA virus) is a virus that uses positive sense single stranded RNA as its genetic material. The positive-sense viral RNA genome can serve as messenger RNA and can be translated into protein in the host cell.’ Ramu puts his mobile back in his pocket and pretends as a genius. He adds, “You know protein, it is very powerful. It is useful in making muscles, six packs etc. My son also takes it.”

This information is leading nobody anywhere. In the meanwhile, T 35 and T 56 have arrived from Lahapur. They are tired but are happy to be able to take part in the great discussion.

In the meanwhile, a horn blows loud. Chhiter runs fast and opens the massive gate of the Park. “Namaskar, Hukum.” (“Good Morning, Boss”) is Manoj boss. He looks like a hero of 60s movies – Stocky built, balding head hidden under the hat, lines below the eyes hidden under shades, tummy is hidden below the steering wheel…

Arre Chhoro, ye kaya mazma lga rakha hai?’, Manoj pretends furious.  “Or ye gadhe yanhaan kaya kar rahe hain? (“Hai Boys, why are you crowding?” Manoj Pretends furious. “What are these asses doing here?”) Manoj is not pleased with crowd of Ts around.

He shouts at them, “Fools go away. You do not know, that one tiger has died in Amrica of Covid! This SARS is killing animals also. It may attack you also. We are worried about you guys. You are not even maintaining social distancing. If anybody sees, I would loose my job!”

Arre Chhiter, Ramu, Ghansham, Pappu… sab idher aao. Arre Bharat Sarkar ka nirdesh aaya hai. Hame apne Baghon ko monitor karna padega.  Dekhna hoga ki kisi ko Covid to nahi hai.” (“Hai Chhiter, Ghansham, Pappu… all come here. Hai, Government of India has issued an order. We will have to monitor our tigers. We will have to see, none has Covid.”)

All are wonderstruck. Is the boss joking? Is he teasing them? Finally, Chhiter collects his wits (he has been able to take some liberty with Manoj) and requests, “Hukum, Ya to NTCA Sahab ko boola lo, ya aap dikha do ki jungli Baghon ka Covid kayse confirm karna hai…” (Boss, either call boss from National Tiger Conservation Authority or you train / show us how to confirm Covid in tigers…”)

Manoj is nervous and wriggles out, “Thik hai, dekhte hain, dekhte hain, Chalo, Chai banao, Jogi Mahal pe bathte hain…” (“OK, I will see, I will see. Go make tea. We are relax at Jogi Mahal.”)

 

Pushp Jain

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer : All the characters, names and locations in this article are fictitious. Any resembles may be a matter of coincidence and not a reflection on any animal or person or location.

One comment

  1. Sunayan Sharma · May 1

    Excellent sarire dear Pushp bhai. Pl send to NTCA also for detailing their instructions for tests , precautions , Testing&treatment of the wild tigers. Let us hope the NTC A instructions are not taken seriously by any Reserve manager , conteminating the animals in the process of testing etc.
    He Ram inki buddhi ko kya ho gaya he?
    Sunayan Sharma

    Like

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