I stepped into the canter. It was 6:15 in the morning. I could feel the cold engulfing my body inch by inch. My legs had turned to ice and the weather was not showing any sympathy. When the canter started moving it was like a war. The canter fighting through the wind and moving forward while the inwardly rushing wind slicing through us in return. I was not thinking, not moving. Everything was blurred. As if the whole world and time itself had stopped but somehow we were still moving.
We finally entered the forest and were mesmerized by the sudden change in the air, in the surrounding and the general aura of the place. As if the gate to the forest had been a gate dividing two completely different worlds which were existing right next to each other. Everything was quiet and there was a feeling of existence of exotic life that now hung in the air.
We started moving, driving deeper and deeper into the forest. There were trees of different colours ,shapes and sizes all around. Some a fresh green depicting summer, some ice cold depicting winter and some green with bright red flowers giving the feeling of autumn. All different but still co-existing . I realized how beautiful nature is on the outside and the inside. We humans could learn so much from it if we tried. From the canter I could see the distant chocolate brown mountains standing tall in front of the ice blue sky, where dawn was breaking.
We could hear the twittering of the sparrow and the “ DID YOU DO IT!” of the lapwing. Two beautiful sounds together making a harmonious melody.
The bright yellow of the grass below matched that of the sun overhead.
Now moving at a steady pace, we could see hundreds of langoors playing in the trees high above and spotted deer eating the grass below. We interrupted a fight mid air between two bucks. Suddenly, we heard an alarm call which scythed right trough the tranquility of the forest with its sharp notes. Everyone, humans and animals, were on red alert. The feeling of death and anxiety now hung in the air. We were all holing our breath and waiting. At first nothing happened then as if mocking us all it appeared from somewhere in the dark holds of the forest. The magnificent beast took our breath away. Its sheer beauty bewitched us all. The orange black stripes standing out against the deep green of the jungle. The yellow eyes watching us but showing no mercy. Its strength and ferociousness was felt by us all.It was no mistaking that he was the king of the jungle. Soon it disappeared into the forest again. We were all content now as we had seen the main attraction, the tiger.
As we reached the end of the ride, we saw many exotic birds. The peacock, covered with vibrant colours and a neck which was a deep and magical blue.
The colours were purer than I had ever seen before. The kingfisher, which had pale yellow and blue feathers , looking pretty next to the green of the water. Last but not the least we saw the snake bird. It had a long black neck which moved flawlessly and with a lot of grace just like a snake.
We finally passed through the gates again and entered the other world ending our trip to the forest with just memories to remind us of it.