News reports said the locals were scared and had threatened to kill any tiger unless rangers from nearby wildlife parks didn’t immediately catch and relocate them. When we arrived Varghese told us that just last week a tiger had been spotted drinking water from a stream 100 metres from the house.
We traversed a small tree-covered hill where Rangit pointed out fresh tiger scat. Then we found deep scratches in the bark of one of the trees. Rangit seemed pleased. We stopped to observe a perfect pugmark.
“Tiger is here, maybe one hour,” said Rangit.
Remember this: everywhere in India it is your duty to try to get off, get on, get out, get in, go up or come down first. And it is the norm to stand so close to the person in front of you that you touch them with every bit of your body. This innocent frottaging happens in queues for tickets, queues in shops, queues for the lift (getting in and out), queues in the airport, queues for taxis, queues for the ferry … you get my drift. I must add that I use the term ‘queue’ loosely.
Kerala’s hill station has more to offer than tea. Eravikulam was declared a sanctuary in 1975 and upgraded in 1978 to a national park, in part due to its unique flora and fauna.