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"Tiger Tiger burning bright"

Today 29.7.2020 is Global Tiger Day - all big cats are threatened for loss of habitat and illegal trade in their body parts. The Sumatran Tiger of Indonesia is one of the most endangered. As WWF website states that Tigers in 2010 had their populations reduced to 5% of their previous populations - All tiger countries made a commitment at that time to double their population by 2022 - Chinese Year of the Tiger - when these species become extinct its an indicator of the health of an ecosystem - we are inspired by the natural world to create the surreal and mystical such as in the movie Life of Pi but remember the reality behind the myth is perhaps what matters most. After all if they have gone then we are not far behind if not physically then I wonder what we will wonder at !!

A poem by Mamta Agarwal

As a child when I went to the circus,

Though I loved the clowns and the acrobats,

I hated when the ringmaster made the animals act

And do unnatural things,

To tickle human beings.

As the tiger came out of the cage,

You could see he was in rage.

On a visit to the zoo,

Seeing the tiger roam,

I often wondered,

How does it feel

To be uprooted from your natural habitat.

The frustration was writ large on the face of the royal cat.

On growing up, and on a visit to

A family friend’s farm house,

I used to squirm to see walls decorated with tiger skins

And the conversation full of anecdotes of the kill.

I often wonder

Is that why it’s becoming extinct.

We really had no right to kill

For pleasure or greed,

Every creature has a place in the scheme of things

It’s sad today the tiger tops the list of endangered species.

I still remember the poem by Blake,

Which I read in the seventh grade.

The day is not far when those famous stripes

Will just adorn the rags of designer lines.

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