Tigers

From their stripes to their paws, they are worth being fascinated by and gaping at. They are elegance and power wrapped into one.

Do you know how a Tiger is raised?

On my recent trip to a Tiger Reserve and National Park, I had the opportunity to learn more about this beautiful creation of God. From their stripes to their paws, they are worth being fascinated by and gaping at. A tiger marks his territory and regularly patrols it and protects it from competitors. Each of these territories has three to four tigresses marking their own territories within. A tigress litters three to four times in her lifetime and each litter gives her anywhere from one to four cubs, usually. For the first three years of their lives these litters are under the protection of their mother who feeds them, nourishes them and educates them. She teaches them how to hunt and camouflage for safety, she teaches them to identify opportunity and strategise. If she identifies that there is a weakling amongst her litter, she terminates it for the safety of the others. It sounds rather heartless, but Darwin did say that the world functions on a ‘survival of the fittest’ model. And jeopardising the lives of the strong in order to continue supporting the weak is not something that favours life in a jungle.

Anyway, once the cubs are old and taught enough she releases them from her care and shelter. They are expected to work as individual units that moment forward. They are to explore the jungle, find a territory they’d like to call their own, challenge the one who calls the territory home at that moment and then the winner takes it all. A face off of this nature is purely based on strength; relationships being no bar. It is fairly common for a daughter to challenge her mother and a son his father, one among sisters and amidst brothers.

And hence the cycle continues…

In the wake of all this new information I realised that what a Tigress really does is that she season them for the best and the worst to come. She is accepting of the limitations of her children and doesn’t coddle her kids, instead pushes them to be better. She needs them to be better each day because she knows that her strength and glory will do nothing for their survival. While she is the legacy of someone, her litter is her legacy.

This made me think of gratification, the thin line between being pampered and spoilt, the difference between being comfortable and being unequipped. Just the mere realisation of this thought has had me viewing people, situations and stories in a very different light. I mean, I’ve begun to perceive the experiences I’ve had so far in a different light as well. It made me take a step back and analyse my stance on certain actions my parents took for me during my rebel years.. were they being strict or were they making sure that I had the qualities and skills to survive once I was out of their shelter.

What do you think?