Sunday, August 1, 2010

Beauty in black stripes

It's not just now that the tiger arouses admiration. Early Sangam poetry also has frequent references to this magnificent animal

As a child, I frequently asked my mother to get me a tiger for a pet. I soon learnt that her “ok, soon”, meant “never”. I settled for hoping that I could at least pet one and now that hope too has vanished. I pander to my respect and admiration for this majestic animal by watching wildlife shows on TV!

It is difficult not to respect the tiger; its grace, majesty and consummate elegance always leave a lasting impression! No wonder that it is the national animal of not just of India but of Bangladesh too.

Ancient depictions
The tiger was also the symbol of the ancient Chola dynasty, whose territories stretched to North India, Maldives and Malaysia at one time. Travelling to some of their temples with a kindred soul, I wondered the Chola craftsmen preferred to depict lions over tigers. That train of thought led me to check references to the tiger in ancient Tamil literature. The tiger finds frequent mention in these texts.

Full report here Hindu

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