I mean like really ... who does ?? But I did .. and although the incident totally shook me up for hours .. I have come to realize that it was a sign really from the universe ... they say a black cat crossing your road is bad luck .. id like to believe a big leopard crossing my path will bring positive energy my way in abundance. And I can already feel it.
So this is what exactly happened. For a week now, my scooter had been given for repairing at this place in Jawalakhel. Every time I went to pick it up they'd say it wasnt mended yet and my friends would drop me off home instead. But today , it was ready for me to take it home. And so I did. Met my friends for some coffee and conversations, picked up corn flour from the market for my brother and headed home.
8:30ish in the evening I fueled the scooty tank with some petrol and as always began my journey home, singing away. That is how I probably must have trained my vocal chords in the first place. One because i love singing , two because I live 25 kms away from the city .. its a long ride .. i need some entertainment , i have no ipod and so I sing to myself. In many occasions , I get a lot of by passers mostly motorcycle riders ogling at me with fascination some simply making fun of me for singing so loud ... its embarrassing for a few moments yes .. but at the end i pat myself saying, okay not the best way to do it but at least i made someone smile today.
Any way moving along to what happened to me today ... so I was riding along the road leading to Godavari and just about minutes before I reach home there is a stretch that I have always been particularly a little scared of.
You know me as a person and you will know that nothing really scares me or rather I dont give anything or anyone so much of privilege to scare me. Not darkness, not ghosts, not even people ... but this particular dark, densely forested lane always did infuse a little fear in me everytime .. in fact I have told this to many of my friends. Many of my friends who often stand at disbelief when I say that I used to get home as late as 1 am in the morning when I was working for this Daily Newspaper.
And they'd ask , "dar lagdaina" .... and id go .. kaile pani darr lagena .. except for that small stretch before i reach home .. that lane is scary .. because there is no human settlement there. Id be damned if my scooter broke down around there.
And it was the same lane that i had witnessed the oh-so-regal leopard today. I have seen big wild hares in that same place .. running along with my scooty. In the same little stretch once when i was returning home at about 10 at night ... an owl literally flew a little above and infront of my scooty. The reason that I encountered so many animals in the same stretch clearly points the fact that before human intruded this place , this was a dense animal hub. That ... or these animals just like me too much lol ..
But the interesting detail perhaps is that ... I have been riding my scooter since I was 18 years old and now almost 5 to 6 years of riding the same scooty in the same street I never saw those animals .. its only off late that ive been seeing a lot of them ... the year 2010-2011 and today , oh today was an absolute stunner.
Singing , bobbing my head as I rode my scooty ... this almost 5 feet long leopard crossed the road right infront of me. Had I reached the place even 2 seconds earlier I would have crossed the leopard path's instead ... and I dont know what would have happened then. I just know that i wouldnt have been able to save myself ... because the animal was just so huge.
It walked in its own royal pace ... the sound or the lights from my ride did nothing to bother the animal ... my lights that shone against its skin helped me clearly see all the beautiful , spikelike patterns in its body ... royal golden in color with black sharp knife like black imprints ... ahh so beautiful .. and the irony is perhaps the fact that i have always been such an admirer of leopard prints.
The animal walked across the street and jumped over the fence of some house like it was taking a stroll in its backyard. The entire incident that is taking me forever to put into words actually perhaps lasted not more than 3 to 4 seconds ... but surely it has left an impression on my mind that will last forever.
You know the average probability for any human to encounter a leopard in this world is 0.000000003333 . I am now a part of that ratio ... and I feel lucky in that sense.
And the funny thing is when that leopard was walking infront of me ... my scooter did not slow down a bit , i continued it in my own pace and so did the leopard. Well i did stop my singing and along with it my heart stopped beating for a while i guess because just after a few moments tears started rolling down my eyes and i still cant figure out why.
Was it because I was scared or that because I felt lucky to see something so extraordinary or because I felt my emotions intensifying so much that I couldnt contain it within myself. But one thing was for sure .. that I did discover a new found respect for my life.
So yeah ... now here I am starting my blogging adventure .. and this extraordinary experience is my first entry. The leopard inspired me in so many levels today and am grateful the universe and mother nature sent it my way.
Until my next entry ... its a goodbye. Hope you enjoyed reading.