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Rainbow Bridge - A Poem

Vanita Thakkar is an accomplished singer-composer-poetess-author; a performer since childhood; teaches music; is life-long student of music.


Rainbow Bridge

A cluster of grey, water-ladden

Clouds came drifting

Along with the somewhat strong wind,

Hid the Sun

And sent down showers

Of unexpected raindrops beneath

On the cold, gently flowing waters

Of the Manas River,

Which border

The Manas National Park –

A jungle of tall, wild grass

Stretching miles together –

And which separate

India and Bhutan.

We – a group of tourists,

On our way

To the opposite bank

Were nearly mid-way,

When my parents’ old wedding shawl

Had to be held raised

As a lame shelter

Against the unforeseen, wettening showers.

The sudden downpour

Was not to last long.

The showering clouds drifted away

And glowing sun-shine made way

Thro’ the washed, moist air

And lo !

There appeared

Bridging the two never-meeting shores

And the two alien People

A colourful rainbow !

A rare sight of beauty –

Viewed unblinkingly

From the boat below –

It lasted for a short while

And left indelible marks

Of cherished moments in our memories,

Which whenever recalled,

Give the everlasting Joy of Beauty,

And the divine message of Unity

That Nature is free from

Man-made notions of boundary.

- Vanita Thakkar (05.12.1995)

This poem narrates a real incident which took place during our visit to the Manas National Park in Assam sometime in the late 1970s.

Manas National Park is a wild life sanctuary in Assam, located at the Himalayan foothills. It is a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site, a tiger and elephant reserve and is known for being the homeland of the one-horned Assam Rhinoceros.

It is covered with elephant grass, which grows even taller than elephants at many places.

Tourists take elephant rides to go around the sanctuary. Spotting a tiger is very rare. Wild boars and rhinos are easier to sight.

The western edge of the Park is lined by the Manas River, on the opposite bank of which is Bhutan.

We visited the Manas National Park twice and this incident took place during our first visit.


Memories of our second visit to Manas ....

Our second visit in 1981 was also eventful ....

Here are two incidents that are most unforgettable ....

An Unforgettable Escape ....

On arriving at Manas, we first headed towards our Tourist Bungalow, located at a small hill on the bank of the Manas River.

Just as our vehicles, a jeep followed by a car, carrying 3-4 families, were climbing the slope, something went wrong with the jeep and it started receding backwards. The road was narrow and winding, with pits full of wild, thorny plants on both sides.

For a moment, everyone felt that the end was close .... A couple of gentlemen jumped off the jeep, to land just at the edges of the road .... The jeep driver was struggling hard ....

Just then, the car driver spotted some rocks around. He braked the car, rushed out of the car and placed some big stones to stop the jeep ....

Just a few moments before the jeep would have dashed the car, somehow, the jeep stopped and we all escaped miraculously ....

It was too difficult and too fearful to imagine what would have happened to us all. Since it is a jungle, there was hardly anyone around.

The Mahouts and staff of the Tourist Bungalow came rushing when they heard shouts. They were also fear-stricken as they saw what happened.

They helped those who had jumped out the jeeps with lifting themselves out of the thorns they had landed into and with brushing away the big wild ants that are always ready to attack ....

Whenever we remember this incident, we feel thankful to the presence of mind of the car driver .... The stones that he placed behind the jeep helped it come to a halt .... We also realize how precious and dear life is !!


The Tiger And The Doe (Female Deer) ....

Early next morning, we set out for our elephant ride.

A little ahead on our way, a pregnant doe (female deer) could not save herself from being prey to a hungry tiger.

Just as the tiger tore her stomach open, it heard the sounds of our elephants around and hid in the wild grass and shrubs around.

We spotted the freshly killed doe with her little baby in her torn stomach and wished we had arrived just a little sooner enough to be able to help her escape her fateful death.

We waited there for some time in anticipation of the appearance of the tiger, but in vain.

The sight of the dead doe and her unborn fawn are still there in our memories ....


I was reminded of my poem - Rainbow Bridge - and about our visits to the Manas National Park by Brenda Arledge's word prompt on Rainbows.

Thanks, Brenda for inspiring to write. I hope you and our other friends enjoy reading my response to your word prompt.

© 2021 Vanita Thakkar

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