April 21st, 2006



I was musing over the fact that, with the combination of a.being a woman and b. the bad roads of Karnataka and c. the perceived levels of safety if my car breaks down on a forest road, I cannot go off to a wildlife resort at will like most of my co-students in the Naturalists' Training Course seem to do.(This post is sparked by amoghavarsha and Sanath swanning off to BRT where they will rough it out with sleeping bags somewhere and come back, possibly jubilant about spotting a tiger too...GRRRRR!)

It then struck me that "housewife" and "wildlife enthusiast" have been, traditionally, terms that imply conflict with each other. The homemaker in the ancient past had to watch over the cattle, the flocks and the young ones, and the sight of a scorpion or a tiger or even a marauding elephant is a major threat to house and hearth and must have brought out the most primal instincts of hate and fear in her. Anything that smacked of domestication and was removed from the wild was to be welcomed. A dog that would watch over the flocks was a welcome animal, but even a bird that came to peck at the crops or provisions was a pest to be chased away.

Perhaps this is, to some extent, at the bottom of a woman's screams at the sight of a rodent or any other animal that is not completely tame and domesticated? I was telling one of my friends about the amazing sight I had just before leaving Kapila resort after the tiger census stay...I went to the common (cards and gym) room toilet and it was FULL of hundreds and hundreds of spiders, which kalyan tells me are called Daddy Long Legs. My friend shuddered and promptly said nothing would make her visit a resort like that, which didn't clean up its rooms! That was the first time I realized that my reaction to those creatures might be very different from the average feminine one..!(Not that my reaction would be very different if I felt a worm in my clothes or a leech on my leg...)