“We don't own the planet Earth; we belong to it.” – Steve Irwin
Robin’s wallpaper was a mashup of crocodile memes with Steve Irwin’s quote embossed on top. He had always admired the Irwin family’s passion for animals and had spent hours watching their show in his teen years. He was sure that Steve would’ve been proud of the people he had inspired, people like Robin who had made the conservation of animals and nature their primary aim in life.
Robin Parashar was a uniquely named specimen of nature. His father had been a die-hard DC fan and had named his son after Batman’s favoured sidekick. Why had he not named his son Bruce after Batman himself? His father had no good explanation that wouldn’t hurt a child’s feelings. His mother, on the other hand, believed that she had agreed to naming her child after the lovely bird, European Robins. Robin liked that iteration of his name better, it gelled well with the career he was pursuing.
Robin was a wildlife documentary filmmaker, with a clear focus on the flora and fauna found within India. He had recently shot to the sort of modest fame one could expect in this field with his feature film on the Indian Wolf found in the grasslands of Saswad.
He had been contacted by Uttarakhand Tourism to create a film on the history of Jim Corbett. The film was to cover the ways in which the location had gradually become synonymous with Safaris and Wildlife as a whole in the nation.
For this purpose, he had hired a new cinematographer. This documentary was unlike the ones he had worked on before, it had a strong human aspect to it. He wanted it to reflect the difference with a change in filmmaking style. He had gone through several portfolios and hired numerous talented individuals. Finally, he had come across the diamond in the rough, Vidur.
Vidur wasn’t the most skilled in terms of cinematography. He wasn’t aware of the correct terms and the history of the profession per se. However, he had an eye for the shots which was a skill harder to perfect than incorporating filmmaker’s jargon. So, Robin had hired the young man immediately.
The two now sat in a jeep on a safari, hoping against hope to come across a tiger. They had passed the most exquisite range of birds, beautiful, feathered creatures in shades of yellow, red, and blue. They had come across a horde of elephants, magnificent and cautious. However, they hadn’t come across any tigers yet.
Robin had seen a lot of tigers, some at Zoos as a child, others at similar jungle safaris, but he was eager to spot one here. After all, the tiger was the face of Jim Corbett.
After about four hours of driving around, their guide decided to turn the jeep around and get them back to their hotel. They had only begun to move back towards their home for the next two weeks when Vidur spotted a family of tigers.
They had seemed taken aback by the sudden appearance of the humans in the jeep as well. One of the tigers stood up and walked up in front of the tiny cubs, hiding them from the people in the jeep. Vidur cautiously brought his camera up to his eye and clicked a picture.
The cubs were almost completely hidden but the tiger looked perfectly majestic in the fading daylight. Vidur turned to Robin and mouthed “Wow”. Robin nodded quietly as they drove back to the hotel.
Back in their adjoining rooms, Vidur could not stop raving about the beautiful animals. “No wonder they named them the Royal Bengal Tigers; Royal is the word I would use to refer to them as well if I were the person who spotted the first tiger in the world.”
Robin laughed and said, “Would you like a drink?”
Vidur said, “Absolutely! You carry a minibar with you?”
Robin chuckled and replied, “Yes, I’ve observed that a fantastic, chilled drink goes down quite well to end a fantastic day like this one.”
Vidur said, “I agree. Have you ordered ice?”
Robin said, “You take ice in your beer bottles?”
Vidur knotted his eyebrows and said, “Then how are the bottles ‘chilled’? Is this some famous directors only trick they don’t tell cinemats?”
Robin nodded and said, “Absolutely, we call it the Outer Woods Bottle Cooler Bag; Director’s Cut.”
Vidur said, “You are joking, right?”
Robin pointed at the olive-green bag and said, “Yes, I am joking. It is an insulated cooler bag Vidur. Anyone can get it. Here, have a beer. Relax.”
Vidur smiled and said, “Neat, I’m getting one too then.”
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