Raghav Gupta - CMU 2016 Essay Critique

The essay reflects a very graphic memory. It builds vivid pictures of the scenes from a trip to the Kumbalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary, making the reader feel like they're actually there.

The essay focusses on a lot of detail basically, helping the reader understand the feeling in the moment back then. and talks of how its a very beautiful world with all the wildlife around-that all of us love to take and see pictures of them, and of how precious they are. The wildlife- world has been misunderstood and targeted and  killed for ages.so most of wildlife is now endangered and on the verge of extinction. We, as responsible citizens of the rest of the world should understand the concept of  'Live and Let Live' and grow to become better individuals.

I guess how and what we write usually talks about the kind of person we are. and so does the above essay,speaking of the writer's sensitivity among the few things..


We parked the truck on the deserted trail and made our way through the grassy expanse on foot. Four hours and still no sign of a beak. My impatience with the grey jungle fowl was growing.  The sun was a retreating disc of orange on its westward journey, plunging into the depths of the horizon. Traversing the forest on foot, with the failing light and the lurking danger of wild beasts, wasn’t among my wisest decisions.

I trudged through the undergrowth sporting a confidence I did not feel. Then I saw a red glistening wattle protruding from a bush. My eyes widened and my heart leapt. There it was, right ahead, its head bent low as it scouted for insects and berries. Camera at the ready, I quickly began clicking, hoping to get a few good shots before it noticed my presence. My companion, an official from the forest department, kept a respectful distance, but I could sense his impatience. He wanted to get away.

Just a few more clicks I gestured, and turned back. The jungle fowl moved, hopped and flew away. Tired, frustrated and boiling with impotent rage I started to pursue it when my ears caught a faint rustling. Thinking nothing of it I continued to charge ahead, desperately parting the tall grass with my bare hands.

It was nearly sundown and I heard another rustling. I felt my companion grasp my hand, frantically trying to tug me away. ‘What?’ I almost barked at him in exasperation, but the words remained caught in my throat – for right there, not more than two hundred feet away, were two leopards. The stealth with which they had crouched right up to us had betrayed their presence.  I became aware of my trembling hands, the jelly-like substances where my legs used to be, and the trickle of sweat which was making its way down my cheek. The alarmed look on my companion’s face was no solace either.

My thought process deceived me. The fact that the Kumbalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary nestled in the Aravalli ranges in southern Rajasthan was home to these wild cats was buried somewhere in my conscience. That I could meet them head-on and completely defenceless wasn’t. And then it got worse. The sinewy cats started making their way toward us. Petrified, I knew no escape. I was staring death in the face. The duo crossed the distance between us in the span of a few heartbeats. Now they were so close that I could feel their breath on my face, as my own breathing almost stopped. And then, with one careless look at me, as I squeezed my eyes tight shut, they leapt. I fell back with a wild scream but before I knew it, they were gone; chasing the hare that they thought would make a tastier snack.

Humans have hunted beasts for centuries now as if our survival depended on it. The truth however, in stark contrast, is that animals do not strike unless provoked. If there is anyone not willing to coexist, it’s us.