The Heart of Jungle

Baloo doing a jig with Mowgli and Bagheera while warbling The Bare Necessities in the 1967 Disney adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book is like a warm mug of coffee on a winter evening. And yet, the success of the film, while ensuring wider recognition for Kipling’s masterpiece, also does it some disservice. The Jungle Book is so much more than the story of a human child adopted by feral jungle creatures and fighting off a big bad Bengal tiger.

But let us add some trivia to provide perspective. If you drive along National Highway 7 from Nagpur, towards Jabalpur, if you take a left off it at Khowasa and drive down a road wending past a village named Turia, you will arrive at the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation guest house called Kipling’s Court. Curiosity, by this point, will have been piqued because you will have seen several resorts named after Mowgli and other characters from The Jungle Book. Kipling’s Court is a minute’s drive from the Turia gate into Pench Tiger Reserve Forest, a part of which has formally been designated the Mowgli Pench Sanctuary.

Rudyard Kipling based his stories on legends of the forest animals. He told stories of wonderful innocence and inspirational humanity through the actions of animals and laid the groundwork for concepts such as animal rights long before they achieved mainstream relevance. To know The Jungle Book is to love the bravery of Rikki-Tikki- Tavi the mongoose and the grace of Toomai the elephant herder, to find Akela a father figure no less amazing than Atticus Finch and to feel indignant that Kaa the python was portrayed as a bumbling and inept villain in the Disney flick when, in the book, he is a wise, magnetic guide for Mowgli.

More than a century after it was first published, The Jungle Book remains one of the most loved and yet under-explored classics about the complexity and beauty of the relationship between man and nature.Long before magic was scars on the head, it was a man-child finding his humanity from wolf-packs, a black panther, a sloth bear and a python. Revisit it, recommend it. You can’t go wrong.

Bagheera

ckyw eksxyh ds lkFk vB[ksfy;ka dj jgk gS tcfd c?khjk y; esa xkuk xk jgk gS] :M;kMZ fdifyax dh ^n taxy cqd* ij vk/kkfjr 1967 esa fMt+uh }kjk cukbZ xbZ fQ+Ye ^n cs;j uslsflVht* lfnZ;ksa dh vylkbZ ’kkeksa esa dkWQ+h ds xeZ di dh Hkkafr yxrh gSA ;|fi fQ+Ye dh lQyrk ls fdifyax dh egku d`fr dks O;kid igpku feyh ysfdu ;g ;gha rd lhfer ugha gSA ^n taxy cqd* oU;thoksa }kjk ekuo ds cPps dks xksn ysus ,oa csgn cqjs caxky Vkbxj ls la?k”kZ dh et+snkj dgkuh ls c<+dj Hkh cgqr dqN gSA
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By : Rajarsi Bose

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