Hunting (?) a tiger in Rajasthan’s jungle

Kailash Mathur


Kailash Mathur, called Chanda by his parents, is an electrical engineer, who was born in in 1942 Tijara, which is even now a very small city in Rajasthan. He lived in East Germany from 1965 to 1971, where he married Annemarie, a German, in 1969. Since 1971, he has lived in Vienna, Austria. He became a widower when Annemarie died of cancer in 2004.

Long, long ago, once my father asked me to come with him for Shikar (hunt). It was a special event. As a senior government officer responsible for the safety of the people, he had been asked to kill a tiger. This tiger must have been a menace to some village, and the tiger had to be killed. It may have been the jungle surrounding Alwar or may be Jhalawar. I was barely old enough to go with Daddy, and do not remember the exact year, but it was in the early 1950s.

Before we went for Shikar, Daddy’s gun (a two barrel 0.12 bore gun) had to be cleaned. It was a regular activity at our home\; an unclean gun can kill the shikari (hunter) rather than the Shikar. There were special tools for doing that\; I remember a rod and a flannel cloth. The gun also needed oiling, as all joints of the gun must function perfectly.

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