When a cabbie spoke to me about Modi for the first time, I thought it was a one-off thing. But a couple of weeks ago, another driver did the same and now I know this might become a pattern.
So it all began when he started telling me about his peaceful village in Himachal, which does not even have a road leading up to it. Not even a cycling track. You have to walk 3 km from the road to reach this village, I think he said it was in Una or called Una. We were speaking about peaceful things like how his grandparents are fit and fine at their age and how the apples from Himachal are so juicy and naturally the conversation veered towards food.
That is when it took a violent turn.
He said they hunt (shikaar) and eat deer and wild boars. I somehow managed to keep my thoughts to myself till he said that they also hunt tigers. Yup, tigers. Apparently, Modi let three of them loose in the jungle. They got one and there are three more to go. So I got all wildlife protection and endangered species on his ass. I also told him that humans are not part of their food chain. He laughed and said, let a tiger come in front of Modi and I dare him to not shoot first. He added, for good measure, that I wouldn’t fare any better in that encounter either. God forbid, were I to come face to face with the beast, he said, I would not wait to watch whether he would eat me or not. 🙂 And just like that, the subject of tigers was definitely done and dusted.