last of the great white hunters
Jungles have always fascinated me from my childhood when my grandfather was DFO at Ooty in 50s. I saw my first tiger as a five year old on the road to the upper Kargudi guest house. Then my father presented me the book Maneaters of Kumaon by Jim Corbett. I got hooked to jungles for the rest of my life. After wanderings , I settled down in Bangalorein 1987.
I bought the book Black panther of Sivanapalli in Blossoms. I tried to trace locations of Kenneth Anderson stories. Then I got the lead in the internet of fans of KA. We all gathered on a Sunday morning in Lalbaug and later at Koshys, to form the Google group of Kenneth Anderson fans moderated by Joshua Mathew. My first tripwas with Praveen Rajuladevi to Sivanapalli village . There we talked to the elders who remembered Don and his shooting abilities of hitting a coconut three times when thrown in the air. Then a local lad took us to a pond near the village, we found a herd of elephants taking bath. We had make a run when it looked like that they might charge at us.
The next step was to trace the grave of KA. We tried in Whitefield since he lived his last years there. W e could not find it there. Then an Anglo-Indian gentleman told us that it would in cemetery near Koramangala which we finally found. We tried to get in touch with Don many times. But he refused to meet us. We got an email from KAs daughter June from Australia saying the Don was hospitalized and he needs help. We traced him and helped him to get home. This broke the ice. We convinced him to come with us to Masinagudi along with Joshua, Praveen, Naveen. It was a memorable trip.
I found Don to be a thorough gentleman, a very meticulous planner, always sensitive to other fellow humans. Whoever has come into contact with Don can never forget him. We miss him a lot, his jovial manners, his jokes, his knowledge of jungles and animals. He was truly the last of great white hunters.