Prof. Dr. Gazi Abdulla-hel-Baqui: (The event of this tiger hunting is true and collected by the writer.)
Abdul Hye is an inhabitant of Tafalbari union under Sharonkholaupozila. He has a large family of three wives and nine children. Besides being a petty landlord, he has taken up hunting as his profession. He has a big garden of bettlenut trees that offers him a large amount of taka every year.
Abdul Hye is a brave and energetic person. The lust for hunting in the Sundarbans gripped his mind since his early youth. Abdul Hye was then a boy of twenty. He started shooting down both big and small tigers and animals. It was a great event of a day that indeed changed the course of his life. One day a Colonel and a Major came to visit the forest and they needed an expert jungle-guide. Abdul Hyehappened to act as their guide. They had a big speedboat which the three people got in. Abdul Hye was given a gun that he held like an expert hunter. The boat was plying her solitary furrows very speedily inside the dense forest. Suddenly Hye turned his eyes and on the left found two male deer engaged in hea-on-fighting. The gun in the hand of Abdul Hye boomed within a moment and his target was between the two horny heads of the deer. The success was obvious. The heads of the two deer were severely wounded by the splinters and they succumbed to death. Both Colonel and Major became very happy at the victory of Abdul Hye. They stopped their boat, got on the shore and took the deer hunted by Hye into the boat. Again the boat speeded up on the silent waters of the jungle river. The military officers recognizing Hye’s hands as an expert hunter’s presented him with that very gun. They were simply astonished to have seen the two deer shot down from a boat highly speeded up. After this event Abdul Hye earned his fame as a hunter in the localities surrounding the jungle. In fact, this incident enthused the mind of Hye to start a professional life of a hunter. Gradually he grew so restless that his days hardly glided without hunting.
Once it so happened that Abdul Hye was locked in hand -to – hand fight with a man eater. It was indeed a thrilling adventure, engendering blood-curdling terrors. There was a forest office at Tafalbari under Sharonkhola range. A tremendous man – eater raised terror around the office. Many a forest -goer fell to its prey. An uncle and a relative of Abdul Hye were also the victims of this man-eater. And this created a wild revenge in the mind of Abdul Hye.
It was the month of Kartic. The sky was cloudy sending thunder-bolts off and on. The tide was full in the rivulets flowing inside the jungle. Hye Mia went on flanked by three co-hunters, but they had only one gun held by Abdul Hye. Meanwhile blackness of the dark enveloped the entire forest. In such a grim atmosphere they looked for the man – eater in all the suspected areas till one o’clock at night. During this long time no deer filled their sight. They sensed that the tiger was moving, covering an area of about ten square miles. Every person of the team had a torch light that flashed across the murky forest in quest of the tiger. Generally the tigers hide themselves within Josori creepers, inside bushy tall grass and woody Gol leaves. They traversed many trackless spots, but no trace of the tiger was detected. Thus they became exhausted and were thinking of returning.
Suddenly a little way off, a thumping sound was heard in the water. Hye made his co-hunters get to be alert. He also asked them not to make any signs of movement. Hye Mia alone advanced a few step towards the sound. His torch light flashed through the shrouded dark on the front and he found two tigers along with a cub walking in the water about forty cubits ahead of him. Hye Mia was startled to observe this rare scene of three tigers at a time– a tiger, a tigress and a cub. He came to encounter one tiger but now he had seen that he had to face three beasts of a Royal Bengal family. Hye Mia was not a person to lose heart. The three co-hunters approached stealthily and stood behind Hye Mia. Meanwhile an unbearable obnoxious smell from the body of the tigers trickled their nostrils. Hye Mia stopped inside the bushy Josori creepers very carefully. Only five cubits ahead three ferocious members of the jungle Royal family were standing. Their eyes were glittering like the flames of fire. The tigress was almost ten feet long and the tiger was of twelve feet where the cub was about two cubits. In fact, it was a rare scene of a tiger family provided by the jungle environment and Hye Mia was lucky enough to enjoy this spectacle gleefully. It may happen that a hunter throughout his life may not have a chance to see a tiger. A forester serving for ten years in the jungle may not seize a fortunate moment to see a tiger.
The torch light in the hands of Hye Mia lit the front thorough the apertures of the creepers. Before the ferocious beasts could turn their heads, Hye Mia pulled the trigger. The loud report broke the shimmering silence all around. The huge tiger fell prostrate on the muddy water. And the tigress raising a violent roar made a long leap over the head of Abdul Hye and fell on the ground among the co-hunters. With a sharp turn Hye Mia aimed at the tigress. But his companions loudly forbade him to shoot because they were standing within the range of the gun. Within moments they climbed up the nearby trees. The tigress disappeared in the dark. On the other hand the cub was taken aback losing its parents. It quickly ran between the legs of Hye Mia in order to save itself from the hands of the human enemy. Seizing this opportunity Hye Mia pressed the cub with the help of his two legs but he could not continue it. Because his hands holding a torch and a gun were not free to catch hold of the baby tiger. The restless tiny beast hurling a little ferocity scratched on the feet of Abdul Hye and after a fidgety effort of the body it could release itself from Hye’s hold and ran after the tigress.
The tiger receiving the bullet fell down but did not die. The fresh blood mixed with the water emitted bad smell. Hearing a sound Hye Mia could not advance, rather he climbed up a tree and was waiting for dawn. After the sun rays had touched the tops of trees, Hye got down from the tree and started searching the wounded tiger. This time he made a mistake by leaving the gun with one of his companions. He was moving alone empty- handed. He thought what a tiger pierced by the bullet could do to him. The hunter almost reached near the beast sitting depressed inside the leaves and creepers. The tiger in such a position noticed Abdul Hye with its blinking eyes but the hunter was not aware of it. As soon as Abdul Hye came within its reach, the tiger quickly jumped on him. The balance of the body of Abdul Hye toppled and so he fell down and the tiger was busy to inflict a deadly attack on him. Though the strength of the beast was gradually ebbing out, it was trying to give him a severe bite with its mouth agape. But it could not open its mouth fully as it got hurt of the bullet on the left eye. The brave hunter, in addition, was pulling the jaws of the tiger employing his might to the fullest so that it might not bite him. In profuse anger the tiger slapped on his left eye with one of its paws. As a result Abdul Hye’s left eye and left jaw were severely wounded and dislocated. The eye came out of its socket and was hanging. The left part of his nose was also torn away. A profuse ooze of fresh blood flowed down. His three companions with the gun ran straight to the nearby forest office and were panting. Hye Mia’s loud cry could not receive any response. Scratching here and there across the body of Hye, the enormous beast in death-throes left the injured hunter and paced forward and then fell down toppling.
After this terrible fight, both the beast and the human were lying on the ground. Abdul Hye gradually regained his strength and got up. Tearing apart a piece from his shirt he managed to bind his wounds on the face. He found that the tiger had already died. He stood up and walked to the river. The blood kept a-dripping and wetted his shirt. Disregarding the fear of the tigress Hye Mia kept standing on the river shore and that he was lucky to get a boat then and there. The boatman took Hye Mia to the forest office. Seeing the living presence of Abdul Hye his companions got confused because they thought he had already been killed by the tiger. Hye Mia became furious and attacked them with abusive language ” You scoundrels, I was dying where you ran away with the gun. Now I will kill you all.’ The three people left the place and ran away. Hye Mia was treated at a clinic in Khulna called Care Home and at last Islamia Eye Hospital at Dhaka. Hye Mia lost his left eye forever but he heaved a sigh of relief that he could kill a ferocious wild foe to man.