|Stephen Robert "Steve" Irwin (22 February 1962- 4 September 2006)|
After saying goodbye to my night-duties of Facebook, I have gone back to TV. And what better than my favourite ‘Animal Planet’ to spend the final hour before collapsing to the bed! Past Sunday, as I tuned into ‘Channel 19’ (which is the auspicious number housing my bestest ‘Animal Planet’), I was greeted by the ever-smiling face of Steve Irwin. Also known as the much-loved ‘Crocodile Hunter’, Steve passed away following a tragic accident on 4th September, 2006. It’s so ironic that the man who dedicated his entire life fighting for the rights of reptiles & birds got killed by a sting ray. Several sting rays were reported dead following his tragic demise (result of a public wrath), but the great man, himself, wouldn’t have wished for such a vengeance.
It was 12 midnight and Steve effortlessly got me engrossed into his show. The more I watched….the more I wondered! His smile was so infectious, his presence was so revitalizing; it was hard to believe that the man is no more…..that he left us over 5 years back. Watching him on the TV screen looked so real, and so ‘live’. Was he really dead? Yes perhaps, but only to those who have never seen his shows, never watched him cuddle a cub, never admired his effervescence, never saw him risking his own life to rescue an ailing alligator, never saw him hug a baby bear, and certainly never saw him weep over a dead crocodile!
To me and to his fans, and perhaps, even to you, he is still not dead. How can he be, when the entire animal kingdom is facing a dubious future? How can he be, when the tigers are being skinned and the crocodiles being hunted? Only he had the right to hunt them down, not to kill, but to love! The ‘Crocodile Hunter’ lives on…..The Messiah of our jungle-friends, certainly, wouldn't leave before fulfilling all his promises…..
|Steve Irwin (22 February 1962- |
I switched off the TV. A tear trickled down my face…..Was it a tear of sorrow, or of dejection, or of some eternal ecstasy? I wondered as I sank into a quicksand of emotions…..