Turning 50 sure has some perks, one of them being a surprise gift from my boys for a jungle safari, the catch being was having to go with a group of unknown women. So as the excitement bug bit me I went; without any apprehensions and expectations for 3 days of.........idk. They say your first ever encounter with the jungle and the Tiger is unforgettable, this I can certainly vouch for. As we entered the jungle the first feeling that hits you is that you are on someone else's territory and you definitely are the Outsider; slowly the sights and sounds around you invigorate your senses, the fresh clean air assails u. As we were driving around in search of the Tiger suddenly we heard our naturalist whisper''TIGER''and there she was in all her majesty casually sunning herself right in the middle of the path; as she languorously got up and started walking towards us. My first ever face to face moment up close and personal as she was head on towards our vehicle is what I shall never forget and is etched into my soul forever.....My first ever sighting of the magnificence of this glorious T-60 was a surreal, magical, and awe-inspiring but even more humbling moment. From then on our naturalist and Shailee gave us a treat each drive one such was Laila who played to the gallery to the hilt sunning herself, grooming herself, napping and when there was a big enough crowd to pay obeisance to her royal highness; she even did a ramp walk for us ... a full hour of sheer delight. Ranthambore has some ethereal and magical qualities about it; the birds , deer, peacocks with the lakes adding splendor, the terrain hard and unforgiving yet you don't just know when you get lucky. We sure did ; in all we got to see 8 tigers and on our last drive we were treated to an unimaginable sight of T-60's cubs. All 3 of them were as much curious about us as we were about them,proving that childhood and innocence is the essence of all beings; be it humans or animals. Our trek atop The Ranthambore fort with the mischievous langurs keeping us company lead us to the breathtaking sights of the jungle. The devout moment in the Ganesh temple along with bits of history in the remnants of the past such as the Dulha Mahal and Chatri Baari were mesmerizing.... This sojourn was one where I discovered meeting people who I had no clue about can be such fun and so liberating; these bunch of girls were the most warm, lively, helpful and appreciative of even the smallest of things. I ended up making new friends thanks to JC. Special thanks to the guide whose immense knowledge and experience made this trip so interesting. A special shout out to Shailee who spearheaded the whole thing with such elan and made sure that my first ever Jungle Calling would be a stepping stone to many more..... -Rita Choksey.