The Tiger Boy Story: The heroic saga of the tribals is narrated even today in the tribal-dominated area of Bastar. People of different tribes of tribals are still present in the dense forest of Abujhmad, who are famous all over the country for their bravery stories. One of them was ‘The Tiger Boy Chendru’ of Chhattisgarh. Chendru died in the year 2013 at the age of 78, but the story of the friendship of Tiger and Chendru is still famous.
A Hollywood movie has also been made on Chendru. The name of the movie, based on the story of friendship of Chendru and Sher Tiger, who lived at the age of 10, is ‘The Jungle Saga’, which went on to become an Oscar winning film. In this, Chendru of Bastar was the hero. When the movie ‘The Jungle Saga’ of about 75 minutes ran on the cellulite screens of all European countries, people became crazy about Chendru and Chendru became a Hollywood star overnight.
Chendru and Tiger were friends since childhood
Hemant Kashyap, an expert in Bastar, told that the Tiger Boy Chendru, popularly known as Mowgli in Chhattisgarh, was no less than a wonder for the whole world. The tribal youth, Chendru Mandavi, always played with the tiger in his childhood and used to spend most of his time with him. Chendru was very famous all over the world in the 60s. The best aspect of his life was his friendship with Tiger. The two always lived together. Both used to eat food together and play together. Hemant Kashyap says that 60 years ago, Chendru had drawn the attention of the whole world to himself.
People from France, Sweden, Britain and every corner of the world used to reach Bastar just to have a glimpse of him and to capture a picture of him in his camera. Bastar’s Chendru became famous as Tiger Boy and Mowgli all over the world. The villagers living in Abujhmad tell that Chendru Mandavi was from a tribal family living in Garhbengal village of Narayanpur district. His father and grandfather were hunters. One day they brought a gift from the forest. Chendru was very excited to see the gifts hidden in the bamboo basket. That gift was a friendship that changed Chendru’s life.
When the basket was opened in front of Chendru, he found something beyond his imagination. There was a child of a lion in the basket, seeing which Chendru embraced it by his neck. Tiger and Chendru’s good friendship started from this meeting. Chendru named his friend Tembu. He always used to walk with Tembu in the village forest, catch fish in the river and also play with other animals in the forest.
Oscar winning film on Chendru
It is said that this story of Chendru and Tiger’s friendship started spreading from village to village and then one day he reached abroad. When Sweden’s famous film director Aren Saksdorf came to know about this story, he came straight to Bastar. After coming here, I saw a scene in which a human and a tiger are friends of each other and there is no enmity between them. Seeing such a scene, the director decided to show it to the whole world. Influenced by the friendship between Tembu and Chendru, in 1957 the famous Swedish filmmaker Aren Saksdorf made a film about Chendru and the pet lion Tembu called ‘The Jungle Saga’.
The film was a huge success at the international level. This film made a splash all over the world. The film was shown about the friendship of Chendru and his friend Tembu Tiger. Chendru did the role of the hero of this film. Staying in the village, the director did the entire shooting of the film in 1 year. This film made Chendru famous all over the world. Hemant Kashyap told that Aren Saksdorf wanted Chenderu to also see the place from where he had come. They took Chendru to Sweden with them. Sweden was a different world to Chendru. Here director Aren gave him the atmosphere of a family. He kept him at his home and his wife Astrid Saksdorf looked after Chenderu as her own son.
Published a book titled ‘Chendru the Boy and the Tiger’
Astrid was a successful photographer. During the shooting of the film, he took many photographs of Chendru and published it in a book called ‘Chendru the Boy and the Tiger’. Chendru stayed in Sweden for about 1 year and during this time he got a lot of recognition, but after a year, Chendru returned home and after reaching Mumbai, he met the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. He asked Chendru to study but Chendru’s father called him back. When Chendru returned to his village in Bastar, Tembu Tiger died a few days later.
After Tambu left, Chendru started feeling sad and he slowly returned to his old life and then went anonymous. Living the life of oblivion, Chendru Mandavi said goodbye to the world in the year 2013 at the age of 78. After his departure, the idols of Tembu and Chendru were installed in the jungle safari in the capital Raipur. Along with this, a park is also present in Narayanpur in the name of Chendru. Even though Chendru did not live in this world, but even today his discussion is on every tongue of the people of Bastar. On 18 September, the 9th death anniversary of Chenderu was celebrated in Bastar.