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Sunday, February 08, 2009

My Favourite Place to be - Finale

This is the third and last part of the series on B.R.Hills that has excerpts from Adu's diary. I got so much flak over my explanatory notes in the last two entries that I have decided that I will only introduce this update and stay silent.
Adu was thrilled over all your comments, oral and written (that I dutifully conveyed to him).
Excerpt from Adu's diary:
We went on the morning safari, but since we never saw anything, I shan't write about it. But we did go birdwatching and the first we saw was an ashy drongo. It is smaller than a crow and comes, unlike the crow, in many shades of black. It's underside is, unlike most drongos, pale grey. It has the typical forked tail and a curious glare. We heard the grey tit, a call like a sparrow's, magnified wonderfully. We saw the palebellied drongo, a drongo which is just like the ashy drongo, except for, as the name suggests, the snow white underside.
We also saw lots of grey wagtails which perched everywhere.
Then we went for the evening safari. That was when all the excitement happened. A pond on one side, and vegetation on the other. As we were going along, there was one elephant on the vegetation side. A female and she was alone. Then we saw the others, like pieces or rock moving. And then we moved forward. The elephants got together and pushed the babies behind and the elders in front, making a big, undestroyable wall in front of us. They sniffed each other, making sure there were no traitors, and their usually flapping, mobile ears had flattened themselves against their bodies.
Animal Planet had educated me well. It would not be the sort Valmik Thapar experienced, but I knew. They were going to charge. I was at the front, but I had turned fully around, kneeling on the seat. I would not have been surprised if my tongue was hanging out. Then the matriarch broke the formation. Ten tons of muscle, fat and a bone crushing trunk came running towards us faster than a chital. We zoomed down the path and waited. Then Narayan uncle looked at us and said: "The elephants or back home?" Mamma, me and daddy were all for the elephants. The Narayans were secretly hoping we would choose the elephants. Only Pappu uncle, Heena aunty, and Yash and Krusha opposed us. It was five against four. After much coaxing, Pappu uncle changed sides. 6 against 3. Yash started crying. Then daddy spoke in the way a general might a new cadet: "Yash, we're wasting time." (Editor's remark: Good lord! Do I sound like that?).

With the expression of an innocent man being led up to the gallows, Yash nodded. We went up beside the elephants. A smaller elephant, with the end of his trunk curled around some grass trumpeted and ran to us. He pushed his trunk towards us to shoo us away. The elephant trumpeted again. The Narayans leant back relaxing. They might have been sunning themselves on a beach. Then Yash started hyperventilating. "Uncle lets get home, lets get home," he whimpered. So we started. I pride myself on knowing that we went straight along the path that we were going, we would come to the camp. Then Narayan took a turn.
We went on for sometime and stopped. "Now," said Narayan uncle, "forget about sightings. Just look at the jungle. We stirred ourselves and looked about us. The beauty of it suddenly came down. No one had cut up the lantana but it grew sparsely. The canopy had grown, untamed, untouched. Untained by civilization. People describe twilight in the jungle as scary, but it wasn't. It was sleepy, peaceful. No real path. Only some dirt cut out of the flourishing vegetation. Narayan brought us back to the jeep by asking "Do you know where we are?" We nodded. "We are in the core zone," he said simply, grinning out at us, his grey eyes twinkling. I couldn't believe my ears. Centenarians have prayed for every moment of their lives just to get their wrinkled noses on the fringes of the legendary core zone. Then we saw our first bison.He was a bull. Never mind six pack abs, he had 18 pack abs. We came out of the core zone and then the third excitement of the evening came along.
A forest department vehicle had skidded and fallen into the ditch. After much unheeded shouting, the jeep was got out, it went on its way and we on ours.
In the excitement of the wildlife I have not told you what happened at the camp itself. In the first place were the pickpocket monkeys.
The pickpocket monkeys got their names because we gained their trust. We had a lot of monkeys in the camp and we fed them a few things. Bananas, bread, biscuits; everything worked. At first, we could only feed the big ones, because the little ones were either too scared or got chased away. But we soon learnt to be sneaky. One of us would feed the big ones, thus distracting them and another person would feed the little ones. The monkeys, slowly, warily became friendly. The underdogs, or rather the undermonkeys came first, until the whole troop accepted us.In their eyes we were now monkeys. I'm proud to say they trusted me first, so I saw a lot.
Another thing was the babies. They were cute, curious and extremely innovative. If you were lucky, you could catch them playing when all the tummies are full so that they could aford to be picky.
An adult would pick up a stick and finding nothing interesting about, it would fling it away. A baby would pick it up and all the babies would come over. On an impulse one baby would snatch the stick and run up a tree. The others would give shouts of apparent rage and race up the tree. And then the one with the stick would go down, where he would be rugby tackled and the next monkey who got it would again repeat the procedure until they all got tired and came to me for titbits. If they didn't find anything, they would do as their name suggests. One hand would hold the pocket open gingerly while the other hand would dig through the pocket, pulling out every last crumb.

By the end of our visit, I had become a part time member of "Tail-loss's" troop.
End Excerpt.


Casti and Coito said...

My Dear Adu,
I am amazed at the way you write. What really made me love your excerpt is the way you expressed your views on the trail.. the Elephants, Bison’s and monkeys. I am proud of you sweetheart and I will be hooked on to read more about your tales.
Much love and awaiting many more experiences.

molarbear's posts said...

Adu writes very well; makes even ordinary things so interesting! Enjoyed this account very much. Particularly his observations on his dad! "Like a general to a cadet"!!

deponti-on-LJ (I am not using open id as it means filling things in etc and I am too lazy to do that.)

Jungle Lodges said...

lovely promised its up on the JLR blog and will be soon up in clay ..

Lubna said...

Hi Adu,
You are extremely talented. Keep up the good writing and the drawings. Of course, a big thanks is due to your Mum and Dad for introducing you to nature and all its wonders.
Best wishes,

travel plaza said...

Great to see Adu's diary chronicled here!! Adu, you have you mom's and dad's gift for writing. Keep up the good work. Kashyap, Satya, Mamma and I all wish you the very best and look forward to more of your writing.

Annayya, I did check out your website. It is wonderful. I am very happy for you. I can see you're doing what you love to do. Keep it going and I look forward to seeing you all soon:-) said...

I am really amazed at the clarity of expression in writing by Adu. We are sure, Adu has a great future in what he loves best. Congratulations to you Adu and to your parents. We certainly would be plesed to see more of your writing. Keep it up.

Grandpa and Grandma