Friday, July 31, 2009
What's in the trunk?
The Indian media was agog with the news about an elephant, a young tusker, that ran riot through a film set (read). The elephant gored its mahout to death before ravaging the sets of the movie Ravana being directed by well-known director Mani Ratnam.
Of course, most channels immediately sought to reassure their (worried?) viewers that the stars of the movie, the famous cant-seem-to-get-out-of-your-face couple Abhishek and Ash, were safe and sound. I, however, seemed to be in the insignificant minority desperate for news on the fate of the elephant. Finally, one sensible channel informed me that the elephant was tranquilized. I heaved a sigh of relief. Invariably, the first reaction to any rogue elephant (or leopards that stray into towns, or mongrels that nip an interfering kid) in our land of non-violence is to club it to death. So this was a relief to hear.
The reason for the elephant's rage was musth. Ducky, like a lot of men out there, must be familiar with the phenomenon. I believe its equivalent in women is called PMS.
I was reminded of a picture I snapped during my recent trip to Jaipur. Elephants being made to give tourists a joyride in that scorching 45+ degree desert heat. They plodded along the burning tar roads, quite placidly tolerating the jabs and hoots of their mahouts. I felt immensely sorry for them, watching them amble along, desperately trying to keep themselves cool by spraying their own saliva on themselves with their trunks.
The greatest affront, however, could possibly be what I captured with my camera. Some busybody prying at the elephant's backside, trying to find who-knows-what, the Jaipur jewels? Take a closer look at that picture and tell me what you think he's trying to find! (For the more tech-challenged lot who haven't figured out how to leave a comment yet, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Anyway, if that pachyderm had run amok after that, I couldn't blame it. Anyone would be super pissed off if complete strangers came poking at their backsides! Wouldn't you be?