"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)

elephants

Time At The Temple: Part 4

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Parasoled.

Men sit and stand on festal elephants during a temple celebration in Fort Cochin.


Mother And Infant

I didn’t see anything at first.

We had just emerged from the bamboo forest and it was Simon, our driver, who gestured for silence.

Initially only the adult could be made out clearly.
But as she gained confidence and moved closer, we could see the baby beside her.

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It was a time of shyness,

Reassurance

And hiding from the sight of strangers,
As with any young child.

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Then the magical moment was over. They both retreated back into the forest, as silently as they had arrived

I have seen almost countless numbers of working elephants.
But this was my first sighting of Indian elephants in the wild.

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Through The Wilds Of Wayanad

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Our route from Calicut climbed the Western Ghats into the Wayanad hills.

There we stopped for refreshment while Simon, our driver, phoned ahead to arrange bookings for the night’s accommodation.

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We came across a couple of mahouts with their elephant. 

All were busy washing.

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Our journey then continued through avenues of bamboo,

Into the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu.

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Elephant Boys

This festival included elephants, each bearing three or four young men.

The boys are not mahouts, they are performers. Their role is almost that of cheerleaders.

They hold aloft the brightly coloured silk parasols.

From atop the elephants, they display decorated white woollen fleeces and peacock feathers in a carefully choreographed routine, which adds further drama to the musical crescendos.

But as the small orchestra quietens

The boys slip into laughter, conversation or their own private thoughts.

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As for the mahouts,

They keep a lower profile.

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Serendipity

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Among the many joys of life in India

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Are frequent unsought moments of intense happiness.

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Such as when I briefly pop out to my local shops

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But surprisingly find myself

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In the midst of sheer spectacle:

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One of the myriad Hindu festivals.

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I stumble into the grace and beauty of music, drama, dance and devotion

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When all I had been seeking was hand towels…

Welcome to my Incredible India!

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“Whether we name divine presence synchronicity, serendipity, or graced moment matters little. What matters is the reality that our hearts have been understood. Nothing is as real as a healthy dose of magic which restores our spirits.”

Nancy Long

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We are indebted to the English author Horace Walpole for the word serendipity, which he coined in one of the 3,000 or more letters on which his literary reputation primarily rests. In a letter of January 28, 1754, Walpole says that “this discovery, indeed, is almost of that kind which I call Serendipity, a very expressive word.”

Walpole formed the word on an old name for Sri Lanka, Serendip. He explained that this name was part of the title of “a silly fairy tale, called The Three Princes of Serendip: as their highnesses traveled, they were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of….”

From thefreedictionary.com

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