Men sit and stand on festal elephants during a temple celebration in Fort Cochin.
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.
As for the mahouts,
They keep a lower profile.