June 26, 2006

Triumph-Advantage Elephant

Filed under: personal,This Gets To Me — Kaveeta Oberoi Kaul @ 11:06 pm

Have you noticed that we as humans have this tendency to break  something digestible so that we can manipulate it with our minds? Not realising that the riske heuristic has the ability to close our minds. Any interruption becomes annoyance. A fertile enough ground to breed attitudes debilitating progress.

As if breaking out of the reverie, driving down a highway, far into the wilderness, braked screechingly. There before us was this huge masterpiece of Nature, in all its glory. Ele-phant, literally meaning Huge-arch in Latin. A light as if turned on inside. We stood inquisitively looking at each other. Intently watching, as if for signs of recognition.Elephantine memory , from a previous birth maybe? Who knows. Its just that this majestic intelligent animal had a strange effect on me.

He must have been around 9 ft tall (baby?) and in absolutely no hurry to go anywhere. It was as if he had condescended to grant us a privileged ‘close up encouter’ at leisure. We looked for something to feed him, as a token of gratitude for his largesse I suppose. All we could find in the middle of nowhere were knick knacks, biscuits and such like. Placing them in his trunk seemed a daunting task. So , carefully placed them within trunkable distance! And then came the struggle to get the biscuit into the fold and into his mouth. The hilarity of the situation was unmistakable.

A few clicks on our camera with each posing with the maharajah and we were on our way, smiling at the closeness of the bond which seemed to have developed . Animals and humans, so near yet so far? What is it that has brought on the distance?

This morning, however, pain and sadness could not be pried apart. Read this report.

I somehow felt responsible and ashamed at the destruction caused by our ignorance. How could they be blamed for the horror of land grab that made them homeless and agitated. There had to be answers. As if to perpetuate the memory of my chance encounter discovered this write up by an elephant lover who has dedicated her life to their conservation. What I read there only confirmed why the bond seemed so real and tangible.

“Each one is, of course, like us, a unique individual with its own unique personality. They can be happy or sad, volatile or placid. They display envy, jealousy, throw tantrums and are fiercely competitive, and they can develop hang-ups which are reflected in behaviour. They also have many additional attributes we humans lack; incredible long range infrasound, communicating in voices we never hear, such sophisticated hearing that even a footfall is heard far away, and, of course they have a memory that far surpasses ours and spans a lifetime. They grieve deeply for lost loved ones, even shedding tears and suffering depression. They have a sense of compassion that projects beyond their own kind and sometimes extends to others in distress. They help one another in adversity, miss an absent loved one, and when you know them really well, you can see that they even smile when having fun and are happy.”

And they are now dying.. being killed for greed. I cannot bear to look at the ivory inlay table and ignore the horror that could have led to it being there. There are just about 30,000 left in India. In botswana they are being hunted out as they are perceived as a threat to the natural habitat of man!!

So the next time we go to the zoo or to a circus all we have to do is remember that an elephant grazes upto 20 hours a day in its own environment. Here it is kept in chains, without water and food to perform for ‘fools’ ( ask them what they feel about us from up there).

We as a collective people must take a stand and open our hearts and minds to obliterate ignorance that leads to destruction and finally extinction of another ‘Masterpiece Of nature”.. the gentlest and Largest of all land mammals.

Wonder what will ensue when bones of humans will sell in parity with ivory and space for humans will diminish?


  1. you know our hearts have an unlimited capacity to tolerate pain and anger…it still doesn’t stop beating…
    my bai (domestic help) told me that in lokhandwala…one of the more posh places in andheri, a 30 plus man raped a 10 year old maid at his place and then killed her and hung her and told the police that she committed suicide…
    when we are all having an elitist arguement about the reservations and status of women …a 10 year old child is getting raped instead of playing or going to school…
    i am so sorry i know that this post is for the elephants and i do feel anger and pain at that …but just couldn’t stop writing this comment…

    Comment by silbil — June 27, 2006 @ 10:51 am | Reply

  2. Wonder what will ensue when bones of humans will sell in parity with ivory and space for humans will diminish?”

    That is when the animal in us will take over, if it has not already.

    Comment by Neha — June 27, 2006 @ 2:41 pm | Reply

  3. the animal in us is all over the place naa… @ neha!

    ‘gawd’ gave us mighty brainz but soon we wud run out of optionz to keep it working coz pitted against nature we are nothing! n wit science n its binary modez of life, we wud have our own circus of sortz with the aliens clappin from afar!
    its true but all arnd in life we are all so full up wit negatives…
    paranoiac existence i feel!! wat the hell happened to our ‘better halves’.. now!! pun unintended!!:)
    all we need is a bunch of smilez!!

    Comment by der Bergwind — June 27, 2006 @ 3:38 pm | Reply

  4. Der bergwind( how goes??)
    Smilez cmng up
    Why did the blonde quit her job as a restroom attendant?

    She couldn’t figure out how to refill the hand dryer.

    An Indian migrated to America , and moved into an American neighbourhood; His American neighbour went next door to wish him welcome.He was shocked to see the man from India in his nice backyard chasing ten chickens around like mad. “Must be an Indian custom,” he thought to himself.
    Deciding he could put off the welcome till a later date, he went home.

    The next day, he decided he was going to welcome the Indian man again. When he looked through his window, he saw the Indian man urinate into a cup and drink it. “Must be an Indian custom,” he thought to himself. Deciding he could put off the welcome till the next day, he went on with other stuff.

    The third day, he was determined to welcome the Indian man. At his gate, he saw the Indian man with his ear pressed against a cow’s big fat butt. Seeing this, he became disgusted and went up to the Indian man. “I’m sorry sir, I did want to wish you a warm welcome, but I cannot stand your crazy Indian customs!” He yelled in the Indian man’s face.

    The Indian man looked confused and answered. “Sorry sir, I think you are mistaken. These are actually American customs. I was told, that in order to be a true American, you have to chase chicks, get piss drunk, and listen to bullshit.”


    Comment by doublebarrel — June 27, 2006 @ 4:51 pm | Reply

  5. hey DD.. nice maccha (tat wud be bro in tamil!) all we need is the funny bone added to the 206 we have..
    Der bergwind( how goes??)… tat in deutsch meanz the mountain wind.. n rite now its just not blowing!! wit the goan of the ac n wit all the babble of life around.. life is lookin like one big commedy-of-errorz!!
    was nice to read ur ‘scribble’!!
    to the tri-colour n the awakening of india!! cheerz!!

    Comment by der Bergwind — June 27, 2006 @ 10:57 pm | Reply

  6. silbil,
    between yesterday and today I have read twelve incidents of rape and/or murder.It beats me really! the whys and hows of it maybe another time.

    nice one:)

    quite a picture you painted there…aliens clapping et al. N heres to our ‘better halves’..cheers!! may the ‘purvai blow’ your way.

    double barrel,

    trust you to give it the missing punch.Keep up the good work.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — June 28, 2006 @ 5:37 pm | Reply

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