Showing posts from April, 2015

Food fiesta in Kolkata - Some more!

I am really the queen of procrastination. My phone memory is full of pictures I had taken at random places I had dined in, with the hope that someday I will write reviews of those places, or maybe an article on at least the food if not the place. Sigh. The pictures are languishing in their own world.

Also, I have this hopelessly bad habit of starting to write something and not finishing it. Guilt eats me away as I think of my trips made to Shillong, Wayanad, Chikmagalur, Bhadra WLS, Belur-Halebidu and repeat visits to other places.  Someday I plan to finish writing them. Just that I don’t know when. And then again, I don’t need to keep deadlines for my own blog, do I? I shall move at my own sweet pace…

Today morning, I accidentally stumbled across my phone camera images, the ones from last year that I had downloaded into a folder. A few of them jumped out, calling for attention “Hellooo, plan on writing about me?” I took a long look, jogged my memory, salivated at the thought of the foo…

Bahadur Singh, the Brave

We were on our way to BR hills last weekend. Dawn had still not broken over and it was dark and still outside as we drove through slumbering hamlets. Deta (my father) kept up a constant banter on various topics. Perhaps he was concerned by the recurrent yawns let out by the husband, who was also our sole driver.

I was meanwhile yapping away with my sister and cousins on our WhatsApp group. 

“Going to the jungle again!” I let out a whoop of joy. “Hoping to see a tiger. Let’s see if Deta’s luck works for us.”

“Be careful of elephants,” one of my cousins warned. “They might sniff out uncle and come to meet him.”

Thus, our talk shifted towards elephants. The elephants of Manas Wildlife Sanctuary.

Of Bahardur Singh, the brave, in particular.

Bahardur Singh was one of the forest department’s elephants. He was my father’s favourite - a gentle giant and a regal specimen. I remember riding on his back often in my childhood. His beauty and well-trained nature had even found him a role in the movie ‘R…

A house full of pets...

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We always had a house full of pets as long as I can remember. My earliest memories of living in Manas are filled with various sights and sounds of domestic animals and birds. There, due to the our huge residence grounds and the number of people to help us out, we had a couple of cows, a small herd of goats, two sheep, a pair of rabbits,  a number of dogs, a fish tank, several colourful pigeons and budgerigars, and a coop full of chicken. Ducks and cats missed out on being with us since they did not find much favor with my father. We also had a family of barn owls living in our attic and, well, a few bee hives in our mango trees. Intermittently, if I dig my memories further, I am reminded of seeing a domesticated purple moorhen scuttling about in our yard, a deer fawn tied to a post, a few turtles and of course, the unfortunate little tiger cub

If you think that the situation changed when we shifted from that big campus in a wildlife sanctuary to our ‘T…

Of elephants - musth and makhnas

My father has become a much quieter person after he suffered a stroke two years back. He has been with us the past three months and I see his former brilliant self only when he is out amidst nature. Unfortunately, our hectic work schedule has not allowed us to travel much this year. Somehow, we could manage brief jaunts to Old Magazine House - Ganeshgudi and Ooty, besides the weekend trips to Nandi Hills and Ranganatittu Bird Sanctuary. On such occasions, it is a pleasure to see Deta straighten up his shoulders and walk about spritely, belying his age and health. 

Last weekend, while driving to Ranganatittu, we suddenly embarked on the topic of elephants. I think the topic sparked off with the heartbreaking report of Mysore Dasara star elephant Gajendra who had killed his mahout of 20 years in a fit of musth. (Musth is a periodic condition in male elephants, characterized by highly aggressive behavior. Read more about it here.)

Deta told us how difficult it was to control elephants when…