Thursday, 6 February 2014


At last the much awaited day arrived,the day when I could obtain a few day's parole from the tense atmosphere of the hospital.
.' Bruce lee '(my car) and I were off in search of adventure.

Bruce Lee and myself
We soon reached the forest.My intention was to photograph elephants,and if possible,to obtain a photograph of an elephant chasing me.
Parking Bruce Lee near the forest check post,I set out in search of elephants.But as luck would have it,not a single elephant could be seen.Apparently the species had somehow become extinct.I searched the entire jungle which normally teems with these unpredictable giants.But this time,I had run out of luck.Apparently,the severe drought had forced them to migrate to greener pastures.A few evidences remained of their activity,

                               but certainly not recent enough to warrant my continuing my search.


A large ,ancient termite mount used by elephants to sharpen their tusks 

It was pretty bleak,not having elephants around when you have come a long way looking exclusively for them.As I stood wondering what else to do,my eyes fell on a small troop of grey langur, foraging near the forest fringe.These large,handsome primates prefer deciduous forests and are fascinating to watch.
''To hell with the elephants!These monkeys are far more beautiful and interesting,''  I thought to myself as I walked in to the forest to join them.
But,they were wary of my intentions and made it clear that they didn't need company.

One baby-sitting female made it clear that she wasn't going to put up with unwanted elements like myself.
  But an hour later,rapport was established and  I was right in their midst,a troop member,a real Hanuman langur!Now that I had been accepted as a new recruit,the langurs resumed their foraging ,unmindful of my
presence.The baby sitter was finally relieved of her burden when the infants true mother finished her feeding and returned.

Myself having become a troop member,most of the other troop members, especially the younger generation came to have a good look at me to see if I would make a good play mate.
Some others came down to see why the new troop member remained on the ground.
                               Perhaps the new recruit was not keeping good health.
Most of the others studied me closely and discussed me in their subtle langur language.
                                        Concern writ large on their black but expressive faces,

It was clear that they believed my inability to climb was due to some injury or sickness.
                                Aithough their sympathy was evident in their actions and expressions,it was clear that
the females were impressed by my epic proportions.As the largest langur in the troop, may be they expected me to challenge the troop leader to single combat and take over as the new leader after vanquishing him.The younger langur girls cast shy glances at me,wondering whether I would reciprocate or reject their romantic sentiments.

One particularly large female came rather close and showed off  her sex appeal,evidently eying me as a prospective mate.She was apparently the dominant female.But the other females were not going to buy it.They showed off their sleek and sexy bodies which promised me that I would have my hands full if ever I became the dominant male.I was flattered,but also a bit alarmed to be the center of so much feminine attention.                                      

    But the dominant famale evidently had decided to have her way.She sat between me and her younger rivals, disconcertingly close,but ever so friendly .
The langur kids were convinced I would make an excellent play mate and they started their games straight away,every now and then casting inviting glances at me.


This particularly friendly young langur seemed perplexed that I should remain on the ground and not join the fun.
He came within arm's reach and had a long hard look,evidently determined to solve the riddle.

   Then he again tried to entice me to come up the tree,his actions as clear as spoken words.
    And he showed me how to swing on a thin twig.

Finally,concluding from my lack of response that I simply didn't measure up,the troop members started dispersing and feeding.Their favorite food , succulent young shoots and leaves.

 Some of them came down to the ground confident that I was a friend,and didn't mean them any harm.It was astonishing how friendly they became once they started trusting me.On the ground they looked impressive with their long,upright tails.                                                                         


I spent the entire day wandering around with the langurs.As the evening shadows started lengthening,the monkeys came on to the road.
Evidently they considered the road a safer place at twilight,the time when panthers search for langur meat.
With dusk falling rapidly,they clambered up the trees one by one and the road was soon bare.

     As the langurs settled down for the night,I began my trek back to camp.

I had not seen a single elephant,but I had made some good friends and learned a lot about these creatures so closely related to us.It was a day well spent,and in good company too..

                                                        THE END

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