watch those temple elephants in india

The snapshots in these Sunday memories were taken in Rajasthan, and do not seem old enough to think of as “old,” but after all they were taken in 1993 during a visit to India, only 16 years ago. Incredibly, it doesn’t seem that long ago. At this rate I’ll turn around next week and today will have been six months ago. That’s the reality of getting older. Exponential growth, and the theory of work expanding to the time allowed. Everyone I’ve ever known speaks about time speeding up in the “senior” years.

I’ve mentioned before that when we go out, Hubby is usually several yards ahead of me if it involves walking. Although it annoys me to no end in a social situation, in travel it does often make it possible for him to take candid camera shots of me when such seems warranted. Too bad he wasn’t a little more on his toes when this event was going down.

A ways down, he noticed a temple elephant ambling along and took this picture. The elephant’s keeper riding atop was probably on his way to the temple after a day of ambling along the streets collecting alms from the tourists and natives alike. I had already walked past him–giving wide berth–I might add, but had not given any offerings since I was unaware of the practice.

There I was, walking along minding my business, trying my darndest to blend in. Never mind that at 5’4″ (the tallest of petites, or the shortest of the average size of female in the U.S.),  in much of India I am near the height of many men. As for the women, I look down–literally in the physical sense–on almost all of them.  (I’ve noted that as years passed, however, that men are growing taller. Several of our nephews there are over six feet now. I expect there’s an explanation out there somewhere in some study or other.)

At some point the elephant began to gain on me. I’m still not sure if it was the mahout’s or the elephant’s sense of humor, but Hubby turned around to check my whereabouts at just the right time to see the elephant goose me good and proper with his trunk. I’m assuming most people are familiar with that term. Google and you’ll get various versions of it, but what I mean here is the act of coming up behind someone quietly and surreptitiously “poking” them in the vicinity of the buttocks, startling them for good comedic effect. Too bad Hubby didn’t have the camera at the ready. I’m sure the look on my face would have been precious.

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10 thoughts on “watch those temple elephants in india

  1. Oh, that’s simply wonderful. I’ve never heard of elephants having that focused a sense of humor. I too wish that your husband had his camera at the ready. Delightful.

  2. I asked G about this as you probably did your husband. He replied that the elephant was checking you out. They smell through their trunks. 🙂

    • That could very well be, but Hubby says people customarily give the elephants food and that I didn’t so the elephant might have been looking for some. The fact that I’d passed the two, and they later caught up with me leads me to think one or the other were either getting even or had a sense of humor.

  3. LOL I’d love to see your expression when it happened! Had it been me, I’d probably would have let loose and yelled! At 5’10”, I don’t think Indya is quite ready for me!

  4. What a great story! Are you planning to go back to India for another visit? I think that must have been a wonderful trip.

    • Actually we’re planning a trip next June for our family–2 daughters & SO’s, two grandchildren and the two of us–where we’ll have a Family Reunion in Goa with the Indian contingent of our family, and an extended visit to other parts of India and Ladakh (in the north) where we hope to visit some monasteries. It should be a memorable trip and a great family-calendar project for the year of 2011.

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