Monday, February 05, 2007

fog horn

the ahom revue (it's a wrap)

i spent a few odd nights in a few odd places dreaming about how my first meeting with the one horned rhino would go. in assam the possibilities are endless. that sense of anticipation grabs you early. they're selling rhino tea, rhino plywood, rhino oil and i suspect rhino biscuits too. i had a more steven spielbergesque vision of my first rhino rendezvous wherein my car, bus, whatever would swerve severely to just brush past one onehorned beast and screech to a halt before a deafening silence would ensue. and only the water in the bottle would ripple with fear. ohmygod.

one terribly early morning, with the worst seat on an elephant, right there at the edge where backbone bends down, on a bobbing ride through kaziranga and your own back in peril, it still had its own sense of drama. and the fog added just a wee magic.

in the giant white haze and across the river, little coloured flecks marked out deer, buffalo, rhino, and the 'great and rare purplebreastedkeelbacked' fern. kill me one ornithologist please. for effect a sprightly cat prowled in the foreground. hunting for balls of wool. majesty.

all those somebody barua films they played on dd, sunday afternoons came flitting by. just before the amrutanjan balm ads that is. a small stream. a pretty bridge. mist - fog - haze whatever kissing the stream. and a fisherman searching his nets. hope. beauty. and an endless impasse. purrfect.

from the still of the mist, little blue and big white birds looped in and out. winter's first morning in kaziranga. elephant babies hurried about as elephant mothers, elephant fathers and elder elephant brothers took their turn ferrying people through elephant grass. all this for one sighting of the one-horned one. heh.

rhinoceros - the odd toed ungulate. if ever encountered by one of these, preferably from elephant back, you might imagine the rhinoceros dumb. this is no folly of yours. rhinos do look duh. their bad vision means they cant really see you too well. so you're ten feet away to the rhino's right. but rhino seems to be looking somewhere else. of course it follows that below the horn (why do pointy things fascinate us so much) is housed a keen sense of smell. or somewhere therabouts. so it is advised that when in the company of a rhino, do not try anything stupid. while the rhino might not really be looking, he sure is smelling you loud and clear. save the bravado for later. when you can return home and suggest the rhino looks dumb.

a fela kuti song in my head. and digesting a somewhat too hearty breakfast. the sun beginning to crack through mist - fog - haze whatever. and looking down at the park's bone collection, i couldn't resist that final touch of corny metaphor. the transience of everything. tonight i turn on assam. tomorrow i pirouette up darjeeling.


moonstruck said...

That feeling of being able to breathe through those pictures.

Sine Qua Non said...

You are very gifted boy, yesh?
:)this was freaking cool.

Hari Potter said...

Berry Berry gifted. :)

Loved the words, loved the photos even more. especially the wispy misty lakes with the lonely boats.

Keep 'em coming bugger.

Ribbon said...

bring it on brother :)

duende said...

ze thank yous. all of you are very kind.

Anooja said...

sigh!! i want to go back! you are brilllllliant
*bows before you*

duende said...

ah. it eez an ahomiya?

Megha said...

love most of these; and those that i don't, i like better than most things i've seen today. have a fair day.

Anooja said... ezz of the Ahomiya species...and your works made me look at my place in a different light... always loved Assam, always thought it was beautiful but i fear it'll all be gone. Glad you've captured it so beautiful. You've been linked to my blog..if that's ok.

Anooja said...

*beautifully :-p

Anooja said...

bowl problem?!!
buahahahahaha! terrible one that was :-P