Friday, July 17, 2009

Growing Guises

These are photos from quite a lot of places: There you are as a little child when we'd go for a walk by the banks and beaches of Dakar in Senegal. The place was so hot that we'd begin the day by taking a dip in the Atlantic.

We lived close by the beach in the capital, Dakar. The first time we were there were these West African grasshoppers that looked like grasshoppers except that these were wooden-gray and they'd actually devour whole fields with the kind of numbers they used to swarm in.

We'd walk along the Atlantic and we'd try and spot as many creatures as we could. You loved spotting lizards when we were there. You loved finding crabs hiding beneath the rocky-beaches- underneath stones and boulders. Sometimes they'd be hiding under the sand (perhaps cooling off in that intense West African summer.

We'd have ice creams. You loved the beverages that are supposed to be bad for your teeth.
That reminds me: Brushing your teeth at night as you'd lay snug like a bug. Then we'd go through all your comics and books and i'd tell you tales. Some nights we'd run out of material. You'd then make me tell you stories about Memey Sherab's legendary exploits: From literally punching out a Bull one time Paro to running away from a Guar (South Asian Buffalo) and seeking refuge and safety in a tree. And Memey Sherab was as comfortable in the trees as he was in the forest.
He'd climb betel-nut trees in Phuentsholing when i was little boy. These trees grow really really tall and they flower and branch only up above...like a cocktail-umbrella. But he had technique. He climbed like a monkey.
One time he waited for the intruder that had been eating away all of Memey Sherab's chickens. He waits for the intruder inside the coop. Its dark. The intruder comes in...gingerly...smelling the tropical night air.
He slides inside the coop. Memey Sherab latches the door to the coop. The intruder is a jungle cat. Memey Sherab has an ax with him.
The intruder is gone.
One time we drove to the Royal Manas National Park (it was designated a World Heritage Site for its incredible flora and fauna: From Indian Elephants and Rhinos to the Royal Bengal Tiger, this place accommodates a lot of endangered species).
It was one of Memey Sherab's last forays into the wild. He'd been in alpine forests and he'd been to tropical jungles. Memey Sherab was a radio man. He knew the Morse Codes. He'd go ahead and establish many radio-centers around the kingdom. It was basic communications and connectivity.
This was one of his last trips to Manas. I'd already come here on two occasions when i was a little boy like you. I loved it. The place was full of songs in the air, animals amidst the grasslands and a rich aquatic life in the Manas river.
Its where i first saw the Golden Languor and i can still feel the thrill now when i think about it.

As we drove in a Yunimoock, a wild boar came out of the bushes and raced ahead on the rough track ahead of us.
Peacocks invited us n with their beautiful plumes.
A Barking Deer said "Hello."
It was when i too fell in love with nature and all the animals in it.

1 comment:

Flores Hayes said...

ooo...I love pandas.
Here I bought a cuddly panda bag (L) that I can hardly put it down!
I believe it is a GREAT find for every panda fanatic!
Flor (floreshayes@gmail.com)