Last week, we drove far and high into the Nilgiri mountains to get away from it all.
11 friends. No cells, no email, no TV, no electricity, no cars, no smoke….
Planned activities : 6 am steep mountain trek in fresh air
Actual activities : Finished a bottle of Chivas at night, and no one woke up for fresh mountain air or steep trek.
Instead, every day, took a jeep safari deep into the jungle. Aah, the beauty of trees, the smell of fresh rain, the chill of mist, the sound of silence…
“Look there’s a black panther”
“What other colour panther is there?”
“That’s not a panther. That’s a flying fox.”
“Foxes can’t fly. That’s a kingfisher.”
“Kingfisher is what my Dad drinks” ….
Warning : For the sound of silence, please leave 5-year-olds at home.
Actual no. of panthers seen = ZERO
Panther seen however by a barking deer, (according to our guide), which let out an alarm call. (Or may have been the backfiring of another safari jeep).
Wildlife seen : Deer, and more deer, and more deer. The deer were sending out embossed invites to their second cousins, removed thrice, to come and see the funny humans in the jeep.
Also seen : 1 wild, vicious, huge Indian bison – gaur. Neel got so excited, he almost fell out of the jeep, and got trampled by the vicious wild bison, which instead turned its humungous butt to us, and carried on munching grass and emitting greenhouse gases.
Result : 1 photograph of humungous butt of indeterminate origin.
Not seen on safari: a single leopard or tiger or even wild boar. But as a PR exercise, a whole family of wild boar piglets waddled over to our tent that night, to share our dinner.
Yup, it was a beautiful, blissful, brilliant getaway – marked by a singular lack of worry – about the things that usually worry us.
For example :
No. of calories consumed = 6 million and 47 (all by me).
Result : 1 photograph of humungous-butt bison again (oh, sorry, that was ME !)
For example again :
No. of rocks Niks climbed = 329
No. of rocks Niks fell off = 329
We went as 6 adults and 5 kids, and came back as 11 kids.