Friday, October 9, 2009

Tarzan & the Apes

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?”
“Pink Panther.”
“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.


  1. That's because Neel gets to see leopards at home, why should he see them outside? Great holiday - Jandy style. You didn't say where.

  2. you forgot to mention the elephant...or was it on purpose?
    the pic is lovely, reminded me of my childhood. i refused to ride an elephant out of fear, so the picture taken has me standing beside it :D

  3. u have everybody in the house: tarzan,jane,apes, leopard....what more??? "Cambridge Layout" a new destination for kids!!

  4. just loved your sign off line brilliant stuff...sure you enjoyed it even thou you didnt seethe wild cats...

  5. Some people just enjoy wherever they go.

  6. dugul - put it in just for you ;-) janekidding
    puj - the elephant was a 79-year-old grandma
    anon - i think i know who you are

  7. where, O where, O where is this ?

  8. reminds me of the first jurassic park movie where the kids are so eager to see the dinos and do not spot any until-----

    we spent the first 2 hours in Denali Natl. Park ---eyes peeled to the fantastic landscape hoping to be the FIRST to spot a wildlife and swear it was indeed a grizzly or the reindeer or the fox!! sheesh all we spotted was herds of dal sheep sitting way way up on the high mountain side---they looked like white spots!
    Where then do those animal planet guys get such awesome footage? the guide asked us not to lean out the window---when bears stand tall--they will come face to face and startled, they might take a swing at you! pfht!! what bear?
    And then------there was excitement galore---phew we saw so many wildlife and specially grizzlies that my kid exclaimed that it was the same bear on its rounds!!!

  9. Reminds me of our trip to Ooty. How many deers we saw but then when you wanted to get a picture zoooooom they were gone :)

    One trip due with Us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! then see the fun unfold.. dont you agree

  10. fantastic account of a no doubt priceless trip! come over and we will take the kids to woburn safari. where the animals are all contained in a drive thru zoo pretend safari. no disappointments except the japanese tourist does not get eaten by the lions.

  11. Wonderful trip so neatly woven is a short story, I need to learn that from you.