July 26th, 2010


Kabini...Spotted in the forest....

Well, though I am always lucky with tiger and leopard sightings, there are enough people who are not as lucky, that I should devote a post to this graceful, sleek beauty.

On the morning of the 21st, it was quite cloudy and overcast, but we set off on the safari with eager expectation. With Karthik having taught me that there is far more to the jungle than the "big cats"...and also because I have never yet sighted a tiger in southern India...I go prepared to enjoy whatever I see and learn from whatever I can observe. But still, it was nice to get a good sighting of the leopard in the branches of a tree, on this misty morning...

At first, he (it was a male who'd had a good meal!) was looking away:

leopard looking away 210710

Then, he decided to look at us, with that lazy, unconcerned stare:

leopard looking straight kabini 210710

Then he decided to leave!

leopard going down 210710

As you can see from the video, there wasn't any action...just us looking at the beautiful animal!

And as he moves off, you can see how one second, he's there, and the next, he just...isn't! (Two more jeeps came up behind us, and there was just nothing to see.)


How to handle it?

What do I do when someone gives me a gift of surpassing hideosity (well, I just invented that word, but surely you see its meaning) and extreme uglifism?

Let me tell you.

First, I quickly hide the intense dismay I feel that this...objet d'fart is something that the giver has liked, and even worse, has thought that *I'd* like.

Then I say, "Oh, you shouldn't have!"..and this comes out very well, because it is exactly what I mean. The person should NOT have bought that ghastlificated object.

The giver interprets this as "Thank you" and smirks.

Thank goodness, because I am completely unable to add anything that would be even remotely grateful or complimentary. I pat myself on the back for having passed off a difficult moment.

Both of us then realize that El Monstroso (it's something where you plug it in and water keeps pouring down various channels) doesn't work.

So we take it into the kitchen and try out different plug-points, and keep adding water. It works..for the time.

I then try and put it out of my mind, and succeed so well that I compeletely forget to mention it to KM.

The next morning, the giver is at the dining table, having breakfast with us. Remember, I said I patted myself on the back on passing off a difficult moment? Well....In a voice that can probably be heard in Bannerghatta, KM says, "What is that horror in the kitchen?"

There is a dead silence...dead, because that's what I wish I was. After all, the giver has given it with affection and in the belief that we will like it as much as the giver does.

KM looks at me with sloooowly dawning comprehension. I avoid the giver's eyes, so I don't know that the expression on that face is. I also avoid looking at KM, as I would probably char him to a cinder with my look.

To cover the sudden death of the conversation, I start talking about Nixon's impeachment.

The giver pretends not to have heard anything prior to this, and I pretend the same thing too. The giver is staying with us for another week, during which I will have to maintain this charade.

I look forward to getting KM alone and skinning him with a blunt knife...or hitting him with that wrought-iron La Horrificus. That's the only pleasure left to me now.

The Wonder Gift joins the collection of Giftii Horriblis that various people have given us over the years. Not in a million years can I give anything from this collection to anyone I know or like. I would not even give one to someone I don't like.

Does anyone want a kind of bird/barrel/bucket arrangement in wrought iron and papier-maiche? The water (when it works...it doesn't always) comes out of the bird's mouth and drips from the bucket into the barrel and is pumped back.

(Obviously, the giver does not read my blog.)

and NO, I will not post a photograph of it...or perhaps I may...watch this space!