Friday, July 18, 2008

Ganga in Gangalayam

Ganga! My childhood friend loves forests and wild animals and has todate visited and photographed wildlife in around forty wild life sancturies in India.

Unfortunately during a recent trip to Ooty he along with a guide strayed into the forbidden territory of an angry elephant. He was chased by the pachyderm, lifted on horns, and being the diving goalkeeper of our school, he dived to one side. The wild elephant turned and gored him in the back where the horn entered his body and narrowly missed the spinal column and aorta.

The wound has healed and he is okay now. Here he is captured on my cellphone camera relaxing in the morning sun inside his bungalow in Chembur which we fondly call "Gangalayam."

Undeterred by the experience, he vows to go back into the forests once again. He has had a long association with wild life sancturies and nature parks, having been instrumental in getting Indira Gandhi to anoint Silent Valley in Kerala as a national wildlife park. If this hadn't been done, in all probability Silent Valley would have been converted into a huge dam at the cost of the wildlife and plant species there.

How ironic that a man who has campaigned to protect wildlife has been gored by the very creatures he is trying to protect.

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