Life's fitful fever...

There is nothing like an actual fever to put the greater fever of life in abeyance. Life gets simplified to the basics: slap up 3 meals somehow, swallow medications, collapse into bed. All the rest gets taken care of somehow. 

Hectic was quite an understatement for March. The days just seemed to speed up especially when it was school-closing time. Here I stand in a slight fever-haze at almost the middle of April and I have no idea of what I was doing all the time in March!!!

I will tell you what we did right at the end though. We went to the town of Wind and Jupiter. Okay, THAT was a fancy way of saying Guruyvayoor. Our niece was scheduled to have her first morsel of solid food in front of Unnikkannan and we too went off for a darshan of the Lord.

This time I didn't carry a camera with me. It was a conscious decision to omit that one accessory this time. No camera can capture the joy of the darshan anyway and I don't need pictures to remind me of the same.

But at one point in the trip I did wish I had brought the camera. It was when we went to the Guruvayoor Devaswom's elephant keep at Punnathoor Kotta. Since we had already been there once, I decided to let the boys roam while I sat in front of the old നാലുകെട്ട് (naalukettu) and watched the great pachyderms feed. Okay, I will add pictures from when we went there back in 2011...


See that low wall there? I was sitting cross-legged on top of it and gazing off into the enclosure. It was around 5 pm and all the kariveerans were having their tea (?).. ahem, with a side of palm leaves. It was a joy to just sit and watch them methodically separating the leaves, bashing them to and fro on the ground or against the forelegs to shake off any dust/insects and then eating. One youngster I saw had kept some of his snacks on the top of his head. I was wondering about the new trends in elephant headgear fashion when he pulled it off and used it to scoop some fresh dust on to his back and then left the leaves on his head again. Oh, it was hilarious.

Even more fascinating was the use of the trunk exactly like we use our hands. I saw one of the tuskers rub his eye just like we would. Some of them seemed to be multitasking, doing yogic stretching postures while having their tea. One was rotating his neck so fast that DH and I felt tempted to try emulating him, but soon stopped. Then there were two or three who looked like they were dancing. I looked hard to find dangling ear-pieces, but couldn't. Probably they use blue-tooth devices to listen to FM radio and since all three were dancing differently, I can only surmise that they were listening to different stations...

The elephants all had their names on placards attached to their stations. I was gazing at the place of "Nandan" when I saw him being led to his place after a bath. Till then I had thought the other elephants were black, but I got to know what real black was when I saw this freshly-washed hulk. He was so magnificent, it was all I could do to keep myself from running forward and hugging his trunk. Probably his mahout wanted to keep him that way for a while, because he made Nandan lift his pile of palm leaves and carried it away from the other now tatty-looking elephants and made him stand on a grassy area where there was no dust to play with.

What was that, you want more pics of the Aanakkotta? Okay, here are more from our earlier trip...


Here's one helping himself from a hose. Not all are well-mannered like this, some put the hose straight into their mouths! Hmm!


Here is another view of the front yard and the building. There were fewer elephants the last time we went. This time, sitting in my spot I could count more than twenty elephants in just one direction. Currently there are 59 elephants in the Kotta, most of whom are away on duty for temple festivals and such. After the long queues, blaring speakers and glaringly bright shops near the temple, it was so peaceful to be sitting around these magnificent creatures. I don't think any visit to Guruvayoor would be complete without a visit to His elephant herd!

Cat family update: Many were asking about what happened to the kitty family and I was too busy to write about it. Here is what happened. Within a week of delivery, the momma seemed to feel the Flipkart box was too small for comfort. And I guess she didn't want me to wear down myself by trudging with milk bowls all the way from the kitchen to the bedroom. So she shifted her kitties to a kitchen cabinet that was missing its door at the time (one of the hinges was broken - fixed now) and resisted any attempt of mine to dislodge them.

Not about to be outwitted by a cat, I waited till I heard momma going outside, shut all windows and doors and put the kitties back in the Flipkart box. As I had guessed, momma cat was waiting by the door when I opened it. I showed her the box and her progeny in it expecting her to follow me, but she stalked to the kitchen looking, "Come and put my babies back where they were!" So there was nothing to do but catch her and put all three in the garage. Miffed by the downgrade from 5-star to 1-star accommodation, she stalked off with her kids. We still see her around, but she always turns away her head in disdain, however sweetly we call to her. Hope her li'l ones are safe and she will bring them over some time to visit!

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