Saturday, May 12, 2007

Grey Matter

Yesterday I woke up in not a bit of an off mood, I hadn’t had much sleep and it was the last day I would spend in the office before holiday. You know what I mean, the day with no end, when the clocks seem to stop working and every time it feels like hours have passed, you glance at the watch and find it has only been two minutes since the previous glance. I had been in that mode for about 3 or 4 days, counting down the minutes and seconds to being a free agent. I needed a bit of a mood adjustment and I knew there was only one thing that could help. For me, happiness comes in shades of grey. Shades of grey with big floppy ears and a trunk. I admit it, as soon as I am outdoors, I keep my eyes peeled for pachyderms. So I spent the hour or so drive to Gurgaon looking this way and that and try as I might, there was not a spec of grey to be found. There was the lone camel dining on what looked like a rather yummy tree, recently washed clean by the squall of a couple of days back and I figured that if I couldn’t find an elephant, then a good hump would do.

Fast forward to a few hours later when I was back on the road from Gurgaon to Delhi and there it was, walking down the street, holding it’s little branch in its trunk, swinging it around like a child you a balloon, with almost the same expression. I immediately made a wish as that is what is supposed to happen and suddenly my day was a lot brighter. I can’t explain what my obsession is with them, but elephants are for me just so magical and amazing. They always have been. I was happy for the rest of the day and decided to bride a few people to come to my place for drinks. Its amazing what the promise of free alcohol can accomplish.

Sharad, Sonia and Murali dropped in, popped open the beers and plopped themselves all about the living room and soon we were talking about this thing and that and I conveyed my elephant story. And then it happened. Sharad said the words I had dared think once or twice but never actually let myself entertain. It just seemed to impossible, too unlikely. Even more unbelievable and outrageous than Paris Hilton going to jail. Sharad said, “Robb bhai, why don’t you just get yourself an elephant?” And as though it were the most normal thing in the world to hear, I asked “how much does one cost and where does one get one?” I assume getting an elephant is a bit more complicated than getting a car or say, enriched uranium; one must have connections or know people – some things you just can’t pick up at the market. And then there was the issue of where would I keep it? Sure, they might make for nice cuddly companions when they are small and what’s cuter than a baby elephant in a bubble bath? But the reality is that little elephants become big ones and I simply don’t have the closet space. My garden isn’t even big enough for him to stretch out or have any of his (or her) grey friends over for mid-summer tea parties or sleep-overs.

But it did spark something and now I am a man with a mission. A purpose. I have a dream. And as soon as I get back to Delhi from Holland, I am going to do some serious investigating. I am sure there has to be a way to sponsor one, to help provide care or food or something like that in exchange for visitation privileges. I would love to drop in once or twice a week and see my own elephant. How amazing would that be? Having a bad day at work and then just relaxing by spending time with my most favorite animal?

I can already see the slow motion playbacks… the eyes meet and the faces transform as recognition sets in. Tears fill the eyes, they stare for a moment in disbelief and then run toward each other. My sandals and sunglasses flying off in the excitement while the grey object of my affection and obsession slowly runs toward me, trunk swinging this way and that and then when at last we touch, the trunk wraps around me, picks me up and sets me atop his (or her) back, for a nice scratch behind the ears. I would bring peanuts and other assorted pachyderm delicacies. But back to life, back to reality, I am sure there has to be a way to make this dream come true. This is India, after all.

Now, what does one name an elephant?

1 comment:

  1. Hahaha an elephant! That can be cute in your living room!
    Why not calling it... Paris as an hommage or WunderEle
    I can brainstorm with you to find the adequate name but i need to see The One. Laura