Well, if you are a known person to me, I am 95% sure that I have narrated to you this epic story with Dolby Atmos effect. In case I missed it out let’s relive it again…
Just 9 short years ago, it so happened that we went on a family trip to Musoourie (in Uttarakhand). The trip would have ended sooner, hadn’t our driver shared with us a piece of valuable information that a national park was close by. We had never visited a national park before, and so the desire grew stronger and swept us off. I thought it was Jim Corbett National Park (famous in our school text books), and started hallucinating with scenes of tigers roaming around us in free space like those shown in Discovery and NatGeo. I still recall what my mom said about that,’You want to die being eaten up by tigers?’
But then it was not Jim Corbett we were heading too. It was Rajaji National Park. We drove in; signed some documents; paid the fee; sat in an open jeep; and then it started. For the first few miles what we saw was only few deers and an elephant at about 400 m away from us. Nothing phenomenal was bound to happen, for my first open jeep safari was going boring.. very very boring. When we had completed three quarters of our journey, something unusual removed our boredom. We could see around 25 elephants ahead of us, and some 7-8 of them were blocking the narrow path from which we had to traverse.
Our vehicles were at a stand still, our drivers gave perplexed looks to each of us. We learned the harsh truth that our jeeps were unarmed, and that the explosives which were there had also been soggy due to moisture. I hardly felt any of these were hardly necessary, as the elephants showed no signs of attacking us. But then some of them caught my mind voice and started acting in a weird way, breaking barks of nearby trees and spraying mud through its own trunk. It did feel as though they had been attacked by some invisible zombies.
For a moment, the joy from every visitor’s face had faded out as if they were being sucked by dementor. A bunch of few crazy elephants had just made 4-5 jeeps to wait for more than 45 minutes. I still remember some people praying for these elephants to clear the way. The only fear that crossed our minds were, that they must in no way turn their focus towards us. In better words, the thought of attacking us should not cross their minds. The video clips of elephants stamping villagers on their route to banana plantations, were flashing in a fast forward mode through my mode. Worst was imagining yourself, in place of those poor villagers. There was a fairly good probability for that to happen as well.
No sooner our prayers were heard and answered!! Our way was being cleared in slow motion by the protectors of nature. Our jeep was the first one to move in the que.
All of a sudden one of the elephants started chasing us. It chased us for about 50 m and our accelerator was on full load. Had the accelerator failed for a second, or any other unfortunate event had occurred because of our vehicle, I have no idea where our fates would have led us too. Maybe this blog post would have never been written 😛 The good souled elephant spared our lives, and withdrew the chase sooner than anyone had expected!!
The saddest part of this adventurous story is that we couldn’t capture any of it in our lens. Our digicam had all its power drained out when this journey began, but then had we managed to capture that, it would have resembled the above pic very closely.
The level of thrill I enjoyed that day, till date remains to be the best of all the records I’ve had so far. The small distance that was left over between life and death, gave me some sort of enlightenment.
P.S. In the name of all old gods and the new, this is a true incident!!!