Thursday, January 22, 2009

Campus Mumbo-Jumbo

This below photo story was published in the Times of India on 16th December 1990. It just so happened that on this day there was no great assignments and I was passing through Hebbal road to find some stand alone or offbeat pictures. To my surprise I saw two tiny elephants inside the veterinary hospital and that let me to spending 5 hours with them and coming up with 8 of the images which was displayed to my luck as a full pager.

A fortnight ago, 6 year old tusker Mohan decided to come to Bangalore. Not to grace a temple festival or take part in a fair, but only to mind his health. He left his cosy home in the Akkayamma temple premises, Uthanahalli Beta (Devanahalli Taluk) with hope in his breast and a painful abscess in his neck. Tailing him was Lakshmi (five) his –she companion for two years. Leading, of course, were their friendly masters/mahouts Appaiah and Naryana.
When he reached the veterinary hospital, Hebbal, on December 3, 1990, apprehension gripped him. He for one was not use to the mumbo-jumbo of urban life. But that was a fleeting phase. Pachyderms, sure, are made of stemer stuff.

I will follow you where ever you go, Lakshmi tails the recovering Mohan.

This corridor belongs to us: Mohan and Lakshmi stroll like students on the veterinary hospital/college

Lakshmi pats Mohan on the head giving hr the reassurance that he will recover soon from the operation which he had gone through on his neck.

Lakshmi bathes Mohan under the mid day sun which give him a cool feeling from the extreme pain he will be going through.

Mohan has his tummy full of fresh green grass as his lunch even as Lakshmi retires for her afternoon siesta.

Mohan and Lakshmi go through their exercise ensuring that all their limbs are fit.

Mohan impresses Lakshmi on his recent knowledge he has gained during his three weeks of stay in the hospital premises.

End of the day Mohan and Lakshmi walk back to their cosy room with their trunks held together.

And he had his inseparable Lakshmi for comfort. She, though a year younger, is taller and big built.
In the hospital premises, he put his best foot forward, cocked his head a bit and trumpeted his relief. There was enough greenery around, though it was a bit sultrier as compared to Uthanahalli Beta.
Doctor B S Jayadeva has suggested that he stay under his observation till the New Year (1991). The devout jumbos, meanwhile, have learnt to relax. They took time off to attend a temple festival at Doddaballapur. A two-part hourly exercise routine is strictly followed. The hospital-campus, the find, is quite hospitable. Coping with students and other animal-patients is no mammoth shakes after all!

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