The next day, we had some spare time in the morning, so we went to visit my friend’s elder daughter at her in – laws place. Interestingly, she lived very close to a path taken by wild elephants. Her mother in law told us that a whole herd would pass by eating up a lot of the standing plant. Sometimes they did damage houses, but, it seems, if someone went out and actually spoke to them nicely, telling them not to damage, but eat whatever they wanted, they behaved! I didn’t believe it but then, here was this lady who dealt with wild elephants on a regular basis. It is against the law to harm the elephants and if anyone does so, the forest department guys are quick to take action. Their reasoning was that it was the humans that were encroaching on the elephant’s territory and should not be complaining. Also, the forest department supplied crackers to every house in the village to keep the elephants at bay.
We came back home and just as we were to leave to catch the train back, we got our gifts – clothes for all of us. We told my friend’s mother that we were rather disappointed. Having come all the way from Mumbai, we expected at least 2 goats, but at least one should do! She promised to give us one if we ever stayed anywhere close by.
As I was writing this series, a number of friends have written to me expressing their wish to attend a wedding like this. The next girl in line – (in this case, it is a honour to be from the girl’s side) is his sister’s daughter, an MCA and of marriageable age. I asked him if he could expedite the wedding, but as it is compulsory for the boy’s side to make the first move, he is waiting for someone to do so. If there are any tribal boys reading this and looking out for a good girl to marry, do contact me.
Thus ends an experience that we will cherish for quite sometime.
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A couple are sitting in their living room, sipping wine. Out of the blue, the wife says, “I love you.”
“Is that you or the wine talking?” asks the husband.
“It’s me,” says the wife. “Talking to the wine.”