Monthly Archives: October 2014

Hakuna Matata…

Were we a part of a stampede? Were we to witness a kill?  What would we do if the predator came after the easy kill…us? The herd was running head-on towards us.

#zebra, #lakenakuru

Zebras running amuck…

‘Bis, Turn around!’ Shannon called out to me, adjusting his camera towards the galloping zebras. Most of us stood unprotected at the edge of Lake Nakuru, our safari Jeeps were parked metres away from the muddy shore.

No sooner had the Zebras were a few hundred metres away from us than they turned right.  None of the famous cats were in pursuit. We sighed with relief and disappointment.

#zebra, #lakenakuru

Zebra herd

‘They must have smelled something in the air.’ Shannon looked up at the overcast August monsoon sky.

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An Encounter with Masai!

I was not prepared to witness a passing Coca Cola van being ambushed by a Masai warrior! After all, my idea of a refreshing drink for Masai was milk mixed with cow’s blood stored in dried bottle gourd.

#cocacola,#coke,#masai,#masaimara

Coca Cola van in Masai Mara Reserve

Before we saw the lure of the high-fructose drink, we had seen the men displaying their dancing skills by performing a jumping dance called  Adumu. The height of a warrior’s jump was directly proportional to his virility. They stood in a line, taking turns to dance, ensuring that their heels did not touch the ground.

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Larger than Life, Tana

“Biryani avec Poulet” or “Chicken Biryani”; “Naan au fromage” or Cheese Naan ; never had Indian food felt so haute cuisine like it did at Taj Mahal Restaurant. As we glanced the menu, we could not help but overhear a group of South Asian teenagers sitting at the next table . They spoke a mash of Hindi and French. I have heard and used a compound language (Hindi and English) called “Hinglish” but “Frendi” was alien to me.

Our day trip started from Tana Jacaranda hotel at Isorka. The Heart shaped, Lake Anosy  was less than five minutes away from the hotel. The lake had Monument aux Morts, a memorial for Malagay soldiers who died in First World War. Jacaranda trees and a slum surrounded the artificial lake. Analamanga hill, which housed Manjakamiadana palace at its zenith, is to the southwest of the lake. A large sign, ‘Antananarivo’ in style akin to ‘Hollywood’ from Los Angeles, rested on a ridge of the hill. The sign overlooked the lake.

Lake Anosy

Lake Anosy with Monument aux Morts

Antananarivo sign at the heart of the city!

Antananarivo sign at the heart of the city!

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I like to move it move it !

Mirth filled our senses as the curly-haired, little girl glided down slope on the bark of the paper tree.

Another pre-teenager, rested his chest on a similar make shift skateboard and slithered downhill.  One more of them sat a jubilant toddler in front of him on a dried palm leaf before they rolled down. They were a gang of five children, probably of the zoo workers. No sooner had their rudimentary skateboards stopped than they would pick it up and scamper up slope. As they rushed down, “Monsieur…” the children would shout, vying for our attention.

#skateboarding #madagascar

Children skateboarding with bark of the paper tree and palm leaves…

The slow gradient was on an asphalt road, which probably leading to the employee’s residences, was at the far end of the Tsimbazaza Zoo – Antananarivo. We stood on that road, watching the free show after visiting the animals.

Earlier that morning, we had been sauntering in the zoo looking for Ring Tailed Lemurs a.k.a King Julian. That would not be our first encounter with lemurs.          (Read here https://biswadarshan.com/2014/09/29/tryst-with-relatives/)

“There he is”, my friend Shannon exclaimed. We faced an island compound of Ring Tailed Lemurs. Their black rimmed piercing eyes, gave them a certain aura of arrogance. Their ringed tails, which gives them their name, reminded me of the pelt flashing women of 1920s.  These lemurs climbed up and down the logs in their enclosures. Several times, they stared through us, to remind us of our insignificance. Shakespeare might as well have written, “Vanity, thy name is Ring-Tailed Lemur”.

#kingJulian #ringtailedlemur

Ring-tailed Lemur a.k.a King Julian

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