Nocturnal visitors

It was about 1 AM. We heard some sounds outside and saw a crowd forming in front of our house. Someone asked us not to come out; since there were two elephants in our yard!

They had wandered in from the nearby forest and lost their way. Seeing some vegitation, they broke the compound wall and entered. By the time we had got up and come on the balcony, they already had a gala time uprooting plants and sqashing young saplings around.

Seeing the crowd, they wanted to find an escape route and tried the far back corner. They broke the wall and saw they could not go out thought that! So they came back to the center and started filling up their stomach.

By this time the Forest Department people came and the elephants taking the cue, quietly stepped out of the compound through the broken wall and started to walk.

And the Forest Department persons showed lights and sounded screeching sirens to get them walk on the way to the forest. Last time we had these pachyderms walking our way was about three years back.

All these are happening due to unscrupulous builders building gated communities on the elephant corridor. Elephants are migratory animals and they treck a path year after year with the changing seasons. It is prohibitted to construct anything on or near the elephant corridor. But here there was a greedy builder who constructed a residential community right in the middle of the elephant corridor.

Poor elephants, they walk the same route and then come accross a concrete wall on thier path. They are confused. If they turn right, it would lead them into the forest. But, if they turn left, they would enter our residential colony, which is far from the elephant corridor.

So these kinds of intrusions are common here. The human-animal conflict keep rising and damages and loss of lives do happen.

Will the authorities ever understand this? Or will they continue to be greedy and pave way for more human-elephant conflicts?

What’s up, mate!

Fondly remember the days of social non-distancing. When I used to meet people, have a coffee in a wayside coffee shop, or just hang around in a mall, watch a movie, and so on. Shaking hands with clients and friends are gone, replaced with a humble namaste! (from a meter or more proximity)

My joints are paining; because I walk less now – only within my house! My hands are aching due to long hours on the computer, clicking the keyboard or moving the mouse with precision! (editing old pics or re-editing them!) I wish I could walk out and shake hands instead.

My car needs a start every few days or its lifeline would stop with a low battery! Gone are the days when my wandering instincts would make the four wheels to roam on terrain new and unseen by me. Even its tyers need a rotation and balancing to stay on the road!

Trips to relatives are now replaced with visual tours of their dwellings. (Kids playing around or uncles reading the paper). Culinary cravings have turned into cooking competitions. Every day someone in the family would post a new dish (or a well-tried out old dish) to make the others’ mouth to water or envy in agony.

Children dress up and log in to their computers to say “Good morning Mam (teacher)”. Then they don’t move till their on-line classes are over. They can watch football or any other games, but they can’t play.

Employers are happy since they don’t have to rent out office spaces. It is Work From Home – WFH (derivation from WTF#). As if there is not enough work at home already! Now the digital boss would reside inside your laptop or desktop to monitor if you are really working from home! These apps take screenshots of your system every five minutes to see what you are doing. And in case if the system is inactive, the boss gets a message and you immediately are called up to join a video call (just to check your status – sleeping or something else)!

For me, as a photographer, I can’t go out. I can’t take pictures of my clients. No one would like to have a head-shot with a mask on! I have finished taking pictures of ants walking in a line, of my dog with his disgruntled expressions (since I don’t take him out for walks), of my idle workplace, of leaves and flies in the garden, of the clear and occasionally cloudy skies,….. Nowadays I fumble with the manual controls on my camera; since I have forgotten a few of those buttons and swirl wheels due to impasse!

I feel my life has changed (for the better or worse?) How about you? What’s up, mate?