Thursday, June 30, 2011

Man...What A Long Day


The boy patted the elephant's back and thanked her for a long day of work spent shuttling tourists around to see the sights of Jaipur. This pleased the elephant, who found the day-to-day work enjoyable but was still heavily fatigued after carrying the weight equivalent of a Boeing 747 on her back in the sweltering Indian summer heat. The elephant wanted nothing more than to immerse herself in the cool, muddy lake and relax as the sun sank slowly beneath the hills surrounding the ancient city.

It was a routine the elephant repeated daily for many years. It sounds like monotony, but there were breaks that made it all worthwhile. New and interesting opportunities arose for the elephant from time to time -- like being in a wedding. The elephant loved being dressed up in Indian wedding regalia and serving as the official transportation for bride and groom. When dressed to the nines, with all the colorful accoutrements that accompany the stunning spectacle of an Indian wedding, the elephant felt like kind of a badass, actually.

What was really interesting to the elephant was how people didn't regard her as a servant or beast of burden, but as an actual wedding guest to be honored and cherished like the other guests. This, too, pleased the elephant, because she always had a keen awareness of the life-changing significance these ceremonies held.

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