It started off as a normal day with the usual early morning rush, which was interrupted by a call from Nooraine at 7 am! Nothing prepared me for her cryptic message – Is Tiger (my husband) in town? I wanted to speak to him about elephants on campus?” Elephants @ Inventure!!! The next 15 mins was a rush of getting to school with many flurried phone calls to the forest department and the police to get them into action. But at 7 am their response was muted to say the least. My family has a penchant for safari vacations and this was just up our alley.
The one thing that occurred to us instantly was the safety of students and that they should be sent home despite the buses being on their way to school, schedules of parents etc. Images of the rampage, caused by the elephants that rushed into Mysore city, were dominating our thoughts and Nooraine was quick to take the call about sending children home.
Rushing past bewildered guards at the entrance we looked frantically for the pachyderms and joined Nooraine, Varsha, Mallika Maam and Ramesh on the roof top. It was surreal to see the ravaged tennis courts and the video of the elephants rushing past. That they were stressed and angry was evident even in that 23 sec footage. I would be too, I thought if I was warding my baby from the mob.
In times like this it is a sorry spectacle to see our lack of awareness and empathy for the animals that we share this planet with. They were here long before us but in our quest to expand, devour and obliterate we have truly lost our ability to connect with the world around us. It is unfortunate that people were killed however there is no excuse for the scenes of stone throwing and violence that we witnessed all day on TV as we followed the elephants on their harrowing journey. In fact during our rooftop vigil we heard many shouts, crackers being burst to frighten the elephants and our security staff reported of some people being killed by elephants as they followed them in their noisy motorcycles taking pictures on their mobile phones!
After a few hours when we were sure that they had moved out of our area we went back home to follow the fate of these magnificent beasts. It was certainly an unusual day as we scoured the trees from the roof looking for the elephants. Students and teachers enjoyed a day off and facebook was “on fire” according to my daughter with the news about Elephants at Inventure Academy.
However at the end of this unusual day I couldn’t help but feel disturbed and disillusioned about the world that we live in where we are the supreme predators who destroy without guilt.
Head of Department, English