We Arrived Late
We Arrived Late
Hey, all you folks out there, hope you’re doing fine just as much as I am. Though I’m trying to recover from the shock of my friend Anandi’s tragic demise just a couple of days back, I’m doing just fine. My name is Eravat and I am known to be the world’s largest land mammal almost weighing 4000 kg. I stand almost 3 meters from the ground and my favourite pastime is to stroll near the river and splash water on my calves. You might have by now known the place I reside, it’s the beautiful rainforest in Kerala named Palakkad. We travel several kilometers a day to feed ourselves and when I say this I recall that tragic day.
That unfortunate day, my dearest Anandi suddenly left our herd and went astray. Perhaps she was hungrier than all of us, you can understand if our normal lot can eat almost 150 kg food (as much as 375 tins of baked beans a day) then how hungry my sweetheart must have been. After all, she had to provide for her baby that was about to see the world soon. She sneaked into the Silent Valley in search of greener pastures, for all she wanted was to deliver her calf weighing no less than 120 kg. Who knew hell was lurking in the Silent Valley. She might have twitched every muscle of her trunk to feel her food. God’s given us 150,000 muscle units in our trunk and we are so sensitive that we can pick a peanut, blow the shell to consume that teeny weeny nut.
Anandi kept meandering in the forest until she reached the spot where a large green-yellow tropical fruit lay right in front of her, inviting her to relish every bit. Least did she know it would spell her doom and she would perish in hours. How I wish we were given the survival instincts to detect danger and avoid it the minute we could see it approaching! But this isn’t with our breed and however sharp we may be in terms of remembering (you know, we never forget), we cannot perceive peril. Anandi was all of fifteen and she had to nurture her baby after it was born. She was all excited that day and every minute she was getting close to delivering a new life into this world. And then appeared the luscious-looking full-blown fruit almost left for her to feed. One joint of her trunk, bending her snout she guzzled the pineapple in her mouth. It didn’t quite taste quite juicy and sweet but turned eruptive and pricky. Her food started piercing her lower jaw as if pins were hurled from a billion quarters. Her hunger turned into pain and she trumpeted loudly as if to seek help from us. We heard her call but were nowhere close by and she kept running in madness, in excruciating pain in search of water. Water there was but her energy was almost dying, she dragged herself to the river and stood silent for a while almost apologizing to her unborn child, asking for forgiveness, tears rolling down, no one to rescue. Her last hope was water that could dissolve the juice and dilute her agony but she fed the fetus venom instead of savory juice and silently perished along with her calf.
We kept looking for her and when we finally spotted her from a distance, we saw humans dragging her out of the water with ropes tied all around her. She was numb and cold. We had to retreat in silence, her fading view from a distance as our herd receded. We arrived too late and all was gone. Late we were in saving our beloved and her kid. Alas! We were too late. For there is no place for us in our very own forests and we have no right on the fresh flowing waters of the rivers that were meant to be shared by the creatures of the ecosystem. It’s now the human system and we were too late!