Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Kenya Calling – Crocodile Candy
For once the rapidity of the incidents unfolding around me has by far out maneuvered and outwitted my mental agility (many of you my staunch supporters would perhaps say, that is always the case) and consequently I am bit incoherent, confused and short on verbosity in this fine evening as I sit under a dark canopy of twinkling stars in the remote town of Wamba in Samboro Region. Very soon the moon would be up and would bereft of my soliloquy with the stars.
Therefore, let me begin with a quiz that is an answer in itself; so no prizes if you get it right. Prize might come your way if you don’t get the answer actually. And don’t even ask me why should my first story from Kenya come with the above title. I hope you would understand it by the time you reach the end. So here goes!
Q. Where on earth can you accomplish and successfully achieve all of the following within the span of the first 24 hrs of arrival: -
Cross the Equator twice
Gaze at the two highest peaks of a single continent
Shake hands with a lion before breakfast
Do a sit down lunch with a pack of zebras
Giraffe comes to sip your evening tea
At supper impalas share your meal
Lion’s growl lull you to sleep
And a cheetah rubbing its back on your tent flap is your wakeup call
Witness a gorgeous sun sink behind the clouds while wildebeests graze nearby
Welcome a full moon lit up the entire sky with hornbills flying across its glowing face
Well I must hastily add that I personally achieved all of these and a little more since I landed in Kenya. I could have done more, as any of you can, but for my jetlag and fatigue. Since the plains and the jungles, the animals and my very well meaning friends they all were totally up to it, to give me the most amazing 24 hrs of my life. I failed, they didn’t. Even if now some of you haven’t guessed yet, well I am talking about Kenya and the area around Nairobi specifically.
My proper reporting, series of stories and chapters like I had promised would commence soon, in a day or two or may be little later, as I am literally reeling under the myriads of experience and sensations that I am going through every minute. It’s too diverse and massive to be grasped by someone who doesn’t have a mind or brain (as you all know well about me), moreover ever since I landed I have been moving constantly, literally on the road so didn’t get much chance to assimilate my thoughts yet to be put down in a sensible manner. So I would begin with an extremely humorous story that Sandy told me during lunch and which is true. Despite being so humorous it has a strong message for all of us so to begin our Kenyan Safari (I am absolutely certain, that all of us are with me, every step of this incredible journey) let’s meet the Crocodile Candy.
Poaching is rampant all over Africa and Kenya in particular though game hunting is banned. Few months back, a man in all his tribal wisdom thought of a totally out of the box idea to get his animal out of the country. So he decided to put a crocodile in his hand baggage and simply got himself a ticket in a tiny 15 seater plane flying out. The crocodile did not protest or it might have been tranquilized before being boxed in. So the man keeps his delicate hand bag at his feet and snoozes off. Sometime during the flight the croc comes out of its snooze and realizes that he is totally out of his elements and doesn’t like it even one tiny bit. Perhaps he doesn’t like the airline meal either. Whatever might be the reason, for who can tell what’s going on inside a croc’s head, our friend decides to go for a stroll to stretch its limbs. Pops out croc and along the aisle he swaggers majestically flipping its horny tail and looking at his fellow passengers with utter disdain which they certainly deserve. And let me assure you my good readers, as Sandy assured me, that the croc did not mean any harm. All he desired as his birthright was a bit of fresh air and may be a little snack to go along. And if only no one had panicked, as we human are wont to do when faced with something unknown or never experienced before, this story wouldn’t be worthy of telling.
It could be the dainty airhostess (usually they are) or someone else who might have stepped on it, suddenly the morning torpor inside the aircraft erupted into an eruption capable of drowning Vesuvius. The entire occupants of the aircraft barring the croc and his sleeping master; ran forward and dived into the cockpit. One man even on the captain’s lap. The plane suddenly with so much additional head weight nose-dived and spun completely out of control. It crashed into the ground killing everyone except the croc and his still sleeping but perhaps now unconscious master.
How do we know that the story is true! Well the only human survivor of the cargo told us so! Ha! Most of you who are still awake would jump at me, ‘gotcha, how could he know what was going on, he was asleep all through the journey.’ And here I must agree. Unless he could experience reality while in his dreams. Somehow I didn’t ask this question to Sandy, but if Sandy says it is true and I totally believe him (don’t confuse him with my other friend Sandy, who is a woman), then so it is.
So let’s not argue about the veracity of the story but since now all of you are laughing with me, fact or fiction, that’s a damn good way to begin our Kenyan Safari. Until I find a net connection, some sleep, time to write up, time to dream and meet up with some inspiration, etc. etc. (for there are no dearth of excuses for a lazy crazy bum like me) and until we meet again. God bless and cheers!
Entirely for the purpose of making most of you go totally all shades of green I have posted few random pictures I took during the above 24 hrs. This might give you an indication what’s there in store over the next two months. And let me tell you that this is not even the tiniest tip of the iceberg that I am yet to see.