Tag Archives balmy

THE REDUNDANT MAHOUT

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In the balmy, barmy days before conservation,

our local zoo had an Indian elephant

which gave rides, complete with howdah

and mahout. He had been recruited

from Kerala and he and has family

settled, as Commonwealth citizens,

in a small, suburban semi within sound

of imitation jungles and savannahs.

 

In time, the circus animals deserted

or were abandoned, and, as the

euphemism has it, ‘he lost his job’,

becoming a porter at the train station

(when there were such posts) –

‘Jaldi, jaldi, haathi!’ was replaced by

‘Porter, porter, sir?’ I recall him

dour in his British Rail uniform –

and, appropriately moustached,

grinning astride the elephant’s neck.

 

 

 

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