|Dancing Elephant. Photo Courtesy: inquisitr.com|
After a long, mentally exhausting day working, I reach Anna's house just after 5pm. That's the normal time he wakes up after his early evening nap. He is still in bed but awake.
Me: Anna! You awake?!
Anna (Looking up at me with a bright face and big smile): Bandiya-amma? (Loosely translated from Kannada it means - "You have come").
Me (smiling back at him): Yes Anna.
Anna: When did you come from Salem?
Me (realizing he is thinking of someone else): I came from Delhi, Anna.
|Singing Elephants (c) John Lund|
Anna (still smiling): You missed the elephants singing.
Me (deciding to play along): Really? What were they singing?
Anna: They were singing so well! Melodious songs.
Me: Oh good! Where were they, Anna?
Anna (pointing to the roof and high up on the walls): Here in the room.
Me: That's nice.
Anna: They often come and sing for me.
Me: Really Anna? How often do they come and sing for you?
Anna: Every other day. Some days they come and some days they don't.
Me: Anna, what do they sing?
Anna: Beautiful songs.
|Photo Courtesy: Kurt Halsey|
Me (by now I am also smiling): Anna, do they trumpet-sing or do they sing like us.
Anna: They sing like us. Beautiful songs. With music.
Me: That is so nice for you Anna.
Anna's eyes move away from me.
Anna (pointing to the corner of the ceiling diagonally opposite from him): Oh see! One of them is there looking at us.
Me (looking up to where he is pointing, looking for an elephant on the ceiling or wall): Yes Anna. Do you think he will sing again?
Anna: I don't know. He is just smiling at us. He is also happy.
Me: That's nice Anna. Pause. Do you want to get up and have coffee.
At the sound of coffee, Anna perks up more - as if that is possible in his happy mood, caused by singing elephants in his room! We lift Anna off his bed and help him shuffle to the dining room.
Anna: I haven't seen the black king cobra for some time.
Me (confused with the move from elephants to cobras): What cobra Anna?
Anna: The one who comes and dances for us sometimes.
Me: Really Anna?
I look at Anna's attendant and housekeeper, confusion writ all over my face. They nod.
Anna: Yes. Is it because it is raining?
Me: Anna, it is not raining.
Anna: I should ask the elephants why the cobra hasn't come.
Me: Yes Anna. Do that the next time they come to sing for you.
Photo Courtesy: eatsofindia.blogspot.com
Anna's coffee arrives. His bother has sent a big box of jaangiri, laddu and boondi for him and I open it to ask Anna what he wants to eat. Of course, he chooses the jaangiri! And eats it with glee. And forgets the elephants and cobra.
And I? I drink my coffee and feel completely relaxed.