Monday, September 28, 2009

Elephant Riding in India

It is not common in India to come across an elephant. On my last trip, I told my daddy that I want to ride an elephant and a camel. His response was the usual look of confusion, followed by a few comments that were meant to spark a doubt in the actuality of me being his child. While these reactions are not new to either of us, I maintained that I would not leave India without my "rides". One day while I was driving with my daddy when we saw an elephant approaching. I enthusiastically asked our driver to pull over in my foreigner version of Malayalam (common language of Kerala, India) that I speak so well. He also gave me the look of confusion but quickly pulled over.

I walked up to the people who were walking the elephant and asked if I could go for a ride on it. They were absolutely amused by me, an obviously foreign Indian FEMALE requesting a random elephant ride. Their reaction led me to believe that I was the highlight of their day. I could sense my daddy behind me with the "here she goes again" energy vibe that I have grown accustom too. The Elephant literally pulled over for me, sat down, and I was instructed how to climb aboard. I had to place my foot near his ear, hold on to a tiny collar, and pull myself up without accidentally kicking him. Once aboard, I was instructed to "Hold On"! Great, now the elephant is slowly standing, my head is in the trees, and he begins to rock side to side. I begin to feel a little unsure about being so high off the ground, on top of a wild animal. After that initial 5 second unsure feeling fades away, I enjoy my new view of the gorgeous Kerala roadside, and leave feeling thrilled that I did what I set out to do. The two reasons why I am sharing this random blog, is because my last two kids yoga classes, we did elephant pose and it reminded me of my experience. The second reason for this post is because when you set out to do something, and an opportunity presents itself, run for it, regardless of how silly others think you are, or how risky it seems because you may leave with an experience of a lifetime, and you only live once.
If you get the chance to visit India, go to Kerala and at least see an elephant. ~ Peace & hugs, Ambria

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