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Friday, September 17, 2010

At the Zoological Garden of Kolkata!
Our trip to the zoo two days after 'Id' was as exciting as ever but i was disheartened to find many of the animals missing from the Calcutta zoo! I was looking forward to getting a glimpse of my favorite animal, the elephant, which used to be kept just a foot away from its visitors when i visited the zoo as a kid. There used to be three of them and the best part of the whole visit was offering money and channa to the elephants that collected the money with its trunk and threw it behind him. Fascinated by this intelligent animal who even greeted us "salaam", which is a respectful gesture and signifies peace, with its trunk, i always ran to the trio on entering the zoo as a kid and this time also expected the same along with my kids, but soon came to know from the other visitors that the elephants named Mumtaz, Uttara and Phulwanti were shifted to an extremely isolated enclosure at the zoo.

We located them and was saddened on watching from them miles away. Though the surrounding area was huge and spacious the elephants preferred to rest inside their shaded home and we couldn't even catch a glimpse of them! Luckily Aryan got the opportunity to watch them from upfront when he was younger and had visited the zoo with his dad and me, but it was Alisha's tough luck. I got red in the face for the way the animals were treated, so lonely, in isolation.

I also noticed the giraffe was the only second most attractive animal in the Calcutta zoo and you can see why in the images. I couldn't find the zebras, the giant tortoise that is assumed dead or maybe moved out to a different zoo location, and, soon the elephants are supposed to be shifted of their home to a national park too. The officials make the excuse of insufficient space for the three fully grown elephants.

I ask, would any parent take their child to the zoo any longest if the main pride and attraction of the zoo ends? I doubt, and soon the zoo will lose its visitors who flock there every festive season be it Christmas, New Years, Pujas (festival of the Hindus), or Id(festival of the Muslims). I guess we have to bid the zoo "goodbye and flock the 'nicco park' or 'clown town' instead but even those would never replace the excitement the zoo delivers to us.


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