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03/10/2013

Who is imitating who?

When labour is too expensive…

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And when the monkeys go on strike…

 

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03/06/2013

Elephant polo

 Did you know it?? 

“Polo was probably introduced to India from Persia by the early Mohammedan invaders in the 13th century. From India, the game spread to England through mostly military channels. The first recorded game in England was played in 1869.”

 

Then, since apparently the British military stationed in India was pretty bored, they developed a variant to spice up the sport: At the turn of the 20th century they launched the elephant polo in India.

 

Speaking of (Asian) elephants, its natural habitat is tropical forests rather than the desert of Rajasthan. The first traces of domestication date back to the third millennium BC on the engraved seals of the civilization of the Indus Valley. But the Asian elephants (of which 50% live in India today) have difficulties (and take it as an understatement) to reproduce in captivity so the elephants found today in Rajasthan come from the capture of wild elephants in other regions of India and Asia.

 

That said, I tried in Jaipur  (apparently the only place in the world where the novice can practice) elephant polo (a still too little known sport;)) for you and it is not easy at all! The stick is very heavy and it is difficult to calculate the distance to the ball as well as the strength required to guide the ball in a certain direction. 

Fortunately, the elephants are ready to help and when you need a hand they don’t hesitate to shoot themselves in the ball! (True)

 

india,jaipur,polo,elephant

 

 Sources : 

http://www.elefantasia.org/spip.php?breve48 

http://www.polomuseum.com/history_of_polo.htm 

http://www.aanemane.org/FR/elephant-asie/nation_elephant.php 

http://www.universcience.fr/fr/science-actualites/enquete-as/wl/1248126422766/les-elephants-d-asie-se-reproduisent-en-laboratoire/

 

01/06/2013

Here comes the time of...

… Indian Russian dolls!

 

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India,Delhi,winter,cold

That's what the rickshaw drivers look like in winter in Delhi...

Which brings me to my new Indian hardship: the cold.

A few weeks ago I mentioned the hell that the humid heat of the Andamans was. A few months ago I mentioned the hell that the 47 degrees of Delhi were. Well, now, I will talk about the hell that 3 degrees are.

I am led to believe that my 6 years in India have done very little for my spirituality because I am still not able to convince myself that no, I am not cold. My nose, my fingers and my toes are frozen all the time – this is of course the coldest winter in 40 years...

It takes me hours to get the motivation to take a shower (which implies to get undressed) and I even think twice before going to the loo... So here I am, unwaxed, dirty hair, wrapped in a shapeless Russian sweater, wearing ski socks and I don’t give a dam!! I am cold...

And no, Indian houses are not equiped with heaters. I could rent an electric heater but I'm leaving soon...

 

No, the big question is how people survived in Siberian gulags?

The advantage of winter in Delhi it is that there is less traffic - I dunno, maybe rickshaw drivers are too cold to work in the morning and evening? And my cat is glued to me (otherwise I can only dream of it).

 

To conclude, I must say that Delhi is an insane city. In fact you get to enjoy your living-room only a few weeks a year, the rest of the time you remain parked in your bedroom – the one room that you can cool or heat up! No need to take a big flat!

 

Ah I swear, life is tough ;)