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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/

 

03/04/2013

Welcome in Khar, Mumbai

I managed to find a place a few days before flying back to Mumbai for good and after coming back, I quickly settled in. As you cannot have it all, I have an incredible view of the sea and the slums, a great ventilation in the apartment and no vis-a- vis. But I also have smells of fish drying coming from the adjacent fishing village (though to be honest it is not worse than anywhere else in Mumbai - see my post) and the noise of the rickhsaws that rattle all day long and the bells of temples of Hanuman that ring here and then. Incredible but true I have quite accommodated to the noise and smells. I just need to have a look through the window and be okay with everything...

 

I can even walk through the slum, reach the beach and walk up to my office – but only at low tide! 

 

I just hope that the day where I will smell of dried fish someone will have the kindness to let me know... 

 

I have Indian friends who are not so enthusiastic about my neighbourhood, to say the least. But I love the “popular” side of it, somewhere between a fishing village and a slum. There is not a day when nothing happens. Not need of TV, there is always something happening down the window. 

 

The French bourgeois girl of a Paris fancy neighbourhood that watching Indians going to the public urinal at the bottom of her building makes ecstatic...!

 

inde,mumbai,khar,appartement,vue,mer,poisson

inde,mumbai,khar,appartement,vue,mer,poisson

inde,mumbai,khar,appartement,vue,mer,poisson

inde,mumbai,khar,appartement,vue,mer,poisson

 

03/02/2013

Full speed...

January 2012. I move to Delhi. For life. Or not. At least for a long time. But as often when planning, life decides otherwise. But I don’t know it yet...

January. Norman (my cat) and I land in Delhi, in the cold but happy!

I find an apartment, I have furniture made, I decorate, I struggle to get gas cylinders, I fight to get the internet, I survive the turbulences of electricity and I am finally at home. Or rather we are, I and my favorite Indian. 

I set up the local business unit with all the difficulties one could think of and try to manage as best as I can my other responsibilities - not easy to do two front at the same time! I spend every Saturday working. But it is not so bad since my favorite Indian is also starting his own business and doesn’t really have any time left for us...

 

June. The extreme heat has settled and even ACs have given up fighting it. I now have a puppy a home – some people make babies when their couple crumble; I preferred taking it easy and started with a Rottweiler...  

My best friend arrives from Malaysia and stays with me for two months. Her being there was a blessing that helped me go through the breaking-up months. And beside we rediscovered each other and I discovered a soul mate… A year dedicated to friendship as I also became true friend with my gang of Indian girlfriends who met me every Friday night to drink Long Island Iced Teas. 

 

And then the travelling starts. Professional (especially overseas) travel plus my need of big empty disconnected spaces – I find the most such places in India: Spiti Valley and the Andamans Islands. Incredible journeys. And then Spain, France and Portugal.

 

October arrives. The break-up is consumed and I don't feel as lost as I had always thought I would. I had met him almost immediately after arriving in India and since I had built a life around him, I always thought I would jump on the first plane to France if things would end between us. Quite not. I realised I could still live in India without him.  

 

The last months of the year are filled with almost weekly trips to Mumbai which makes my return in January almost natural – as if this year in Delhi had just been a long trip.

 

January 2013. Despite being really sick, I finish up my professional commitments in Delhi (and there are many in this beginning of the year) and sell all my furniture in a few days.

 

And one fine evening, Norman (my cat) and I land in Mumbai, in the warmth and happy!  

I rediscover Mumbai, parties, concerts, sunset happy hours, friends, running on the beach... 

I learn a new job – I definitely cannot say that I am getting bored in this company!

 

It kind of took me two months to digest 2012 and get back to writing. 

 

An intense year where I feel like I "broke" everything (only to start rebuliding!). I learned a new job, discovered another Indian city, met great people, rediscovered the feeling of freedom you get when driving a car, travelled, lost ten kilos. It was super tough but I survived. And I got so much!

 

A year 200% IndianSamourai! 

India, here I am and here I stay (at least for now). 

 

india,delhi,mumbai

Photo taken in Portugal in December 2012

 

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