These days, my head is full of elephants, but there was a time when I was obsessed with camels.
That was back in the 80s, when Srini and I were newly married and living in Gujarat. Through the twelve years of studying, working, growing our family by two kids and a dog, visiting unforgettable places like Sabarmati ashram, Lothal and village co-ops, dancing garba and dandiya ras like there was no tomorrow, eating and learning to cook delicious besanish Gujju food – through all this, the camels never ceased to be a source of wonder and fascination. Every time we saw a camel cart or a line of camels walking along the road, we would be absolutely floored. Though we saw them every day (and once even encountered a runaway camel), it never did become an everyday matter to us. The kids would belt out ‘The camels are coming oho oho!’ at the first sign of a large gaunt yellow animal.
Then we moved to Bangalore, and the camel adventures sadly came to an end: as well as the the exuberant splashes of colour against a dusty landscape. I finally managed to write Gujarat out of my system in two books – The Smile of Vanuvati, which features a camel and an archaeological dig; and The Leopard’s Paw, which languishes unpublished in my computer. (I think it’s a pretty good book, though!)
In recent years, I have been looking forward to WP friend David Kanigan’s series of posts, Guess.What.Day.It.Is. A camel picture a week! Thanks, David, for the Wednesday treats. (Where’s this week’s, though?!)
In a fit of nostalgia, I started digging through old photos for camel pics. I came up with just two, but they are loaded with memories.