Yes, now that I have piqued your interest, I finally went on a 2 day vacation, for the first time in a year, and for the first time as a single mother. And to tell you it was incredible would be the understatement of the century. We actually drove down to Shimoga, a place that has won my heart, both in terms of hospitality and the food.
Murphy had to of course work his hardest, and then it started off with Mischief having motion sickness and throwing up all over my jacket, but the driver was super sweet and helped me clean up and start off again without even a single protest – it was his own car but he chose to look beyond. Murphy- 0, Lakshmi – 1.
It was the most funnest thing getting there, picknicking along the way in someone’s farm for breakfast and lunch, Mischief running amok around with H, chasing butterflies and dragonflies in the grass. And finally, after taking eight hours for what should have been a five hour road trip – blame my innumerable chai breaks, we finally reached this beautiful home stay called River View, which was the only place we could find that would allow dogs.
Most places that touted to be “pet-friendly” provide you a cage to put your pet in. How that is pet friendly is beyond my understanding. But the owners of this place were kind enough to keep a bed and food ready for Mischief, in our room by the time we arrived. And finally, leaving her inside our room, we locked up and drove out to town for dinner. Cut to about an hour and a half later, I come back and tried opening the door, which wouldn’t open even after being unlocked. Thinking the lock must be faulty, I called the staff to help – when we finally discovered what the problem was. Mischief, living up to her name, had actually latched herself inside, playing with the handle on the other side – and there was no way to open the door except to break it open.
My heart skipped a beat, thinking of all that would ensue, including me having to convince the owner about the decision and I mentally started having the conversation in my head, but I didn’t have to – he made the decision himself, asking me not to worry. But that was the not the best part – his whole family, including his daughter and his grandson, came to help calm me and little H down, who was already sobbing her heart out, scared and helpless. They held my hand and talked me through what would happen – and then eventually, an excruciating 45 minutes later, the door was broken open and Mischief had the most heartwarming reunion with her sister.
The kindness of people is what touches my heart the most – and even the neighbours in the resort were super nice too, not complaining even a bit about the loud banging on a Saturday night, but came out and tried to help too – young boys on a holiday, willing to lend a helping hand.
After the adventurous night, we went to sleep after having dinner at the river-side with moonlight giving us company, and almost fell asleep outside. And then the next morning, we had breakfast and chai by the river, on old style picnic benches – and I swear to God, chai never tasted better in my life.
And I finally managed to tear myself from the view and get dressed to go to an Elephant Sanctuary where I heard you could bathe elephants. I’ve always been fascinated by these gentle giants but the books I’ve been reading lately, have increased the respect I have for them by a hundred fold. Elephant mothers and the way they treat their calves, is something that truly touched my heart. If you were pregnant for 22 months, you’d put your heart and soul on the line too, I guess, but the sheer love you see an elephant baby experience in a herd is mind-blowing. The whole herd makes it their life-mission to protect the baby for the next two years after it is born, following every move, listening to every little trumpet. I’d be a brilliant elephant I think, if I were ever reborn as one, I have the memory skill down anyways 🙂
And then I met Kiran, and fell in love head over heels all over again. Gentle, graceful and beautiful eyes – what is there not to love?
And here’s Kiran again, after having sprayed my face with water from the lake. Yes, that happened. Have you ever tried bathing an elephant? You should – it is truly the most calming thing in the world.
The grin on my face says it all 😀
Never have I felt this sense of freedom than I did on this trip – and I am forever grateful for it.