Making an elephant laugh is no easy task but this is a tiny attempt with the help of a tiny animal.
This sketch is overdue and is to record the 1st death anniversary of an unfortunate (first in the history of Esala Perahera) Majestic Pachyderm at the hands of the all too important Diyawadana Nilame.
Before that I must (this is also in the same spirit) rectify some of my own lapses and some incisive comments on an attempt by local Microsoft cronies and goonies to vandalize our emails (I have many emails but intrusion to my privacy is violation of Fundamental Right of any living and dead soul.
I have already rectified one lapse by switching to Linux completely.
I have dedicated this year for Linux and have already accomplished all what I wanted, well in advance (thought it might drag on till December holidays) and have enough time for my resumes, now.
Second lapse that I rectify now is that the finding a name (word) for (see Katha on Kadde) Kadde.
The boy who raised this question is now growing up fast physically and in English.
This is long overdue, may be by over three years. because of the vandalization attempt by some living paranoid soul breathing air I exhale.
I started looking at some of my old writing to see whether any one has been defamed or deframed and suddenly found one not edited on time with new / old discovery.
This I give credit to a Burger Gentleman with Irish descent who inherited it from his mother. ( Edited today-He is now no more with us in Kandy and has gone back to his base to look after his aging mum giving up his job in Kandy)
The word is Pingo Man.
I make it Ping Pong Man since when he walks with Pingo on his shoulder, he reminds me of a dancing Ping Pong ball.
The Pingo part may have come from either Vietnam or China, this a traditional way of carrying things on shoulder in South Wast Asia. In any case it sounds Chinese to me, and with the ascent of the Chinese Tiger in the East due credit should go to China if it has any connection to the birth of this word like Ying and Yang.
Coming back to the pachyderm, the treatment it gets from the mahout and the tourists, local and foreign is less than desirable, to say the least.
I can remember once I had a not so healthy argument with a Lady Doctor from UK who was voicing the concern I raised now 25 years ago.
She said that it is a violation of Animal Rights and using them for long hours without due concern is inhuman which I fully endorse without reservation, now.
These animals are ill treated during Perehara time to please tourists!
I still have picture of this lady on an Elephant at Elephant Bath (now non existent) and I have never climbed an elephant in my life.
There was another dispute I had with this lady some days later.
I said, I admire this majestic animal so much that I cannot think (not fear) of climbing on one of them and pretend that I (the man) am big or bigger than my size (she of course did not have an answer to my unexpected impromptu) but she of course enjoyed the ride thoroughly.
Coming back to making an elephant laugh none in the list below can do that.
1. Diyawadana Nilame is out on the first count.
He goes on to record (in history) for the first death of an elephant who participated in this annual event.
2. President Rajapaksa cannot achieve this because he is making the elephants (two legged) under his fold crying for posts (latest is Mr. Milinda Moragoda).
3. Mr Ranil Wickramasinghe cannot achieve this because he is making all elephants (past and present) cry in vain.
4. I cannot do that since when I go near any one of them garbed with surgical gear even a tame animal gets angry (All Sri-Lankan Doctors are a very arrogant species).
5. A gecko cannot.
6. A chameleon cannot.
7. So who can do that?
I have found one by accident.
This was an ant.
He happened to be on my cup of tea. I asked the fellow what on earth you are doing in my cup of tea.
He looked at me and said, look guy I may be small but I have made an elephant laugh.
That made me to open my eyes wide.
I’ll give you a Palawatta Sugar Grain for the information you give, please tell me the secret.
He took a meditative breath and with a smiling face told me.
It is easy.
I did that to the Majestic Elephant who died a year ago during Perehara.
My gray matter started working with new gush of pure blood not polluted by Americans and their Autos.
He said when the Kandy Veterinary Surgeon was attending to him, he hid inside the nose (with his poking the elephant was crying) and when he was gone came out from his hiding (in the night) place to inquire why he was crying.
He said to the ant in his slumber, these guys (doctors) even do not let me sleep my last nap (sleep) with poking and probing.
Suddenly the ant realized, he is having his last conversation with this majestic guy.
He (ant) whispered to the elephant, buck up you guy, if they take you to the Intensive Care Unit, I’ll give all my blood and save you, OK.
To this the elephant could not stop laughing.
He took his last breath laughing and ended up in heaven.
The moral of this story is when one is dying only the little ones are near you.
Little things can make one happy but not doctors (plenty in white garb) without humour.
For the two legged elephants, the little ones (grass root citizens and not those who are at Diyawaanawa) are the ones that matter most.
Not foreign tours.
Small is beautiful!
The real reason for the Elephant’s death was dehydration (negligence) and poor care and not old age as stated by those who were in authority.
22th July, 2009