Jean Morse

The intricately carved door is set back from the dusty road. A woman  invites me inside. She is dressed in a purple and gold sari and moves fluidly across the room. A handwoven carpet embossed with exotic flowers and peacocks cushions my feet.  I am enveloped in the  aroma of Eastern spices – cardamom, ginger,  cinnamon and cumin. We sip chai as she regales me with episodes of her life – of the old Colonial days.  Sahibs, horses and tigers figure prominently in her stories. She tells of her relationship with elephants.  She gestures to a large archway leading to a lush garden of palm trees and bougainvillea.  A contrast to the dusty road outside.  I follow the woman and inhale the heavy scent of frangipani. In the shade of a banyan tree the old mahout, Pabu, sits crosslegged on the ground. Beside him his elephant rests her wrinkled trunk on his shoulder, blinking her watery eyes. They have worked a lifetime in the jungle together and now find peace in quiet contemplation. 

They have worked a lifetime in the jungle together and now find peace in quiet contemplation. Beside him his elephant rests her wrinkled trunk on his shoulder, blinking her watery eyes. In the shade of a banyan tree the old mahout, Pabu, sits crosslegged on the ground. I follow the woman and inhale the heavy scent of frangipani. A contrast to the dusty road outside. She gestures to a large archway leading to a lush garden of palm trees and bougainvillea. She tells of her relationship with elephants. Sahibs, horses and tigers figure prominently in her stories. We sip chai as she regales me with episodes of her life – of the old Colonial days. I am enveloped in the aroma of Eastern spices – cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and cumin. A handwoven carpet embossed with exotic flowers and peacocks cushions my feet. She is dressed in a purple and gold sari and moves fluidly across the room. A woman invites me inside the intricately carved door, set back from the dusty road. 

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