Say Hello To Colonel Hathi

Posted: August 10, 2011 by Jinkchak in Short Stories
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Say hello to Colonel Hathi’s (of “The Jungle Book” fame) long-lost descendant, whose name happens to be Ghajendra. 50 years of age, this magnificent creature has spent most of his life in Mysore, Karnataka, participating in processions during important festivals. Now that his job at Mysore has finally come to an end, Ghajendra is in retirement, and now, resides at Jungle Lodges, K.Gudi, Karnataka, where he rarely ventures deep into the jungle. Instead, he loves walking in the middle of any road.

As Ghajendra moved towards me, his gait aroused the memories of my favourite Disney film when I was a kid – “The Jungle Book”, based on Rudyard Kipling’s collection of short stories. I was suddenly swept back to the time when terms like “VHS” and “VCR” were still in common use. It was the age of the Pentium II processor – the time when black-and-white CRT monitors were the norm, and colour monitors inspired nothing short of awe in people (at least in the place I grew up).

It was during this bygone era that I received a VHS tape of “The Jungle Book” as a gift. I removed the tape from its package, and opened its head to enjoy the aroma of the magnetic tape (Weird? I couldn’t agree more).

Now, I inserted the cassette into the VCR, and pressed the play button. I spent the next one hour and 20 minutes enjoying every moment of that movie.

Little did I know that I would watch this movie more than 15 times in the not too distant future, savouring every exploit of Mowgli – the man cub; Bagheera – the black panther who discovers Mowgli; Akelathe Indian Wolf who takes care of Mowgli along with her own cubs; Baloothe sloth bear who lived with the “Bare Necessities of life; King Louiethe orangutan who wishes to know the secret of making fire because “I wanna be like you; Kaathe Indian Python who hypnotizes others so that they can “Trust in Me; Shere Khanthe man-eating Bengal Tiger who intends to eat Mowgli; The Vultureswho closely resemble the Beatles, singing “That’s what friends are for”.   (Click the highlighted links to listen to the respective song on YouTube)

That’s not all, folks! I have to mention my favourite character and the reason this crazy article was written in the first place. Say Hello to Colonel Hathithe Indian Elephant who, along with his wife, leads the Dawn Patrol, while singing “The Elephant Song”.

If you haven’t seen this 1967 film yet, you’re missing out on a lot of things…

 

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