He may be a majestic giant on land, but in the water he seems to transform into a weightless creature specially designed to fly in the sea.
(Photo: Barefoot Resorts, Havelock)
Rajan of the sea: At ease in the water
If you’ve ever imagined flying with an elephant in a surreal world, you sure can realize your dream with the help of a male tusker called Rajan in the Andaman Islands.
For a country that has an estimated 25,000 wild elephants and 3,500 domesticated elephants, there is always something happening with regard to the elephants. Even so, Rajan is unique. He flies in the waters of the Bay of Bengal with the ease of a pelican in the air.
As he kicks his legs backwards, he puts out his tail and pushes out his trunk, frequently lifting it out of water for a breath of fresh air.
When an unwary tourist comes his way, he swiftly moves away avoiding collision. The islanders think he is the only elephant who can swim in the sea so gracefully.
Rajan is 57 years old, but his spirit seems to be that of a young elephant. He goes for a walk at 6 a.m. and returns to the Barefoot Resort in the evening.
When the weather is hot, he goes down to the Bay. Rajan’s story goes back to 2004 when he was stranded on the Havelock Island after a film shoot.
His owner could not pay for the cargo vessel to ship him to a nearby island. He subsequently fell sick and the Barefoot Resort on the island took him under its care.
But Rajan’s story continues… His owner is now trying to sell Rajan for Rs.24 lakhs to a temple in Kerala. So the Barefoot is raising funds to save him. In an effort to raise funds, Rajan also does his bit. He occasionally swims with tourists and raises money.
In performing the cosmic dance in tune with the twinkling sun on the water, he seems to express his joy of being on the Havelock and finding his freedom.
PATANJALI. V. PARIMI
Courtesy: The Hindu, Young World.