Elephants, Singers and Mahute

old elephant rider chitwan nepal

This Mahute, an employee of Hattisar in Chitwan, shred his experience of riding elephants for forty years. His would carry kings of Nepal in the jungle on his elephants.

27 Dec: I wasn’t feeling well from morning. Pawan Neupane and I went to interview an old man who had ridden elephants of Chitwan National Park for more than 40 years. He shared his experience of riding elephants that were carrying king Mahendra and Birendra. After checking emails in a cyber cafe (Rs. 35 for 30 minutes) at the chowk, I came back to hotel and stayed inside the room reading book and, what else, sleeping. I loved sleeping that day.

In the evening, Pawan and I visited the Hattisar owned by Chitwan National Park and talked to employees there about their life with elephants and how it was taking care of elephants. Conversations couldn’t be in detail as it was getting dark and time for them, the people, to eat.

With a glass of whisky (Royal Stag) in his hand, Milan Lama (middle) sings as Madal and guitar give him company.

We returned to the hotel and headed towards Bagar where we were scheduled to have dinner in a river side restaurant. We met a local folk singer (Keshav Pande’s friend, of course) who had made it big nationally recently with his melody “Majhi dai Pokhara Phewa taal…” and guess what, Keshav Pandey started the duet with him. Milan Lama, the singer, was in another table, about 20 meters far, but that didn’t stop Pande from starting the musical conversation. Milan Lama, who had gone to Sauraha to sing in the cultural program organized on the sidelines of the elephant race, responded. After a while, not being able to deny countless requests from Pande and company, Lama came to our place and the duet got intensified. The singer realized that he that he was now surrounded by journalists and he was excited to sing more and more songs. Every dialogue was delivered in rhythm.

I was too tired to talk to people (I wasn’t feeling well) and I headed to the hotel without waiting for others after we had dinner. I started reading Chekhov after comfortably resting on the bed covered by the blanket.