The Elephant is always an animal I wonder and observe. I used to dream about riding on an elephant’s back from my child hood. The day came when I went with our bunch of BTEC level 5 students for a photography tour to Wayanad, Kerala. Though I love to be on the elephant’s back, there was an inner fear mixed with excitement when my students insisted me to go for a ride.
With my professional DSLR on my shoulders, I sat on the huge animal with the pride of a King. The point of view from the top was something I saw for the first time in my life. As the elephant moved in action, the jerk on all sides reminded me to be careful. The idea to take few shots from the top of the elephant became secondary. I could feel the huge shoulder bones of the animal moving below my thighs. Before I could realize what is happening, the elephant swiftly negotiated into several narrow paths surrounded by giant trees. I could see the tall trees below my eye level and in the foreground I see the head with a couple of contours and stiff, spiny hair. I attempted few shots carefully holding the camera in one hand (thanks to the auto focus technology and automatic exposure…. And many other automatic feature of my DSLR). It was all a lot of fun throughout the short journey filled with thrill and excitement. I became a child for a while. This life time experience is something one shouldn’t miss.
At the same time, when I stepped down from the elephant, I had a small feeling of guilt as if I had exploited the animal. Of course we fed the elephant with few bunch of bananas and left the place with a mixed feeling.