17 December 2011

Rukku's Holiday

Right click on photographs for enlargement

Well the below two photographs are enough to warm the coldest heart. Dear Rukku, the Arunachaleswarar Temple Elephant, is boarding a truck on her way to Theppakadu and a well deserved 48 day vacation.

There will be 36 other elephants at the forest, 35 females and one male, to fun and frolic with, and this is not the first time Rukku has had a vacation from Temple duties, so she will already be familiar with many of the elephants that she will reunite with at Theppakadu, the place which also happens to be where she was born.

It does look like the truck could have been bigger, its going to be somewhat cramped for her on her journey, but no doubt her excitement will buoy her right along.



Anonymous said...

Happy Holidays Sweet Rukku.

Readers will have to meet her to know how sweet she really is. She is big and stands for hours blessing even those who feed her rotten bananas.

She is constantly poked between her toes with an iron rod. I heart goes out for her.

Arunachala Grace would you have an update for us from when she meets her mother again? I am sure the temple authorities will take some pictures.

Meenakshi Ammal said...

I only wrote about the positive aspects of the vacation. However in many aspects the vacation programme should have been thought out more clearly.

To prevent (what the authorities say) is the possibility of the spread of disease between elephants; the 37 visiting elephants will be kept separate from the residential, permanent elephants.

Which means Rukku won't get to meet her Mother or family. And considering how social and familial elephants are, and taking into account their intelligence and excellent memories -- well their enforced separation will be painful.

Rukku will recognise the home where she grew up, and her Mum will intuit that her kid is close by. So sad. A real heart breaker.

Meenakshi Ammal said...

And another thing, considering the amount of money the Temple pulls, don't you think they could have done a better job safe-guarding Rukku's transportation? Even I could have done a better a job than that truck rubbish.

When I go to the Temple, I usually try to avoid passing by Rukku, as it breaks my heart to see how she is forced to spend her days. Knowing that I can do absolutely nothing to help or improve her situation.

As far as I'm concerned there is not a being in that Temple more loved by the Great Lord, than sweet Rukku. She will receive great rewards from Him.

Anonymous said...

I laughed when I saw the truck. If I were Rukku, I would put my one foot out of the back of the truck and let the driver go for a toss. But Sweet Rukku will never do that to anyone.

Will they atleast let Rukku see her mom from far? No transference of germs there. I am sure Arunachala will have great rewards for her.

Meenakshi Ammal said...

As frustrating as it, one has to remember that it is a beginning and good things can come from this.

After all it is only now that there is a new State Government that is concerned with animal welfare, that the trip to the Forests has been reinstated.

So lots of good things ahead. And being that Rukku is such a girl, maybe she will even catch the eye of the only gent elephant out of the 37 visiting 'nellies at camp!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I remember. A new chief minister has taken over. She went to work on Rukku's holiday plans immediately, didn't she?

I hope she starts work soon on our second request - creating a safe pathway from the Arunachaleswarar temple till where Bangalore Road meets Chengham Road. That is an hour of girivalam walking where we have to dodge traffic. I hope she does something immediately.

Anonymous said...

I was very fortunate to see Rukku do a trumpet puja to Lord Ganesha yesterday. Around her dinner time, she was taken up the steps and down some to the big ganesha sannidhi where she lifted her trunk and let out three big trumpet sounds. It was very short but very powerful. I was so blessed to be present.

The store that sells prasadam near where Rukku stands told me that she loves dates, perichum param (I hope I got the name right). So I bought her a packet and put them in the holes of her trunk. She munched away so happily. It is one of her favourites and the temple feeds her a big bag full if no one else brings her some.

Meenakshi Ammal said...

Its so nice when people go and give Rukku extra love and tenderness. However if you really want to show your love send a letter to the Temple Administration and tell them in a Temple comprising 26 acres, it is disgrace they have given their elephant a sandbox to stand it all day and that too surrounded by the temple office, shops and a video shop that plays blaring music all day. Sooner or later Rukku will crack.

I've been told that temples always pick girl elephants that are not too bright -- as they give the least trouble. The previous elephant was smart and feisty. She got angry when a pilgrim waived burning camphor in her face, picked up the lady and smote her to the ground. From what I heard the elephant is now on permanent retirement in the forests.

Anonymous said...

Sweet Rukku should do that to win her freedom...maybe to the mahouts who have such a bad attitude if you ask about her welfare. So I have stopped talking to them.

I saw a man taking care of the navagraha sannidhi who told me that his spine was completely crushed by the temple elephant many, many years ago. Not sure if he is one the people who feeds the elephants rotten bananas.

Mae said...

I intended to go to Arunachala next year but I hate to see animals in captivity and basically imprisoned. Is this likely to be my experience if not I would rather not go.

mae said...

Elephants should not be used by humans in any way - This is abuse