Sunday, February 17, 2008

It Happens only in India: Camel Rides in Silicon City

'Bangalore,India's silicon city'; is an overused cliche in it's own right. However,not all silicon cities can boast of Bangalore's little quirks. At least not in the department of camel rides. Read on for more.

How it all Started

Camels are brought in from Rajasthan (I've heard they are actually made to walk all the way from the Thar desert to silicon city)and sent to 'camel farms' in the outskirts.There was an epicurean angle to the whole thing. Apparently some folks think that camels make excellent grub. By some stroke of fate, the animal rights activists became aware of this practice. There was quite a furor over the sale of camel meat and soon a ban was imposed. This hasn't been a deterrent to some enterprising members of society who thought that 'camel rides' would be a great way to generate revenue.

Enter the Camel!

Camel rides are typical weekend features, particularly in the suburbs of north Bangalore. The ships of the desert are decked in colorful attire and paraded from street to street. They have formidable anklets that sound like the clanging of temple bells. One can hear their approach from quite a distance. Excited children come running out of houses in anticipation. The adults gaze in curiosity as the mighty beasts sway from side to side,much to the chagrin of all the stray dogs. What ensues is sheer cacophony. The deadly combination of canine hysteria and ringing anklets is enough to curtail the peace of a lazy tropical afternoon.

The Outcome

As an aftermath, there has been a surge of camels in the neighborhood. In addition to this there are happier children, unhappy dogs and adults who have found an ingenious way to keep their brats amused.

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