Saturday, June 05, 2010

A Vacation in Divaland: Part II

The prequel to this post was inspired by 'Three Men in a Boat:To Say Nothing of the Dog'. This one is inspired by 'My Family and Other Animals';written by the venerable naturalist,the late Gerald Durrell.

Durrell purists are likely to be let down by this entry because of certain constraints in Divaland.I think it has been established by now that Divaland is a culmination of all the places that the Diva has visited in her lifetime.Given that this includes five cities,one small town and one hill station,all located in India;the scope of Divaland is somewhat limited.Nevertheless,one is allowed to let one's imagination run wild,especially in a place of such biodiversity as India.

The island:I propose to find a tiny island lurking somewhere in the Arabian Sea.I personally dislike the Bay of Bengal for its unpredictable spurts of turbulence egged on by several notorious cyclones.The Arabian Sea tends to be more placid.

The family:My family comprises two humans and six dogs at the moment.Of the six dogs,five enjoy the benefits of their 'stray' status;it allows them to doze all day in our garden and wreak havoc on the streets at night.All of them are unanimously terrified of travel.My mother and I are the two humans in question.My mother loves to travel and has this wayward sense of humour that took me more than two decades to understand.

The Journey:Two humans(both women) with what looks like a travelling circus;except that the animals aren't as well trained.I believe that dogs ought to behave like dogs and humans like humans,although the former and latter sometimes like to get into each other's shoes.So,here we are on a cruise ship.My mother being a stickler for cleanliness,has inspected every inch of our cabin to make sure that our quarters are 'habitable'.Our dog Toffee shares our cabin.The other dogs are in a separate place because Toffee has unresolved issues regarding the sharing of resources,like owners and food,with less fortunate mortals.Every time the ship lurches forward,the dogs howl in unison and Toffee barks,her voice taking on a series of variations.The lot finally arrive and meet a certain benefactor who has been kind enough to help us find an animal-friendly place to stay.

Biodiversity:Given that tiny islands are purportedly rich in flora and fauna,studies in biodiversity shouldn't be impossible.The only impediment I foresee, is that the dogs aren't exactly civil to non-canine and non-human life forms(they aren't particularly civil to fellow canines either).Imagine this;I'm nearly prostrate on the ground,eagerly watching an earthworm,and then all of a sudden, a huge paw quashes the poor creature into a shapeless,gel-like mass.Gerald Durrell was blessed because Roger was mostly co-operative during their many expeditions.Still,where there is a will there is a way.The Diva will gain the upper hand over her mother's aversion to reptiles and the dogs' tendency to chew anything lying within hunting distance.

Zealous Durrel purists can extrapolate the rest.Those who haven't read Durrell,animal lovers and otherwise,read his work now!

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