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A Visit to the Zoo

Every Monday morning, although disgruntled at the start of yet another busy/boring/terrible/frustrating week, I very firmly resolve to write an e-mail to all you good folks , detailing my activities of the past week and hopes for the week to come. Unfortunately, the only exciting activity to report takes place while I sleep. Ladies and gentlemen, I am a walking talking (and sleeping) Freudian laboratory. The moment my head hits my pillow my mind is filled with one exciting adventure after the other. Last night I single-handedly saved two busloads of kids from certain death from a falling giant tree. And the night before , I was the leader of a group of people creating solutions to save the world from “GRAVE DANGER”. And the night before was the catalyst in a romantic drama involving three couples that if I penned down would make me a Bollywood legend. See, that’s what I said…since my life is so mundane my creativity and desire for adventure find an outlet subconsciously through my dreams.

Reality is the unfortunate time in between.

This weekend however was somewhat “exciting” due to a trip to the Washington National zoo. How have the mighty fallen!!! After dallying around Italy and zooming off to Vermont and driving up-to the Niagara last year….all I have to report this year is a trip to the local zoo. But I have said I shall describe my weekends and so I shall start with the zoo-story. “Bear” with me!!!! ( hahaha!!)

During my last visit to San Diego , I visited the San Diego zoo, touted as the “best in the country”. After crossing the country to visit a zoo, I thought it a shame that I have never been to the one in my backyard. A visit to the DC zoo was necessary to compare the two. That was not meant to be taken literally. I shall refrain at this point to describe the wildlife and the insects that live happily behind my house and occasionally find a way to come and visit me inside. With this noble purpose, Seejo, Robin, Ashu and I set off on Saturday morning to “go to the zoo”. The DC zoo scored its first point over the SD zoo, because it was free.

IMG_6765We started off with the cheetah, and watched it dozing for a while and imagined the tremendous speed it could achieve if it ever woke up from its slumber. Just as we were tired of watching it sleep, and were about to leave, it raised its head to watch us go , almost as though saying “good riddance!”. We wandered off next to see a couple of wolves, who had clearly marked their territory by liberally spraying strongly stinking urine lavishly around their area. All we managed to see was a glimpse of two pointed ears, hiding behind the tall grass. By this time, it was getting quite hot (it was almost 95 degrees); the giraffe was standing quite listlessly , a baby elephant was trying to cool itself off by splashing water from its pool, the pandas were dozing in its cave. The pandas by the way were the star attraction of the DC zoo. The panda cub was actually born sometime in the last year in the zoo making it a rare creature. There were large amounts of children trying to glimpse the sleeping pandas imaging them as giant cuddly bears, oblivious of the fact that these are quite vicious creatures!! We saw a big ball of fur which we correctly interpreted as a dozing panda and ticked it off our “to-see” list.

We soon escaped to the cool confines of the aviary, where a few chattering birds were the attractions, impossibly still owls, some cockatoos with exhibitionist tendencies , colorful birds from the Amazon, a flock of pink flamingoes that had their neck tied up in knots. Out of the aviary, the next on the list were the seals, sea lions and beavers, all of them swimming gracefully in the water, making me quite resentful of the fact that they had their own water hole to splash about while I was trudging along in the high morning heat.

The next stop was the reptile museum where there were at least 50 different kinds of snakes, a dozen or so types of frogs, a variety of lizards and even a komodo dragon. By the way hilarious bit of stuff overheard at near the dragon enclosure: a piece of sage advice from a dad to his son, “ If those dragons bite you, you will die immediately cos they have bacteria and stuff ”. Sniggering at this, we passed on to the next exhibit: the monkeys where I learnt an important bit of information that the gorillas are African while orangutans are Asian in origin.IMG_6877 The monkeys were quite relaxed and oblivious of the people gawking at them. In fact one particular gentleman was reposing gracefully up a tree, and from time to time would take something from his arse and devour it as thought it was a tasty tit-bit. Another one wandered to the glass partition that divided the human apes form the gorilla apes and majestically sat there unmindful of the clicks and flashes that popped around them, like he was a famous star condescending to give the paparazzi a few poses !!

That was it for the day and tired after an exciting day out in the sun, we trudged homewards. And so when someone asks me in the future…so whats new with you…done anything exciting, I can proudly answer them. Yes, ofcourse we visited the zoo last week.

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