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Thursday, May 11, 2023

CSK whispers elephant !!

I adore them – the sight of these mammoth giant and their activities are so affable.  They are highly intelligent animals with complex emotions, feelings, compassion and self-awareness  - the Elephants are the largest land mammals on earth and have distinctly massive bodies, large ears, and long trunks. They use their trunks to pick up objects, trumpet warnings, greet other elephants, or suck up water for drinking or bathing, among other uses.  

Good news for Chennai fans – at Chepauk, an  all-round effort of  Chennai Super Kings helped them trounce Delhi Capitals by 27 runs,  helping the four-time champions get one step closer towards the IPL playoffs.  In a way it was not the effort of any individual - CSK's highest run-scorer was Shivam Dube with 25, but six batters entered the twenties, including MS Dhoni who made 20 in nine deliveries.  Dhoni's late hits lifted CSK to 167, and after that Deepak Chahar gave them the upper hand by removing both Capitals openers inside three overs. With their new love  Matheesha Pathirana providing the finishing touch it was an easy win. CSK are now almost certain of a top-four finish with 15 points in 12 games, while another win in their next two matches should secure a top-two position. The Capitals can now reach 14 points at best, which realistically might not be enough this season.

Not a post on the match but something that took place minutes prior to the start.  Read that  filmmakers shot over 450 hours of footage of their interactions- of the people, community, feeding, bathing, and playing with Raghu in the forest.  It is beautifully woven around animal-human bond, characterized by the expression of emotions by all of them.  To the Western World torturing animals but portraying in media as saviours – this film showcases the love and affection and is an honest attempt to see animals as one amongst us.  

It is the “Elephant Whisperers”  the story of native  couple named Bomman and Bellie who are entrusted with an orphaned baby elephant named Raghu. They take great pains to ensure that the fragile, injured infant survives and grows to be a healthy juvenile. A strong bond develops between the couple and the elephant. They adopt another elephant Ammukutty and eventually have to give up Raghu. Set in the Mudumalai National Park in the border of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu states of India, the documentary also highlights the natural beauty of the location. It explores the life of the tribal people in harmony with nature.  The film is a heart-filling rendition of the bond between the cute elephant and its care takers, that of the culture and tradition  and care for environment and its conservation.   

The Elephant Whisperers is a 2022 Indian documentary film directed by documentary filmmaker Kartiki Gonsalves in her directorial debut.  Produced by Sikhya Entertainment, the film had its world premiere on 9 November 2022 at Doc NYC Film Festival, a film festival for documentaries in the United States. The film was released by Netflix globally in Dec 2022.  It won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Film at the 95th Academy Awards,  making it the first Indian film to win an Academy Award in that category at the Oscars.

The main characters, Bomman and Bellie belong to the Kattunayakar community living in the Theppakadu Elephant Camp in Tamil Nadu, the community has a long history of taking care of elephants. When Raghu, a three-month-old elephant calf is abandoned by his herd after his mother is killed, the couple assume the care of the baby. They  nurse him back to health and gain his trust. They succeed and become a family in every sense of that term.

The news is   Bomman-Bellie and director Kartiki Gonsalves were honoured by Chennai Super Kings at an event on May 9. During the event, the team of the Oscar-winning documentary received personalised jersey with their names printed on it.  In addition to the honour, the elephant caregivers, Bomman and Bellie, along with Kartiki, whose engrossing storytelling spread the heart-warming tale, were felicitated by CSK.  The special ceremony took place at the stadium ahead of CSK vs DC at MA Chidambaram Stadium, in Chennai.  Kartiki also posed with the gold statuette as she received the honour before the match. Just before CSK’s match against Delhi Capitals, Rupa Gurunath, the owner of the IPL cricket team, honoured the three with mementoes.  Reportedly, The Chennai Super Kings will also be providing some funds to the Mudumalai Tiger Conservation Foundation.

The jersey that was given to the star couple by MS Dhoni had their names printed on the back. The official Instagram page of the IPL team shared the pictures and videos on Instagram which read, “Roars of appreciation to the team that won our hearts! So good to host Bomman, Bellie and filmmaker Kartiki Gonsalves (sic).”

With regards – S. Sampathkumar


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