The faint jingling of bells started getting more distinct and then all of a sudden the atmosphere is my sis’s house is filled with excitement. My nieces scramble and scream, “The camel man is here.” I wondered what all the hullabaloo was about.
Well, it so happens that there’s this guy who shows up with his camel now and then in the neighborhood offering to give kids a camel ride for a fee. The arrival of the camel is announced by the jingle of the bells tied around one of the camel’s legs. Notice the bells around one of the front legs of the camel in the picture.
My sister negotiates the ride with the ‘camel man’ from her balcony, and the girls along with my kids scoot off downstairs for their favorite activity of the day. Such conveniences only exist in India or do other places have this luxury, I don’t know!!
The camel man seemed so pathetic for a person who was to offer some sort of entertainment for kids, as he neither had a smile, nor an energetic, cheerful front. I am not sure if he was tired from the endless walking he had to do to earn his livelihood or was it just that his business seemed mundane to him, or if his personality was such. Of course, these things didn’t matter to our kids, the camel took all their attention.
The thrilled kiddos were assisted onto the camel’s back. My daughter who was used to climbing on and off monkey bars, probably was clumsy doing it. Little did she know, she was going to be told that, by the poor animal in a not fun way. I watched the camel give her a slight kick as she was getting off the camel’s back. Fortunately, nothing happened except that my kid was startled and though I was concerned, I couldn’t help bursting out in a laugh. So much for a camel ride!!
Though I am not for animals held captive and used to earn money, I am many at times confused where to draw the line. I guess in a big country like India where poverty is a big problem, some poor people are driven to such means of making a livelihood. This camel didn’t seem to be in bad shape, so it didn’t bother me much. The owner looked more pathetic than the camel and though his demeanor ticked me off, I tried to reason with myself that he must be tired. Can you imagine walking around town for most part of the day in the hot sun in the hope of making enough for the day to support your family?