Tuesday, June 14, 2005

God's Own Country - DAY I

I’m back from my Kerala tour! Kerala really is God’s own country! It is so very beautiful!!
Am gonna start a series detailing my tour, day by day. This is Chapter I.

The trip didn’t start out on a very nice note. A family got into the cubicle opposite to ours, and the “head of the family” began screaming at another family already present in the compartment, ordering them to move their luggage out of the way to accommodate his!! What a creep!!
Later this same man, lets call him Mr. McScream, began playing “educational” games with his small son, asking him to name the largest mammal, the fastest bird, and other such questions. He later included three other children too (they belonged to the screamed at family). He asked them if they knew the definition of a mammal, and told them that a mammal is any living being that suckle their offspring.
Then he asked them if they knew about a bird that also suckles its offspring. I too was very intrigued at this point, and wanted to know the answer. All the kids scratched their heads, but were unable to come up with the answer. At the end of five minutes or so he proudly declared that bats were a species of birds that suckled their young!! For a minute, I thought that I’d heard wrong, but then one of the kids hesitantly pointed out that bats were mammals, but Mr. McScream said in a very lordly manner, “No, no! Bats are birds! If you look at them closely, you will see that they have wings!” Good god! I was like, is this guy for real?! Mr. Know-it-all (I could give this guy a few more choice names, but I will refrain from doing so!) should refer to an encyclopedia, or even a dictionary before trying to act all smart, but making a complete ass out of himself in the process! I’m sure that a bat is indeed a mammal, but being a very thorough person I even checked online for the exact meaning. And this is what I found: According to
www.dictionary.com a bat is defined as

Any of various nocturnal flying mammals of the order Chiroptera, having membranous wings that extend from the forelimbs to the hind limbs or tail and anatomical adaptations for echolocation, by which they navigate and hunt prey.

Note that the term “flying mammals” is italicized!
So here’s my advice to the Know-it-alls of the world (this group, unfortunately includes me too, but only in very rare cases! :D): Get your facts right before opening your trap and making a complete fool of yourself!
This tour had a lot of ups and downs, and the downs were all to do with PEOPLE! I will elaborate on this in my future chapters! Actually, there won’t even be any need for elaboration!

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