A visit to the Zoo

February 5, 2010 at 11:25 pm | Posted in Bhery Phunny, Random Rants | 16 Comments
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Allen Forest Zoo (Hindi: कानपुर चिड़ियाघर / कानपुर प्राणी उद्यान) is a zoo in Kanpur, the industrial hub of Uttar Pradesh in North India. It is the largest open green space in Kanpur. As such it can be classified as the lung of Kanpur. Originally a natural habitat for fauna, it is unique as one of the few zoos in India which have been carved out from a natural forest. The zoo is also referred to as the Kanpur zoo. – Wikipedia

Well, let me just say that I live very near to the Lung(s) of Kanpur(don’t ask me about the other organs though). As mentioned in the wiki, It is the largest open green space in Kanpur(of course the animals disagree). Originally a natural habitat for fauna, it is now a home to several species of animals, birds, plants and humans.

Now living close to the zoo has its own advantages. You can always imbibe some real ‘animal magnetism’ from the animals, which explains why your neighbour’s dog began humping your feet when you asked it to fetch the ball. You can also take every second relative that comes to your place for a picnic to the zoo. It keeps both your relatives and the animals entertained.

But apart from serving as a source of entertainment and distraction, a zoo is also a place of learning. In the 547(and counting) trips that I’ve made to the zoo in the last 20 odd years, I’ve learnt a lot of things. In fact I’ve discovered a new species of animals and a beverage.

The Himalayan Black Beer:


If you follow me on twitter, you might have seen this before. The Himalayan Black Beer is a special flavour of beer sold only in the Kanpur Zoo. It is the official drink of Parvatiya Kala Bhaloo or the Himalayan Black Bear. So when the Himalayan Black Bear drinks the Himalayan Black Beer, it goes wild – like a Gummy Bear tripping on Gummy Juice – and shit happens.

On a related note, you might want to take this quiz before you visit the Kanpur zoo – How long could you survive after kicking a bear in the balls?

Now, I was so ecstatic after finding the Himalayan Black Beer that I almost ignored what was going on around me, till my seven year old nephew tugged at my shirt and asked me – “Otta ki?” *What is that?* – pointing to this:


Ladies and Gentlemen, You just saw the first pictures of a new species of humans – the Homo Sapiens HornioCouplus.

The Hornio Couplus are always found in pairs in shady corners of ‘public spaces’. They are most active around government holidays and weekends but can often be seen during weekdays and college strikes.

Favourite activities include cuddling, excessive baby talk, adjusting clothes, groping and random conversation.

The Hornio Couplus are widely hunted by Moral Police and the real Police for their money and the feeling of having embarrassed someone. But they are far from extinct due to their superior camouflaging skills and their ability to dodge predators. Several wildlife documentaries have featured them – which are popularly knows as MMSs and which can easily be accessed by typing ‘Indian Couples’ in Google.

However this is the first attempt at classifying them as a species. So the Nobel Peace Prize for Socio-Biological Anthropology goes to me. *applause cue card in*

By now, you’d have formed your opinion about me. Some of you must have labelled me as a voyeur who clicks photographs of couples who are merely ‘sitting’ next to each other. Others might be thinking that I am this loser who pokes fun at couples because he is single. You are marginally wrong.

I am a voyeur in the sense that I saw Shweta Tiwari on Iss Jungle se mujhe bachao. I am a loser because the computer beats me at Hearts once everyday. Apart from that, I am a family guy, who had taken his nephew to a zoo and had to explain to him that they are just people like us who have come to the zoo to talk.

Now kids are kids(duh!). They ask questions and they want answers. Sample this:

A cousin of mine was watching Titanic in a Kollkata theatre. An old man was there with his super-excited grandson. Throughout the movie, the grandfather explained the tid-bits to his grandson, adding non-existent trivia.

“This was the biggest ship in the world. This is going to India. <insert trivia about Kolkata being a port> A ship has four engines. Blah Blah Blah”

All this was very cute till Kate Winslet decided to shed her clothes and later to manufacture steam in a vintage car. Now it was the kid’s turn –

“Dadu, eera ki korche” – Grandpa, what are they doing?

“Dadu, oo jama keno nabaache” – Grandpa, why is she undressing?

and Grandpa was short of words and trivia. All he managed was a ‘Chhup thako!’ – Shuddup!

I was going through the same. Sex education is difficult, but trying to teach that to a seven year old is even more so. Even though I was surrounded by the Birds and the Bees, it was really difficult to explain the analogy to the kid. Of course when he’ll grow up, the internet will teach him everything(and worse) but now was not the time.

So I told him that they were couples who had come to the zoo to discuss their homework.

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against Public Display of Addiction Affection. I’ve been accused of the same at times. I even know how to react to public display of affection.

But I do have a problem with the interpretation of the word ‘Public’. A beach is public, a road is public, a public school is public a cafe is public, a shopping mall is public. Because I hail from Kanpur, I used to think that a place where you can spit Paan Masala, is a public place. But Multiplexes changed that definition. So let me just say that “Jahan Public hai, woh jagah public hai”.

By that analogy a zoo is a public place. Heck, you can even spit there(or piss if you find a large enough tree). So Public Display of Affection must be allowed in a Zoo. Agreed. If you want to cuddle, hold hands, kiss even: do so. I don’t have a problem.

What bothers me is when the Hornio Couplus sneak into a corner. That is a private display of affection(a little too much affection methinks). A zoo is where animals are bred in captivity, humans are bred in hospitals and honeymoon hotels. The Hornio Couplus intend to breed in the zoo.

A zoo is a place meant predominantly for kids. Schools organize trips to the zoo so that the kids learn a few lessons. They learn to love trees and animals. They learn to care about nature. At least they are supposed to learn all that. Admire bio-diversity (you know, like the Thakarey brothers admire diversity, that way). A zoo is not a place for sex education. Bollywood and Television are doing their bit. The rest is being properly covered by the Internet and Playstation. We need not give them a live demonstration of natural sexual selection and whatever that follows post-selection.

What frustrates me more is that I can’t walk up to the Hornio Couplus and tell them to get a room. Because getting a room is difficult. If they had a room, they wouldn’t have risked this rendezvous in the open. After all the (im)moral police and the not-so-moral police are always on the prowl.

That said, the Hornio Couplus are a harmless, peaceful species. They do not like to be disturbed and won’t disturb you too unless you are pointing your mobile phone in their face. But like pigeons who shit on statues, they don’t mean what they do.

So this Valentine’s Day I’d request the Homo Sapiens Horniocouplus to take a pledge to stay away from the Zoo. Go to the beach, have a candle light dinner. May you appear invisible to the moral police. Stay safe, have a good time. But please, stay away from the zoo. Spare the sight, save the child.

Disclaimer: I am not a bad person. And my relationship status is one which Himesh ‘Himessmetal’ Reshammiya has bludgeoned to death. *points to Facebook status*

Previously: A visit to the Hospital.


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  1. Ahem this time a bit on the SMS (social messaging Shantanu)types…Giving a thought on the availibility of the rooms, given the increase in the number of such species, the zoo mgmt might start hiring a cage or two to them, they have the same facilities…heavy foilage, abundant space, public viewing but safe behind the moat…

    • And we’ll take kids to strip clubs, no?

      • Well you never know what might be the order of the day:), could be the other way round as well!!

  2. haha.. Homo Sapiens HornioCouplus.. distant cousins of home erectus..nice read..

    • Distant, yes. 🙂

  3. LMAO! Himalayan Black Beer gets the #GG award 😀

    • Oh! how I wish I could #GG them. Will be lodging a complaint soon.

  4. Loved the hornio couplus thingy..point is pretty well made. 🙂 Cheers.!!

    • Thanks Bappa. *which coincidently is my Dad’s name*

  5. Hornio Couplus were widely seen in Parks going wild. Which is why, they were thought to be wild animals & were shifted to the zoo. Can’t blame the zoo authorities for that. But, let us start a petition to give them back their habitat! May they not have to ‘discuss homework’ in the zoos!
    .. and I just couldn’t Bear the Beer pic! I wonder if you were able to explain Beer to your inquisitive nephew!

    • I think we haven’t decided whether they are domestic or wild in nature? There I think, lies the solution to this conservation issue.
      And thankfully, my nephew can’t differentiate between beer and bear. Yet. 😉

  6. lolzz.. u asked them to visit a beach this valentine day huh?? then u have never been to the notorious Marina beach after umm 7 pm huh… the scenes will beat any porn video hands down..(umm ok that was not intended)

    when i say the folks don’t stop at groping, u can imagine wat all i have seen and scarred for life.. 😦 is nanni munni Ratzzz ki bachpna ko gayi re 😀 😛

    • But kids aren’t taken on educational tours to beaches. But yes, there is a certain threat to impressionable minds like yours. 😉 *btw that hindi bit was rofl stuff.. bachpan ko gayi?*

      And next time I’m in Chennai, 7 pm, Marina beach. Pakka. 😀 *this also was not intended*

      • Too many emoticons. Pch.

  7. cool and interesting blog


    • Go read the Comments Policy.

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