On an October weekend in 2011 I made a fleeting trip to Mysore. It was a Saturday and the beginning of Dussehra. I was travel hungry and thought Mysore was the best place to visit at that time of the year. The journey was quite special to me. It was the first time I was travelling on a fun trip alone. Most important on my travel agenda was a trip to the Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, one of the best zoos in India. No sooner had I stepped into the vast expanses of the zoo, I went on a clicking spree. Back then, I did not have a DSLR and a point-and-shoot analog was my companion. I couldn’t get very good shots. Some of the pictures were terrible. My favourite critters of the day were Polo, the oh-so-endearing and gentle gorilla and a double-horned rhinoceros. When Polo had come out of his enclosure I was behind him. From a considerable distance I could notice the typical gorilla pose and the loud signage at the enclosure which said that he was Asia’s lone gorilla. I raced towards the gorilla enclosure to have a front view of this majestic creature. But oh dear! I was a wee bit late. Polo had settled against a wall with a twig in hand as if in meditation. I waited for as long as I could for Polo to get up and come closer to the visitors so that I could have a good look at him. He didn’t budge and my wait proved futile. I had to leave disappointed.
On another visit the following year, Polo had retired to his enclosure and again I returned disappointed. The faint hope I had of seeing him again on another visit vanished when I read the terrible news of his death in the newspapers yesterday morning. It drove me to tears. Farewell dear Polo! You will be badly missed. If only I had been a tad early that Saturday afternoon 😦