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Offbeat Jhargram

Sat on my bed half-awake. Rubbing my eyes I grabbed the cell phone. It was 4:40 am. The faint light of day had begun to seep in through my bedside window. I was trying to figure out what had made me wake up at this hour. I didn’t have to wait too long. There, I heard it again, that exact same sound, of the trampling over of dry branches and leaves. But this time it was loud and clear. My heart skipped a beat. I wanted to call the Chief. Grabbing my shawl, I headed for the door. Just as I was about to open it, I heard the call of the beast. My eyes, you can imagine, were almost popping out my head, like Jim Carrey in 'The Mask'. 'Elephant!' I screamed. Right on the verandah outside my room was an elephant, trying to grab a mango which had fallen onto the parapet from the mango tree. I was barely able to hide my excitement when my phone came to life; it was the Chief. 'You know ….' I began. But the Chief cut me short, 'Welcome to Jhargram!' He had seen it too.

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