Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I finally found my Rosy

Not sure what has come over Not only am I getting unwanted traffic from sites like localhost and such others but I am also losing comments that I post on other blogs. The other day I almost lost my blog! Since I did not have a recent backup of my blog, it was a shocking moment. Luckily all I had to do was log into my account- but the problem with the pishing sites is still there. Upon googling I find that it is not only me who is facing this problem. The unwanted attention is mostly from Bulgaria.

Anyway I am very happy today since I finally found the book!

It was a book that captured my heart and imagination during my school days. But I have no idea how it came into my hands. I do not think it was from my mother's collection since I have not seen it again. It could have been from the local club or the school library. All I could remember was Rosy the elephant whose antics the author had written so well. I checked for the author among the humor genre but couldn’t locate this book. Since it was an animal story, I wondered if it was James Herriot and ended up reading much about him but couldn’t find this particular book. Finally the author's name popped up from a blog post and suddenly I knew my search was over. I had found my Rosy. But since much has changed over the years, do I want to read this book again? Will it give me the same pleasure?

Wikepedia says Gerald "Gerry" Malcolm Durrell, OBE (January 7, 1925 – January 30, 1995) was a naturalist, zookeeper, conservationist, author and television presenter. He was born in Jamshedpur, and reportedly recalled his first visit to a zoo in India and attributed his life-long love of animals to that encounter.

Durrell's growing disillusionment with the way zoos of the time were run, and his belief that they should primarily act as reserves and regenerators of endangered species, made him contemplate founding his own zoo. His 1957 trip to Cameroon for the third and last time was primarily to collect animals which would form the core collection of his own zoo. This expedition was also filmed, Durrell's first experiment with making a cinematographic record of his work with animals. The success of the film To Bafut with Beagles, together with his popular and autobiographical radio programme Encounters with Animals, made Durrell a regular with the BBC Natural History unit for decades to come, as well as generating much-needed funds for his conservation projects.

“Rosy is my relative” was one of the only three novels that he wrote. It is about an elephant bequeathed to Adrian (protagonist of the novel) by an uncle.

The author’s note says the following:

ALTHOUGH MANY PEOPLE will not believe me, I would like to place it on record that this is an almost true story. By this I mean that Rosy and Adrian Rookwhistle really did exist. I had the privilege of meeting Rosy myself. Nearly all the adventures described in this book really happened. I have merely embroidered and polished here and there.

Rosy stole my heart right from the time she landed at Adrian’s home and continues to give me a warm feeling. Gerald must have developed his love for elephants during his stay in India.

An excerpt from the novel:
“There she is,” said the carter, with satisfaction, “and she’s all yours.”

“It can’t be,” said Adrian faintly, “it can’t be mine . . . I don’t want an elephant.”

“Now look ’ere,” said the carter with some asperity, “I’ve travelled all night, see, to bring this ruddy animal to you. You’re Mr. A. Rookwhistle, therefore she’s your animal.”

Adrian began to wonder if the shocks he had already received that morning had unhinged his mind. It was bad enough having to cope with an acrobat, without finding himself suddenly saddled with, of all things, an elephant. Then, suddenly, he had an awful suspicion.

“What’s its name?” he asked hoarsely.

“Rosy,” said the carter, “leastways, that’s what they told me.”

At the sound of her name the elephant swayed to and fro gently and uttered a small squeak, like the mating cry of a very tiny clarinet. She was shackled inside the dray by two chains padlocked round her front legs, and they made a musical clanking noise when she moved. She stretched out her trunk seductively towards Adrian and blew a small puff of air at him. Oh God, thought Adrian, I’d much rather it was a drunken acrobat.
Let me get back to my long lost friend Rosy.



  1. My children had a book in their syllabus..story about a horse and I loved reading it and the same about the one in hindi by bailo ki jodi..its interesting to read animal's point of view and about their life.

    1. Yes.. it is interesting to read a book with an animal's point of view.. but this book is not such a one.. it is the way the author has handled the subject and the endearing character of Rosy that captures your heart.. I loved reading it again.. laughed and laughed a lot :)

  2. O be careful about those phishing sites... Just secure your Google account well. I lost my blog once, got it back with great difficulty and I am back with my Time and Tide...

    Gerald Durrell is an author I have read long long back... You resurrected those days... Should pick up the book and read it..

  3. Pradeep, glad to see you after a long time... If I knew what to do I would do it... I think I have a strong password, so I am not sure what needs to be done.
    I did not stop until i finished it.. was glad to find that my frame of mind is still the same :) it is a great read..

  4. cannot recollect this book, have to check it out..

    1. It is for light reading... keeps you entertained if you are in the right frame of mind. I loved it and laughed a lot too...

  5. I devoured every Gerald Durrell book I could find as a child. After I read Rosy, which I loved, I seriously considered taking up law as a career; it didn't happen, unfortunately or fortunately, but I still dip into those books now and then and they still bring a smile to my face.

    1. Glad to have you here after a long time Kamini and very happy to know that you have read Rosy too. Reading Rosy again made me see the other characters too and the way Gerald has handled humor.

      Seems his other books are more popular and I am yet to read them. Something to look forward to :)

  6. Definitely a lovable book, author and well, relative. (I may be partial to pachyderms).
    I happened to read all of Gerald Durrell's books at around the same time as I got to read James Herriot and P G Wodehouse.
    Happy Kitten, you transported me back to those heady days when I just could not put down such books.
    Hope you get to read "My Family and Other Animals", "Two in the Bush", "Birds Beasts and Relatives"

    1. Swarna: Happy that I could transport you back to those good old days... I am almost through "My family and Other Animals" and I am enjoying it.. but Rosy is still my favourite.. it is akin to that special relationship we have with a pet..Rosy stays put in my mind :) and maybe because she is an elephant... Now I have to read the rest too...


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