I grew up with an elephant. I always thought it was mine, until my elder sister claimed her right. I must believe her, there are after all reliable witnesses. So I grew up with an elephant in the household, a soft toy named Gus Gus, no doubt named by my father who was a maker of names. Gus Gus had a red cloth on top, like a horse cloth, but I shouldn’t say had because he is still very much alive – although he looks like he has been through a lot and the cloth seems to have been shrinking over the years.
I was searching for another Gus Gus at Crawford Market in Mumbai last November. I had the idea that such elephants would be plentyful in India, and I magined an elephant with an upgraded red cloth of velvet with sequins and fine embroidery. But the elephant I had in mind never materialized, of course….
Elephants are supposed to bring luck, and many people collect them – in many varieties. I don’t collect in earnest, but realise I have quite a few…. Some smaller things, available everywhere in India – like key rings and book marks, are hard to avoid.
One “elephant piece” that I really appreciate and value is a small miniature drawing bought in Udaipur (state of Rajasthan). Together with a friend I was staying at a small hotel, and the brother of the owner was an artist. Just by chance we ended up in his shop, and the very first thing I saw when I entred through the door was a small piece of art under the glass counter. It was an expensive piece, he had plenty of other elephant-ish items – but this was the one thet stood out and the only one I wanted. So be it….. The artist’s technique was just fantastic, what a gift to be able to draw such extremely fine lines. But like Jairaj told me; – The day my hands start to shiver – I’m out of business.
Elephant illustrations can be very ornamental, in gold and red with that typcal ‘touch of India’. But simplified patterns seems to be very modern these days. Like my ‘Apple pouch’ for my Apple remedies; which are the chargers for my Apple devices. When travelling these days one has to carry so many things one even didn’t have to think about ten years ago. Various chargers are not to be forgotten and better keep them in one place!
I try to keep my elephants small, but there are some medium sized… Like the small “silver” family which is guarding the wedding portrait of Ida and Erik. And then there is Prem and Ooty who is sharing our meals with us every day. Prem was bought in Dehli, a nice brown specimen from the shops by The Red Fort. It was my good friend Prem Singh who made the bargain… Ooty was bought in…. Ooty (state of Tamil Nadu) last November. A very nice specimen with beautiful ornaments!
And then there is my elephant table, brought here by UPS, from Mumbai. It didn’t – unfortunately – come without damage, but that’s another story. And maybe I paid too much… that’s a story I don’t want to venture into… And it came with some small animals who only a Norwegian winter was able to kill when my elephant table had to spend five days on the veranda – indeed with a blanket….
Search Amazon com or uk, search for elephant jewellery and you have work for the next hours for sure. My favourite piece of jewellery, one of them, has a small elephant and I always wear this bracelet when I’m travelling overseas. It’s bought in Norway, it’s a Norwegian brand (Arts & Crafts) although people seem to think that ‘this must be from India’.