Meet Mr Adelphe, the African “Dhanuji”

As we entered  Kosi Bay Camp park, a sharp gaze pierced through the cruiser’s tinted glass.  The around 65,slim & not so tall man in Khaki KZN wildlife uniform with grey curly stub stood on the side of yellow dusty path. He raised a finger and smiled in usual African style.  In this part of  the world people  greet each other with this gesture. I looked back at the bony, well defined face. “What’s your name?” “Adelphe”.

ImageThe smile was familiar, the gaze even more.  ““have we known each other ?”  It was the same gaze that was focussed over my young upturned nostrils, back home. Ouch… done!!  That was  “Dhanuji” the weirdo, who served my aristocratic grandfather with fierce loyalty. He looked after some 100+cows. He used to arrive for work at 4am, get the cows off the hook and on way to jungle for grazing!! A  loner who found peace in company of jungle snakes, he caught by neck, if they got naughty. He actually used to pierce the nostrils of young bulls. Trust can do wonders. He successfully pierced my tender nostril to get it decorated with a diamond, without any septic formation.  The needle went straight, just once. A black thread ensured operation nose decoration was successful unlike others who arrived with swollen nostrils, heavy eyelids and a pus ball to add to that.Image

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