Indian summer, a fidget spinner and my jungle safari
We have heard of fidget spinners help people quit smoking, give up on drugs, get better grades and what not. I will tell you how this spinner helped me in the jungles.
To the uninitiated, a fidget spinner is a 'ball bearing multi-lobed flat structure designed to spin along the axis' -- this is what the Bible of netizens, Wikipedia says.
If you ask me, it is a toy. A toy is a toy. I had read somewhere that these were actually prescribed by psychologists to people suffering from stress. It is believed that the fidget spinner can help people relax and release their anxiety by spinning it.
I feel swimming is one such physical exercise where one can train the mind. I somehow can never stay afloat when brooding. Anyhow, coming back to the spinner, I had heard many a tales. Someone I knew stopped chewing on her nails after being introduced to the fidget spinner. Yet another one I knew stopped using abusive language when stuck in traffic jams. Also heard of kids with improved grades owing to better concentration.
This was the summer of 2017 and everyone around me was spinning fidgets! In fact, even Bollywood popularised these with the movie 'Tuhmari Sulu' in which Neha Dhupia's character (who heads a radio station) is seen playing with this fidget spinner.
Seriously now, I wanted to experiment with it. Now, where do I go to? The jungles! As much as I liked the blues and reds and other vibrant shades of fidget spinners, they wouldn't have done justice to my jungle holiday. So, I decided to lay my hands on a camouflage fidget spinner.
You have to read this now. This was one holiday where I decided to leave my photography equipment behind and just enjoy the wild. I will not name the tour operator or the guide here. You will know why in a while!
Here I was, perched on the back seat of the safari jeep. With binoculars in one hand and the newly acquired camouflage fidget spinner in the other. I started spinning it from the moment I entered the jungle. Our jeep was full of chitter-chattar from the very beginning. As we started venturing deep into the jungle, all we could heard was the spinning noise of the fidget apart from the rustling of the leaves. Everyone was quite. Of course, spinning it made me very alert and attentive. I did not feel sleepy even for a single minute. You would have otherwise seen so many people sleeping while on the early morning safaris!
Interestingly, my jeep mates said that the spinning noise had some affect on them too. They too were not distracted with useless thoughts.
And then, the guide did the most expected thing. "There!" he shouted pointed towards a bush. He said there could be a tiger in there. An amazing guide he was. My Leupold binoculars could not spot it, this '500 mm' lens could not spot it, climbing on top of the jeep could not spot it, but our guide could spot it.
We stayed there for some more time and then decided to move on leaving behind this invisible tiger.
After another 20-odd minutes, the guide shouted again, 'here'! We had apparently come back to the same spot but we were on the other side of the bush now. Strangely, I could see the path we had crossed 20 minutes back through the binoculars, but not the beast. Guess, Leupold binoculars are tiger-proof.
Anyhow, this game continued for some more time. I was on the fidget spinner all this while. Surprisingly, I was not irritated. I told the guy that this spinner can do wonders and we will be able to spot the tiger for sure. I told him that the spinner can cured many a diseases and spotting a tiger would be a cake walk.
After another 15 minutes, there was yet another 'there!!' This time, it was me crying out aloud. This made the guide jump on his seat, stand up and look into the direction I was pointing towards. He was in utter disbelief that my fidget spinner with tiger spots had actually spotted a tiger!
My jeep mates looked at me with a big question on their face. "Where on earth is the tiger?!?"
I winked at them and we collectively decided to make a goat (bakra) of the guide who had to eventually agree with us that there indeed is a tiger in the bush.
Well, this is what the fidget spinner did to me. Helped me retain my humour.
Click HERE to buy your own camouflage fidget spinner.