Why I want to write on Mahavats?? Only to tell you that how poor quality Mahavats we have now. My first direct contact with Mahavats established in 1978 in Kanha. Imamuddin Mahavat use to claim that his elephant obey's more than 300 verbal and physical commands. I never put him under test but we experienced that his elephant could hear the noise of anything dropped from elephant. His elephant could pickup pen, lenscap, lenshood, cap, glasses and many other items including Ankush and cane by which Mahavat control them.
Todays Mahavats are not interested in any kind of hardship. They have a characutter who assist them and cooks the elephant food, puts the howdah for Mahavat to ride the elephant. They understand or obey very few commands. Since last one week we are riding on Indrajeet. Indrajeet is big male elephant. I know this elephant since early 80's when he was in Kanha. There he was very well trained but all that trainig is gone in last 27 yrs. Now a characutter named Indrapaal rides on him. Indrajeet dont care for him. He will do what he likes to do. With Indrapaal he is slow and very slow. He dont stand still. Indrapaal dont have any control on him.
Some times we get very frustrated when critical moment he wont stand still. When camera moves in milimetres the photo object moves by inches. We try to make sure that we shoot minimum 5-6 frames to get one right.
It is hard to work from this elephant. I wish management takes the notice of these minor things to improve the service quality.