Aanapappan – The Texture of Life

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Written and Documented by IIPian Abhilash M.S, Student of Diploma in Photography

The relationship between an Elephant and his/her Mahout is full of complexities. Like us, Elephants are highly intelligent, emotional and  social animals. They are capable of forming a relationship, whether  positive or negative with their care takers. How that bridge is built and how stable is its construction depends on many factors, including welfare practices, economic situations, personal attitudes, and behavior.

A broad stroke is often painted over this complex relationship. It is often looked upon as a traditional, cultural interdependence with roots in compassion, respect and love or it is harshly judged as abusive, cruel and neglectful. In reality every mahout -elephant relationship is unique.  

Whatever the relationship may be, “Mahoutmanship” is rapidly changing. Emotion Foundation Applauds the Mahouts whose still do their work with heart, understand their elephants better than themselves, and to give everything to provide and care for their elephants. These mahouts do exists even though it seems they are harder and harder to find.

Name of Elephants and their Mahouts are:
Assam Aana – Sajan
Bihar Aana – Aneesh
Nattaana (Kerala Elephant ) – Biju

I have spent five days for completing my project. Three Aanas and anapappans in three different locations. From the interview came to know about their daily routine, lifestyle, their struggles and their interactions with elephants.

Abhilash M.S.

Please leave your interests and exposures in comment box,

Email: info@iipedu.com , Phone: 9990324442, Address: B-7, SECTOR 2, NOIDA, Uttar Pradesh, India Website: http://www.iipacademy.edu.in

DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.


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  1. Really Awesome…..❤️loved it😍…. Amazing clicks…. Timing… Everything….💞 Congrats Abhilash M S nd IIP team💜

  2. Liked the article very much. Nice observation on the small details of relationship. Another area to comment is the photos, they clearly reveal the emotional bonding that elephants have. Very well presented

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