Chandare and the gang of wannabe bandits were whiling the time away at the one and only tea shop in Ambarawa when a Land Rover came to a halt with dust blowing everywhere. A bunch of jungle khaki clad white men and a local driver got off, bending stretching their limbs scanning the surrounding jungle.
Silibiris sidled up to one of the sudda fellows and summoned up the courage to say,
‘Gooda morning sir’, never mind it was 3 o clock in the afternoon.
‘Well Hello old chap, are you from around here?’ greeted the gruff looking large white man wearing a funny looking khaki hat.
Silibiris practically jumped out of his skin.
Aammathudu Silibiris thought, he had no idea what the man growled in a friendly voice. The Water Buffalos, the cattle, monkeys had never spoken back when he spoke to them in Engris. But what the heck, Silibiris pulled out his English trump card for all occasions
Sudda looked pleased.
‘Boy, are there any wild elephants in the jungle here?’
Oh, e..for elephant! Silibiris remembered, but did not understand the rest.
‘yesyes’ Silibiris pulled out his words for all occasions again.
‘Greaaat, can you boys take us there?’
By then Chandare and the gang had edged closer behind Silibiris to check if their eyes and ears were playing tricks on them. How did their friend know Sudda Language? Except for Chandare who felt jealous, others were full of admiration and stood next to Silibiris showing him a new found respect.
Meanwhile, the white man was talking animatedly with his fellow travellers pointing to Silibiris and gesturing in the direction of the jungle.
Chandare poked in Silibiris in the ribs and demanded to know what this was all about. Silibiris had no idea, but he wasn’ t going to tell Chandare and his friends that.
He remembered the conversation between the shopkeeper and the local driver. Silibiris pretended the Englishman actually told him about their plans. He told his friends that the foreigners were there to take photographs in the jungle around Ambarawa.
The gruff looking large man called Silibiris over and told him to get in the front of the Land Rover. Chandare and the rest of the boys didn’t waste time jumping on to the back of the vehicle, hanging on like an excited troupe of monkeys while the Land Rover sped away along the Tank Bund leaving a trail of dust.