Hi! I wonder if you know me! And even if you do, I wonder by what name. You see, I have lots of names. Those from the world of science call me Cervus eldi eldi Mclelland . I'm also known as the Manipur Brow-antlered Deer. But for your sake I'll make it all very simple. Just call me
Frankly, I don't like these new names that are being appended to me. I don't even understand some of them. As if the Cervus and Brow-antlered bit were not enough, the other day I heard someone call out, "Look, there goes the endemic, rare and endangered Sangai".
Anyway, let me stop grumbling and move on. My friend and I grew up together in the northeast of India. You must have heard of Manipur. There is a large lake here called Loktak. To the south of this is the Keibul Lamjao National Park (KLNP for short). It is the only floating national park in the world! And it is our home. Yeah! I have a floating home! Let me explain.
A part of Loktak and the KLNP are made up of islands called phumdis. One-fifth of the landmass floats above the water surface, while the rest of it is submerged. So these phumdis look like they are floating on the water! These phumdis are abundant in vegetation, and the soil is rich with nutrients, too.
That reminds me of yet another name I have. When I walk on these phumdis, it looks as if I'm dancing. So, I'm also known as the Dancing Deer.
One day, my friend and I went to the lakeside to discuss some strange happenings in our home. I kind of knew that the reason was the huge concrete dam and artificial water tank that had been built here a few years ago. We realised that our phumdis had thinned after their construction. The phumdis would soon sink if they were constantly flooded with the water in the artificial tank. But, since I trusted my friend's judgement more than mine, I wanted to talk to him about it.
As we began talking, we heard the barking of dogs. We thought the noise came from the nearby village. But it became louder and louder.