An ever increasing fascination…
When Starling says to Col. Patterson, I’ve been in Africa for more than a year and I don’t know what you know, how long have you been here ?
And Patterson looks at his watch, fills in the smell of Africa, smiles and says, “Just about 24 hours, but I’ve been LONGING FOR THIS ALL MY LIFE !” – From the movie “The Ghost and The Darkness”
Wonder when do I get to say that !? I have seen the movie almost 15 times and I am still not over the wonderful adventure of Col. John Henry Patterson.
There are innumerable stories that I have read and heard about Africa the many movies I have seen about Africa have done nothing but fuel my fascination for the place… the descriptions by friends who have been there… all this put together it just keeps adding to my penchant for the place. Whenever I hear someone say he’s just been to Kenya or South Africa (most frequented countries by Indians) or some other African country my impression of that person suddenly changes, even if he just went for work and didn’t go about traveling. I am in awe almost, jealous is a milder word
As a young kid, Phantom, was and probably still is an eternal hero. The Ghost who Walks, The Man who Cannot Die, Phantom moves faster than a Cheetah, Phantom has a thousand eyes and ears these are everyday line’s in my life. Watching the migration on Nat-Geo or simply looking at pictures of Serengeti with a lonely tree with the sun setting in the distance can fill my heart with joy. No matter how many times I have seen Lion King with my son I still enjoy watching the movie.
Movies like Congo, The God’s must be crazy, King Solomon’s Mines, Black Hawk Down, Hotel Rwanda and the books of stories in Africa make me more and more sure that if there is any place on this planet to visit it has to be Africa. One day I seriously, badly want to go to a rain forest in Zaire and see the jungle and the weather, I want to hear the thundering hoof’s of the herd when it moves, I want to see lioness’s planning a kill and executing it, watch a cheetah in full flight as it chases a springbok, cross the hippo infested Limpopo river some day, probably see the pyramid on a full moon night, a cruise on Nile won’t hurt much either, a stroll in Mogadishu market to see for myself the site where the Marine’s fought a bloody battle to capture Aidid, probably engage in a separate dialogue with a couple of Tutsis and Hutus and try to understand how and why they went about the genocide in Rwanda and get their point of view.
Over years, this most soulful continent has been used and abused by people who didn’t belong there… In the movie The Ghost and the Darkness Robert Beaumont who hire’s Col John Patterson to build a bridge across the river Tsavo diplomatically tells him the bridge is crucial as there is a race on and if the railway bridge is built in time before the Germans and the French the prize would be the continent of Africa and that they must do so to save Africa apart from all other parties the African’s. That in nutshell has been the problem of that place. Outsiders have ravaged the continent, however, many a foreigner have fallen in love with the continent and ended up weaving stories of this place that has whetted the appetite of people like me.
I am surely hopeful and wish that one day I will be able to fulfill this penchant of mine, without it my life would be incomplete. Have you ever felt such a strong connection, pull, sense of belonging for a place you never visited, never belonged to and just heard about ???
Photo Source : Serengeti National Park Website