Short story written by: pseudonym Acesita

Everyone knows me as Glup although my real name is Galish, and for the past twenty years I have been living in Jaipur, India.  I live very close to my aunts and uncles, my brother, and my friends, but I am not sure how far it is from where you live.

I have always been very curious to know what other families do for work.  So first, to break the ice, I will tell you about the different professions in an elephant family and maybe afterwards you can tell me about what your family does.


Contrary to what most people think, in an elephant family we all have different roles.  I, for example, am the diver in the family, and I also happen to be the youngest as I haven’t yet turned twenty one.

My dad who is 60 years old, weighs a lot, and he is three times my size! My mom, Kaira, just turned 65 a week ago. She was born before any of us.

My older brother, Ranjit, is a businessman. My parents are responsible for taking tourists on guided walks around the city every day. They like to make people happy, and they can remember the names of all the tourists. They have even taken Kings and Queens for rides!  I am the only one in the family that doesn’t have a good memory or an “elephant memory” as they call it and joke about it.  But I can actually remember the colour of every fish and water creature that I have ever seen in my twenty years of life and my ten years as a diver.

Can I just tell you how I ended up being a diver?  I think you will find the story funny.  I always seem to make people laugh, and since in India we think that everyone has a purpose in life, I think making people laugh might be my purpose.  I like to make people laugh.

As I couldn’t stand the heat, I decided to work in the Man Sagar lake.  My mother Kaira, (I never call her mum because I think her name is beautiful,) tells me that the years I was in her belly were the hottest ever, so she spent most of the time in the water.  She believes that that is the reason why when I was finally born, I managed to walk by myself, (even though I couldn’t walk very well) all the way to the Man Sagar lake (the one that was closest to our house).  And I decided to stay there forever! I only go onto the streets at night or when the sun is setting.

My father, Manjit, was the one that came up with the excellent idea that I should work in water.  And Ranjit, my older brother and the best businessman in town, told me how to do it. Since I love the lake and I talk a lot, I told the other elephants that I couldn’t swim and had no idea what the bottom of the Man Sagar lake was like. Ranjit charges all the listeners a fee for my stories but everyone laughs and I have a great time. 

When I was born, Kaira decided not to have any more baby elephants. It wasn’t because she didn’t like baby elephants, it was because she wanted to become a singer. No one believed her!  “Elephants don’t sing!” Manjit said, laughing.  But she insisted that she could sing.

In my country every city has a temple dedicated to elephants.  The strange thing is that they are made for humans to attend and not for elephants. I believe it is because we don’t fit through the door, but we have a special place where we can look in through the window.

Kaira wanted more than just to look through the window, she wanted to go into the temple; and when Kaira wants something, she works hard to get what she wants.

Kaira worked really hard for three months to compose a melody in honour of our ancestors, who are buried in a temple called Govind Dev Ji, close to where we live. The ancestor I liked most was Ganesha, because he laughed a lot, just like me!

So on the third moon after my 21st birthday, the most extraordinary thing happened, the most important event in my life: Kaira finished practising her song and went to the window of the Govind Dev Ji temple to sing it.

If you had heard the song you would understand why I would jump out of the water into the heat to hear it!  Before singing any new song, Kaira would come to the lake to sing it to me first and find out what I thought about it. Mangit and Ranjint didn’t think she could do it, but I was sure she could.

When the master of the temple heard her beautiful song, he was so moved by it that he decided to enlarge the door of the temple so Kaira could come inside and sing for a larger audience.

Thanks to this, I now come out of the water more often. The heat doesn’t seem to bother me as much, and every time Kaira performs, I am the first one there!


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