Years back I bought a history of Ghengis Khan in Bangalore airport. The style is a mix of travelogue and history revealed, as the author travels around Mongolia in the late 20th Century. Coincidentally, shortly after her birthday, Marian and I saw a film set in Mongolia about the camel who cried. Note I used the personal relative pronoun there; that’s because the first-time mother camel didn’t bond with her baby. The family’s efforts to ensure the little camel is fed and mothered properly are the core of the story. As parents, we both felt the tension and the hopes of the nomadic family, who cared for these and other camels on the steppe. If you can track down a DVD, it’s a great film–somebody’s film school project, too. Back to the book. One new word I learned from it was debouch, which is what a river does when it broadens out on a wide plane entry to a sea or lake. The author also likened the effects of a Mongolian ice storm to a carapace, the shell of a tortoise. Such a covering denies food to the otherwise hardy horses bred there, and leads to early death. As to Ghengis Khan, we are still exploring pre-Khan history.
2 July, 2009