My “Kumki”

Kumki elephants are found every where today. When I mention the words “kumki elephant”, people sometimes have asked me if it was a sub species of the Indian Elephant found here, innocently so. Kumki elephants are basically captive, trained elephants to keep the wild ones from foraging into human habitation. They are also used for breeding. However, the Kumki I mention here is not actually an elephant, although it is of the same color and is big, has four wheels and is in fact four wheel drive, it almost goes everywhere an elephant can, it almost feeds (milage) as much as an elephant, painted elephant grey and carries about 5 to 7 people comfortably just as an elephant does. What I am referring to here is a Mitsubishi Pajero christened by me as Kumki.

After a long wait and a lot of thought, I decided to get myself an off-roader to suit my style of life. I am mostly found traveling to places where there are no roads virtually. The cars I had used earlier where sometimes damaged due to driving in such terrain and sometimes I have never reached the intended destination because of the road conditions. Even photographing birds was a challenge because they would just fly off if we get closer or the other sedan I have, couldn’t take me up close in cover. So, what I needed was a vehicle that can take me every where.

After looking at Land Rover Defender 110’s, 90’s, Land Rover Discovery, Toyota Landcruiser 80 Series, 90 Series, 100 Series, 120 Series, Nissan Patrol Y60’s and Y61’s even the all wheel drive Subaru Forester, I couldn’t narrow down on one vehicle due to a lot of reasons. The most later models were too expensive to be thrashed, the cheaper SUVs were really really old to be a reliable vehicle. The last thing I want is to be stuck in the jungle with a broken down SUV. Dejected is how I felt every time I came back with no SUV to own. One final day, I decided to myself, lets try one last time and if nothing works out, I’ll be back to taking my Honda City to the jungle again.

Got on to an online used car sales website and searched under the SUV column and I saw a Pajero listed on the top of the list. First off, I loved the color. I am not a big fan of the Dual-Tone Pajeros that they sell in India. The previous owner had painted this one dark grey and I loved it. I contacted the owner Antony James and asked him about the vehicle and he said that it is parked in his family home in Trissur, which is about a 2 hour drive from Coimbatore. I asked him about the color of the vehicle again just to make sure if it wasn’t the crappy dual tone, he said “Elephant Grey”. As soon as he said “Elephant” grey, I decided in my mind that this one was for keeps and immediately named him Kumki.

I’ve been having Kumki with me for a little over 6 months now and its just perfect. It saved all my other cars from being bruised and dented.

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Kumki at Anamalais foot hills.

We have stocked this one up with a kit, what we call the Pajero Kit which has 4 Chairs, 1 Foldable Table fitted with 4 stools, a 4 man Quechua T4.1 B tent, Coleman Camp Rest, a 1 liter Fire Extinguisher (gifted to me by my childhood friend Prabu), Camo Umbrella, Micro-pore masks, Gloves, 2 sleeping bags, 3 tent lanterns, one pair of Motorola Wireless, Knives, Shovels, Rain Coat, Blankets, Portable Stove, Cooking fuel that lasts for 8 hours, Plates, Cups (paper, foldable and aluminum) Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Kit, Thermos Flask, Serviettes, Universal Powerpoint Adaptor, Extra batteries (AA, AAA, 26650, 18650, CR123A) 9 led UltraFire flood light, Pepper Spray, Insect Repellent Spray, Toilet Seat cover, Toilet Seat Sanitizer spray, Disinfectant Tissues, Snake Bite Suction Kit, and loads of tea, coffee, sugar, salt, instant noodles, Garbage bags and finally a first aid kit and a full fledged medicine kit.

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The Pajero Kit

This kit goes everywhere Kumki goes. And we are finally equipped with whatever we would need on a rainy day. Meet Kumki the Mitsubishi Pajero.

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