In a previous post (http://avatarofmrbean.blogspot.com/2012/01/avatar-of-mr-bean-mr-p-goes-back-to.html ) Mr P had forgotten his parcel of party food on his desk because of all that Australian wine. It is no way as big an adventure that he had had through his interactions with a port wine in India, with the beautiful name of “Figura”.
It was during his holidays in India that Mr P travelled to Diu, (let me settle your doubts right now. It is indeed DIU and NOT DUI) a union territory of India, that till 1961 had been under the Portuguese for more than 400 years, where remnants of Portuguese culture still linger.The Portuguese are believed to take pride in their wines, especially the port wines.
Now, Mr P had a very relaxing holiday on the beaches of Diu and bought two large bottles of the Figura port wine, one for himself and another as a gift for a friend back in Kochi. He then proceeded to travel in a car with two others to Baroda in the neighbouring state of Gujarat. This journey was through the road that traversed the Gir forests famous for its diverse flora and fauna and of course the Asiatic lions. Mr P was all excited about this trip and he would vehemently deny that he had been even a tiny bit scared! But he consumed half a bottle of Figura just before they departed from Diu – for courage!
Mr P sat in front with the driver and his two companions sat at the back. As the car wound its way through the jungle road, Mr P rested his eyes (Or was he in a stupor from the port?). His companions kept their eyes peeled, hoping and praying that they would see some lions, Mr P however, was praying that they wouldn’t. Every now and then he would open his eyes slowly to check whether they were out of the jungle yet. He would also open his eyes when he heard the others mention the deer and other fauna they were seeing. But by the time he roused himself and looked out, the animal would have long gone its way. It was during one of his “open eye episodes” that he thought he saw something in the bushes.
“A lion! A lion!”, he pointed and then slunk down his seat in a crouch.
“Where is it sir?” said the driver and brought the car to a crawl.
“Right behind that clump of trees”, Mr P managed to point out and slunk down again.
Now, a bus loaded with tourists and a car following it came from the opposite direction and they stopped and inquired why Mr P’s car was stopping there. Seeing a lot more of his own species, Mr P gathered courage and blurted out that he had seen a lion and all the tourists got very excited. They got their cameras out and started gazing all around.
The driver of Mr P’s car then realised that Mr P’s lion was nothing other than a portion of a big tree trunk and surreptitiously informed that to Mr P. To save the situation, a sheepish Mr P told the passengers in the bus and the other car that because of all the noise they made, the lion could have disappeared back into the forest. Mr P was relieved indeed when his driver slowly started the car again and began to drive away.
To overcome the embarrassment and also to give him more courage, Mr P decided to take another swig of his bottle of the Figura. It was a very potent wine and he could hardly keep his eyes open. He was hoping to take the rest of the wine to Gujarat and said as much to the driver who was eying him curiously.
“No, you are not allowed to do that sir,” said the driver. “Gujarat is a dry state”.
“What the…..!” Mr P shouted. He huffed and he puffed. And he brooded on what could be done. Rather than waste the wine on his companions or throw the wine with the bottle away before they crossed the borders into Gujarat, Mr P being Mr P decided to finish the whole bottle of wine then and there. A very inebriated Mr P fell into a slumber that was interspersed with nightmares of lions sitting on his tummy, which made him wake up and get the car to stop – so he could empty his bladder. It was during one such occasion that Mr P saw those two lions. They were slinking slowly across the road and Mr P gave a shrill ear-piercing cry.
“Lions ! Lions!” he shouted at the top of his lungs and jolted everybody else out of their skins.
The others looked eagerly to where Mr P was pointing and saw those two scared little puppies that appeared to be trembling, quite shaken by Mr P’s screams. They belonged to the dog or canine species (Canis lupus familiaris) rather than the feline species (Felidae panthera leo)!
(image wallpaper of iphone)
The story ends here and it is left to your imagination as to what could have happened with the rest of Mr P’s journey. Of course, it being Mr P, one can only imagine that everything would have gone incident free(tongue in cheek)!
Of course Mr P would have had to go through a police check post into a dry state with a full bottle of the gift wine in his bags! What with all the lion encounters and the tryst with ‘La Bella Figura’, he had completely forgotten about that!