One thought on “ORVIS PRESENTS: 90 and Counting

  1. My word. Still going.

    Corbett National Park, northern India, early 1981, dusk falling with the chital spotted deer on the Sarapduli Forest Rest House Bungalow’s lawn outside our oil-lamped and woodfired in a 19th Century British-built fireplace living-room suddenly alarm-calling, not about some tiger in the forests of the early night but about, we were soon to discover, a vehicle travelling on the valley forest track a mile away.

    It drew into our compound. There was a knock at the door. I answered it and found a young, very well-educated young Indian man on the veranda, saying: “I am very sorry to disturb your evening, Sir, but I have an American gentleman and lady with me who had heard you are here and would like to meet you and talk mahseer-fishing….”

    “Do please bring them in.”

    Leigh and Romi Perkins.

    Great evening.

    I had the best naturalist, wildlife man and former great tiger-hunter in all India staying in the bungalow with me, Col. John Wakefield, who never travelled anywhere without a “just in case” bottle of Johniie Walker Black Label whisky and his and my tipple (when it wasn’t a glass of cold Kingfisher beer), ‘Old Monk’ or ‘Herculess XXX Army Issue’ dark Indian rum (with water and a squeeze of fresh lemon if available).

    Great evening chatting in front of the logfire, with our cook bringing in snacks from the bungalow kitchen (where he was preparing our dinner) and an Icelander fishing pal of mine whispering to me more than once “Man, is this real…?” … “I’m not sure.” I repled. “-But we’ll both remember this…”.

    Leigh and his wife Romi (what a gal) were fascinating people, as was my old pal John, whom they loved, as did everyone who met him, whether Indian local (from maharajah to bent-backed fieldworker) or far-flung foreign.

    Thanks for the memory.

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