I was fully twenty minutes from the nearest toilet in Erivakulam National Park when I saw the rules posted in the featured photo. I don’t quite understand rule 6: why are people holding flowers banned from the park? Rule 1 was clear: you are not allowed to tell off a dwarf goat if it deposits its dung in the park. A related consideration is not extended to human males in rule number 4. Very specieist, (but then I’m happy that national parks are specieist) but also a little sexist. Fortunately, not having broken rule 3 (do not drink large amounts of fluids in small glasses), I did not find it hard to abide by rule 4.
I found it much harder to abide by the rules inside Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary in Thattekad. It was easy to avoid perfumes, since they were not lying in wait. Was I wearing colourful cloths? The Family laughed at the very idea. Even birds, which see more colours than humans, would not mistake my cloths as colourful. Item 4 was not a rule, but a suggestion which we had decided to ignore. But rule 9. That was bad. A field guide for birds, one for animals and another for plants! I wasn’t even carrying one of them. I thanked the fates that the guard at the entrance had not bothered to check my backpack. The next time around I will not test my luck.