If you go on a safari in South Africa, it is highly unlikely that you will come away without seeing at least some of the Big Five. But what if you want to come back with some of them? Oh, I don’t mean the kind of flesh-and-blood trophies sought by the slayer of Cecil the Lion (perish the thought!). I’m talking about these soapstone cuties. I chanced upon them while wandering around Victoria Street Market in Durban. After fragrant spices and traditional Zulu beaded jewellery, this African menagerie seemed to be the most popular keepsake here. And the colours! Even if the shapes were not alluring enough, how could I resist those striking colours? Pinks, purples, oranges, yellows, blues, greens and every other hue that the good lord did not make these beasts in. After I picked up a few suitably lurid ones for myself, I bought more as gifts. At the equivalent of Rs 150 a pop, I could afford to be generous.

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