If you are an animal lover, one of the most wonderful things you will see here in Bangalore are the free-roaming cattle and the street animals. Bovines, especially cows, are considered holy in Hinduism.
Once on a quiet weekend morning, I heard some pleasant Indian music outside my apartment. I noticed that the music stopped at specific intervals. Although I rushed to the balcony, I could not spot the source of the music.
I was getting ready for the weekly grocery shopping. I could hear the music again, and it got much louder as I descended the apartment. As soon as I reached our apartment’s tiny parking lot, I bumped into my apartment landlord, who was paying respects to an ox. Our landlord, a true Kannadiga (person native to Karnataka, India) is a vegetarian and a very religious person.
A beautifully decorated and a fairly healthy-looking ox and a man with an air instrument was in the parking lot. Being curious, I stayed to watch the rituals that were being performed. Besides, the way to our vehicle was blocked. The landlord handed over the offerings (coconuts and bananas) meant for the ox to the man and got started with the rituals. While my landlord was seeking blessings by touching the ox 360 degrees, the poor thing was drooling continuously, eyeing the goodies in the man’s hand. The prayers ended after about 7-8 minutes, and the man left with the offerings and the ox. I wonder whether the ox ever got to eat the goodies!
Another time it was totally amusing to see a cow climbing few steps of a small lights and fixtures shop to peek inside. I guess the fully lit and sparkling shop must have caught its attention. It could even be that the shopkeeper had offered something to eat when it passed by. I couldn’t get a second look as the auto-rickshaw I was traveling sped-off like a pro car racer dodging all the other bikes, cars and some misfortunate pedestrians who got stuck in the middle of the road while crossing.
Note: This post does not intend to discuss any religion. However, it bears some slight reference in order to acquaint the reader.