An Indian Odyssey – Sacred Cows
Rishikesh, June – July, 2011
It would be remiss of me not to have a section on India’s ‘sacred’ cows (which often die a slow painful death due to ingesting plastic bags of food left for them by devotees – no-one ever said they were particularly smart, just ‘sacred’).
Shiva, The Destroyer (in order to create anew), and Krishna, an avatar of Vishnu (‘Preserver of the universe’), helped the cows’ popular rise to fame. Shiva’s vehicle was a bull, representing the brute and blind power, as well as the unbridled sexual energy in man. Krishna was (or perhaps ‘is’) a cowherd…and amorous lover (he apparently had 16,108 wives!).
I grew quite fond of these imposing yet generally gentle beasts during my time there. On one occasion I was repeatedly licked by a cow. It was a very strange sensation – like a thousand cats’ tongues in unison.
Just hangin’ out and chewin’ the fat with some of the locals.
After lunch I usually take a stroll through town to work off some of the calories.
A brahmin bull looking for treats from a holy man.
No-One, Um, I mean Nothing…just absent-mindedly staring at the grass.
I can feel a suede jacket coming on! This fur felt so good.
Some impressive but delicate bits…
Not sure if the cow in the background is more impressed by the substantial gear traveling alongside or simply by the fact that she can lick her own nostrils.
No shame here – you take it where you can get it.
Refugee from the fashion world.
I was once too, but not so anymore – notice my battered and broken horns…and the lovely bit of onion sitting in my nostril, on purpose of course – I keep it there as an ayurvedic nasal stimulant.
A massive bull with a necklace of money passes through town with curious onlookers in tow.
The girl in the background knows I’m up to something.
If I stretch my neck any further it’s likely to break.
Hold on, I’ll lift my leg to make it a bit easier for you.
That scene above was too hot…somebody, anybody, get me some water…pleeeease. Quickly.
Hangin’ by the Ganges – doing our daily prayers.
Surely there’s something other than plastic in here worth eating?
Ah yeah, here it is on the tip of my tongue. ‘MMmmmmm.
The Hand of God – I always wondered what the body looked like that was attached to the hand in that famous painting. Looks like he’s in good shape for his age.
Feeding the bull on the Laxman Jhula bridge.