I’ve got to say I like the cows.
They pretty much hang out on the street getting in the way of traffic and people but the thing is they are still cows. They walk slowly and calmly never mind six lanes of chaotic indian traffic rushing around them (as in Kolkata). They take up entire narrow laneways in the old parts of cities (as in Varanasi). They get beeped by motorbikes and chased away from foodstalls by men with sticks (as in everywhere). They eat endless amounts of chappatis and scrounge through rubbish heaps of the worse sort and seem contented.
They do all this while chewing cud and looking at the world with large liquid bovine eyes. It doesnt matter how terrible and hot and crowded the day is, how filthy the surroundings, the cows look like they are in a nice green pasture. They are an oasis of calm.
And the thing is, most of them seem to be their own animals. They sleep on the streets, live on charity and the refuse of people and somehow they get by. True, some of them are in bad shape and there’s nothing quite as sad as meeting a sick cow. A lot of them do seem to suffer from diarrhoe and there’s nothing quite as disgusting as an overly liquid cowpat splattered across most of the road. But the poor critters cant help not being toilet trained because, well, they are cows.
And then there’s the cute baby cows. There are too many of them and it seems like every second cow is pregnant. But it’s understandable as they dont know about contraception. So that’s ok.
Anyway, I can see why the indians love them so much. I’m even thinking of swearing off beef from now on.
Cows are cool.