(Girl photographed in Ooty. Story happened in Khajuraho in 1972)
I joined a track wide enough for bullock carts, and became mixed up with some cows. This caused some of them to panic, and they wheeled off the track and down a footpath to some village houses. A village girl chased them out. I carried on, feeling a bit ridiculous having unwittingly driven twenty cows into someone’s forecourt.
The remaining cows had turned the next corner and had stopped. They were very alarmed to see me but stood undecided whether or not to move on. I too became alarmed because I realised the rest of the herd was running up behind me chased by the little girl. The path became thick with anxious cows, but they passed me. So I walked on next to the girl who was making special animal chasing noises, hitting the last cow with her fist. She was showing off to me, obviously not concentrating because further on an old man gave her a right rollicking for mixing up her cows with his. Two of his bulls fought off one of hers.
I walked back into Khajuraho in the dark, past one after another dark figure, sadhus, standing or crouching behind little highly polished brass bowls. I gave them nothing because I had no change, and also they were a little freaky.
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Tagged: , India , cows , cattle , girl , rope , smile , 1972 , Khajaraho , Ooty , bangle