Sunday, 23 February 2014


Note: this one is about real animals, not about the two people I mentioned in my fourth blog (THANKS 3).
Before going to India I was kind of allergic to every single sort of animal. Well, pets were OK, but when it came to insects I nearly got a rash at the mere thinking of them anywhere near me.

Not any longer! I wouldn’t say they’re friends of mine, but at least I don’t kill them (if they keep their distance). Nowadays my enemies are just cockroaches. There I murdered millions and I keep on exterminating them where I live now, but I’m OK with the rest of creepers and other bugs.

In my first months in the country I used to walk around, right flip-flop in hand, beating every bug I saw to death. I broke 3 or 4 shoes that way! I’d say I wiped out about 1,000,000 mosquitoes. They were tremendous (huge and moreover they bit even through the clothes). After assassinating that amount the word spread among mosquitoes and they didn’t bother me any more.

I killed like 8,000 geckoes, too. They welcomed me and they continued being by my side (and when I say by my side I mean it, especially by my bed) until the last day. Unlike Spanish ones, Indian geckoes are quite clumsy. They fall off the wall quite easily. Indians say that if they fall on your head you are lucky. I must be the luckiest person on earth! But on the other hand, if they fall on your shoulder, it’s a bad omen! So, fifty, fifty! Anyway, after some time, geckoes and I became friends. They emit a shrill cry and they would wake me up every morning. It was a peculiar alarm clock!

Almost every Indian is against killing animals for the sake of killing. It’s almost a sin! So, I guess, that’s why they stared at me as if I were a freak shaking my shoe around.
But apart from the animals I tried to annihilate, there were other creatures. There were bats, owls, toads, monkeys, snakes, elephants, cows, buffaloes, hens, oxen, scorpions, silk worms, rats, mice, pigs,… etc., etc.
I have something to say about all of them:
Bats: once the children scared me around with one of them! There I was running like a bat out of hell and the kiddos racing after me holding the bat with its wings spread!
Owls: the kids caught one and cooked it for dinner. I didn’t eat it anyway!
Toads: when it rained you could easily step on one! They were all sizes.
Monkeys: Punganur was full of them and they sometimes came to the school to grab all the food they could. Once I was nibbling an apple and a monkey came and grasped it! I had no choice, but give in. They become very aggressive if they don’t get what they want. Before going to India I had the rabies vaccine. But the problem with monkeys there is not that they bite you (which may happen) but that they throw coconuts or whatever they have on hand at you.
Snakes: in the Indian school textbooks there is always one lesson about snakes, so that the children can differentiate them and know what to do in case of a snake bite. I saw some poisonous snakes (I can recall 6) but nothing serious happened. They’re quite thrilling! Some people took the courage and tried to kill them and some of us just ran in the opposite direction!
Elephants: As you can see I had a ride on one in Munar. Her name was Mahal (palacio). I thought I wouldn’t have the courage, but it was amazing! Later I fed her.
Cows: the one on the picture is ‘decorated’ for Sankranthi. My first mishap with a cow was in my first week there. It was not with a cow but with its dung! Two of the students and I went to a village nearby to sell the milk they had just milked, it was dark, we had no torch,… Imagine the rest! But they saw it as an everyday thing. You wash your feet and that’s it!
Buffaloes: which, in spite of being rather big, seem quite tame. I saw these ones in the middle of Hyderabad streets! Imagine a herd of buffaloes stampeding in a 7-million-inhabitant city!
Hens: pecking the heaps of rubbish.
Rabbits: we used to have three. Sai Manoj and I named them Blackie, Brownie and Whitey (imagine what colour they were! Not very original, I know!). But after some weeks of starving, they passed away.

Oxen: used to plow the fields and other tasks in the country.
Scorpions: which are huge and of course poisonous! We found this one in my friend’s office. I understood why he’s afraid of the dark!
Silk worms: the man who milked the cow had a silk worm business. Although I had silk worms when I was little, there I got to know how they make the silk and I even helped him and his family separate the cocoons from the sort of board where they were formed.

Rats and mice: every now and then we could see a rat like the one Naveen is holding! And mice were the daily bread in the kitchen!
Pigs: these ones were having a siesta in the shadow! That day the temperature was like 45°C. Even the pigs looked for a shadow desperately! By the way, it’s a pity Indians don’t exploit the pigs to make ham!
Camels: which they use to go for a ride on the beach. Quite relaxing at sunset, I must say!

And of course, I can’t forget Blackie! Blacks was more than a dog, he was a friend who came with me for walks whenever my friend was not around! He protected me and he just wanted some chapattis in return. Although I have to say that he sometimes preferred any bitch that came along to me! When he was in that mood, he was tied. That’s why he didn’t let me sleep some nights. He was completely nuts! He used to go crazy when either my friend or I played with him! But for the rest, he was faultless. He even came after the jeep I was leaving in to ‘say’ goodbye!
Here you have this video about a pet cow by Goodness Gracious Me:

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