Bull in a Silk Shop

No kidding. This is a bull in a silk shop. This shot was taken by my husband, so I guess it counts as a guest blogger photo– but I was standing right next to him as he took it, so I get some credit too. (I would also like to note for the record, that this is only the 2nd non-iPhone photo to appear on my blog.)

The reason: His SLR photo turned out, my iPhone photo didn’t. But this was much too good a shot to pass up.

The story: every afternoon this bull shows up at this silk shop in Varanasi to hang out. He stays until about 6.00, hanging out in the doorway, watching traffic, then he wanders off somewhere else. He’s been doing it long enough that the shop has changed its name to something like “Cow Silk Shop.”

No one remarks on this except tourists like me.

That’s one of the best explanations of India that I can muster right now.

It’s a fantastic place –and after only spending two weeks there, I can’t pretend that I understand it. It’s a place that has assimilated every change that’s happened in the world around it, without essentially changing itself.



8 comments on “Bull in a Silk Shop”

  1. I had never thought of sacred cows having recurring artisitic interests and friendships. Is it the colors, the aromas, the people….?

  2. that’s a lot of bull in that shop!

  3. What a hoot!!! Can you imagine if that happened here in the states…just how many health inspectors can you fit in a store this size???

    • What seemed so cool about this, was that the cow doesn’t wander around the store, but instead just sits in the doorway and watches traffic go by. The owners of the shop do feed it– which isn’t unusual. It probably gets fed at several different locations. As a matter of fact, one of our guides told us how most women, when they cook food in the morning put aside the first bit of the food for cows, and/or other animals. And in areas where cows still wander the street, the cow who knows you will show up to your house every day, waiting to be fed.

  4. I imagine that this custom may have a lot to do with the “sacred cow” concept in Hinduism…

    • It is: sharing the food, and giving the first portion to a cow, or other animals is part of the morning religious ritual. But I also, admittedly without really knowing anything at all, think it’s also such an ingrained part of life that it’s hard to separate “religion” from just “culture.”

  5. “It’s a place that has assimilated every change that’s happened in the world around it, without essentially changing itself.”

    That’s profound, Kat. Great writing.

    • Thanks, Petrea. That’s really nice of you. In a way, I think it’s not that I’m profound in any way… but it’s India itself that makes you look at things in a slightly different way. If that makes any sense and doesn’t sound pretentious…

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