I seem to remember that "holy cow" was Boy Robin's catchphrase in the Batman TV programmes of my childhood. And of course in Hinduism, the cow is holy (though perhaps sacred might be a better word).
You are reminded of that forcefully at some of the bigger Hindu temples here in Chennai. Cows, or more probably bulls to judge by their splendid horns, loiter round the perimeter of the temple. Their horns are sometimes vividly painted. Street vendors sell foilage, a wispy plant with small leaves (anyone know what it is?) which the devout buy simply to feed to these cows.
And my, when there's some fresh food on offer, those cows go for it! Bystander beware!! It has something of the effect of throwing bread to the ducks in the park pond - except these beasts could flatten you in their determination to get to the grub.
These temple cows are very different from the much more placid beasts you still sometimes come across in the city's back streets. The painted horn type own the road - it's you who have to give way. A truck or bus may oblige them to give ground, but anyone else gets out of their way if they are wise.
I came across these impressive beasts this weekend in Triplicane, an inner-city locality.
But then strolling along a back street, I glanced through an open door and saw this ...
It coudn't be a cow, could it, in someone's front parlour? Of course not! It was two cows!!
I tried to peek in, but that made the cows restless - and there was a man with them, probably milking them. So I let them all get on with it.
I asked a Chennai-ite whether cows indoors were a common sight. She commented that she'd never seen such a thing before.
I know what Boy Robin would have said ...
Andrew Whitehead's blog
Welcome - read - comment - throw stones - pick up threads - and tell me how to do this better!