Four legs good

I like pigs. I really do. The place where I lived earlier used to be lush and green with wide spaces some twenty five years back. Then because of our brilliant government policies, more and more people from small cities and villages started pouring in pigs and monkeysDelhi and some very interesting unregulated and illegal colonies sprouted like wild mushrooms all around my home. It did not take long for the place to turn into a ghetto where you could not drive without your car bumping into a buffalo. And then there were the pigs. Their sudden appearance gave a new dimension to the colony in addition to naked children rolling on the roads and men bathing in full public view. Monsoons made the pigs delirious with joy and they sang duets with frogs. What a joy it was to hear the two species go oink-oink and trrrr-trrrr in quick succession while one swathed in rain water (Thanks to the eternally clogged drainage system in Delhi) and the other jumped over them. I felt close to nature.

And did I mention how much I like cows and buffaloes? I find them very well behaved in Delhi. They NEVER sit in the middle of the roads and promptly move away from your car the moment you honk. The cows in Chennai or for that matter in Haryana are a bit rustic and very fearless. They sit right in the middle of the roads even if there are huge trucks rumbling towards them. Also, the city cows make me feel proud of our nation. I have seen foreigners going ooooh and aaaah the moment they spot a cow and then frantically fumble their bags for the camera. I once saw a caucasian woman set up her tripod stand on one side of a busy road to take pictures of two cows lolling while they chew their personal cuds. My chest swells with pride every time I think about the incident. And did I tell you about a foolish, old man whose corpse was taken off a cow’s horn in my locality? I am sure he must have been harassing her for free milk.

india-roads-cowsThen there are the dogs. Not the pet ones, but the ones who play with kids on the street and bite anyone they fancy. I like them too. Every day before going to office, I religiously put chapattis dabbed in milk at the foot of a lamp-post near my house for the dogs of my street. I like the way my wife jumps and runs when 7-8 dogs try to appreciate her new saree by circling her as she catwalks. I cannot imagine my life without stray dogs. They are such an integral part of every Indian city.

Monkeys hanging from trees around my house always turn me philosophical and make me wonder why nature mutated us from them. Was it a joke? There is a society near my house that has humans and monkeys living in harmony. If you visit that society, you will find one monkey sitting on each car. The people living there have finally bought a few langurs to keep the monkeys at bay. Can you imagine how fortunate the children living in that society are to live in such proximity to their ancestors?

And what should I say about the horses, camels and elephants? I still remember (very fondly) an incident which happened while travelling in my office bus. I was deeply immersed in a novel when I suddenly sensed a giant eye peering through the window to see what I was reading. It was an elephant who wasΒ standing next to the bus, waiting patiently for the traffic signal to turn green. That day I almost tasted my heart. Sitting on a camel for a ride and straining my spinal cord always remind me how fragile my life is. And I like their extra long eyelashes and the way their jaw moves when they chew. They remind me of Tinu Anand.


Pigeons are another set of fascinating creatures found in abundance in Delhi. Whenever I go to my mum-in-law’s house, I am greeted by mounds of pigeon shit in her balcony. Her AC cannot be operated because it is filled with straws as numerous pigeons have tried to make their nest on top of it. If you leave any of the doors open by mistake, don’t be surprised by the flapping of wings in your bedroom. And the moaning sounds they make in the morning never fails to turn me on. It is the sexiest alarm anyone can dream of.

Living amongst all these amazing species is an experience which you can only enjoy in India. They are mostly harmless if you enjoy them from a distance. But there is another specie that is deadly and extremely dangerous to live with. Humans. In a dark street, you might have more faith in a gang of five dogs but not in a gang of five men. You might allow your child to feed the pigeons but cannot leave him with a portly, old uncle in the park. You might allow your child to take an elephant ride but can you be sure about the driver who takes the child to school?

Yes, I like pigs. Even if they swathe in mud, are dirty, carry germs and litter the road, I know that they are just animals. Trustworthy. Innocent. Living their life without poking their nose in anyone’s business. No ego hassles. They do not know how to use guns or how to throw acid. They do not understand the meaning of countries, terrorists and caste.

Funny how not being intelligent can be such a boon. I wish we were still animals. Life would have been so much simpler.

p.s. I haven’t mentioned cats, squirrels, cockroaches, lizards, sparrows, crows, donkeys, goats, politicians and so many other animals because this post was getting extra long.

[images from 1,2,3,4]

56 comments on “Four legs good

  1. It’s a jungle out there where the rich, the poor, the desolate, the happy, the four legged and the two legged ones co-exist blissfully, trying their best to live happily ever after in their bubble.

  2. Hey, I was having this free joyride on this brilliant piece when the things turned ugly as you introduced the bipeds and I started crying! I wonder what every other species would be feeling about the muck and madness we are capable of, how wary they must be, even though they can bite us, pierce us and shit on our ACs at will. What a stinging satire!

    • We have taken up all their space. Shitting in our balconies is the least they could do to vent their anger.
      And I completely forgot to mention the peacocks! I see them mate every day in the fields all around my office.
      Thank you for liking the post Uma.

  3. I could sense rage and angst even though you talked about animals. They do look a shade better than us in the current scenario. They don’t rape babies,throw acid or burn fellow members alive.

    • I think that is how the world was supposed to be. Humans are sadly at a stage where we will either finish our race too soon or pass on to become a higher being. The chances of the latter happening is pretty slim.

  4. Yep, animals I tell you, they make our lives worth living. Humans are another story altogether. These days I am paranoid of every stranger that talks to my kids and every man that stares at me. Such are the sad times we live in. A hard-hitting satire, Amit!

    • Yes, me too. You really cannot trust a stranger on the road even if that person smiles at you. Who knows he might be a serial killer. Sad, but this is what our intelligent race has landed into.

  5. If pigs could read blogs and post comments, am sure that the maximum compliments and comments on this post will be from them, especially considering the awesome pic you have posted right at the top with the cute little monkey kid riding the pig. In any case, the two legged humans who read this piece are sure to reflect on the points made in this post. πŸ˜€

    • Haha! I would have loved to have some pigs as my readers. They would have understood that I am in awe of their way of life.
      Thank you very much for your comment. πŸ™‚

  6. So – the Urban Jungle huh? And they do say that Man is the worst predator. Even the carnivores hunt only for food. Man is the only animal that hunts only in order to cause pain and misery.

  7. I did not have much opinion about pigs, but after seeing the photo you have posted I can say, I like pigs, especially when a monkey is perched on its back πŸ™‚
    It is much more safe to be in a jungle than in the streets 😦
    Superb post yet again!

  8. i am not fond of stray dogs or cows but i have no real issues with them. as a matter of fact, i feed them everyday. but i have hated almost all human beings, i have known, at some point or another.

    it was a wonderful read! brilliant!

    • I too feed stray dogs every day. It is not their fault if they are left on the roads to look after themselves. But then humans in this country go through worse ordeals.
      Thanks for liking the post Debs.

  9. Brilliant as always . I had a horrible experience with monkeys in Gurgaon πŸ™‚
    They tore off my fav shirt . I cried that day . No kidding but like u said facing them is always easy than walking on an empty road or a park !
    Other than nodding smiling wondering fearing helpless to do anything after reading this

    • Thanks Afshan. πŸ™‚
      Till now I never had any bad experience with the animals but yes I have heard of people having horrible experiences with monkeys and sometimes with dogs.
      At least they attack us only when they feel threatened.

  10. Towards the ending post took a turn for the serious. Loved that twist though.
    Yep, and we were complaining we don’t have enough of nature around us in the urban concrete jungle. Maybe because we don’t look around us too often.
    Considering we are the ones who are occupying their habitat, they have a right to sit (like the cows) or shit (like the pigeons) wherever they want. Food for thought?

    • Thanks Ash.
      There is a lot of nature all around us. There are so many stray animals and humans that you cannot miss them.
      East Delhi, where I lived for a long time was once a jungle and now look at the place! It is hard to find an empty road to walk.

  11. What an analogy, comparing Tinu Anand with a camel…superb!!
    It’s the sorry state of affairs in our country where nature and life in every form is brutally tampered with creating a disastrous imbalance in the ecosystem.

    • Haha! He does look like a camel. πŸ™‚
      Yes, I am afraid we are blindly harming the ecosystem and by the time we will realize this, it will be too late.

  12. And yet for some crazy reason we call our cities a human jungle. Is it because a jungle is defined by its wildest animal?
    Great post as usual.

    • It is worse than a jungle. There is a reason animals attack each other in the jungle. Here, when you leave home, you are never sure that you will return or not,
      Thanks for liking the post.

  13. What a post!!! So well written..
    Seriously animals are far better than we humans. And surely jungle or even groups of stray animals in our streets respect co-existence much more than what we as humans do…

  14. Cats are good. More cats = less rats, pigeons, lizards etc. But seriously though, my former coworkers used to oooh and aah over pigeon nests on the AC and were shocked when I suggested getting rid of it. Pigeons are like rats with wings–they spread a ton of diseases!

    • I think all the animals have some role to play to maintain the ecological balance but humans have tampered with it. Maybe too much of a pigeon population is a result of that.

  15. The more the number of legs the more innocent we are πŸ™‚
    Tempted to write about the wonderful names of the animals mentioned here.If you could bribe me,then I will not reveal πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

  16. I didn’t guess to where you were leading…the other day, at work, we had a lady at work who had to make a presentation of her latest tript o Egypt. Since she couldn’t visit the pyramids due to firing going on and security, she got pics of the streets and one of those is a picture of two cows on top a truck..reminded me of that when I read your post…you are right, Amit. We are living in a jungle with animals called humans who you cannot trust anymore.

  17. Oh, the creative genius is back! I patiently kept reading to understand where this post was going… and bam!
    Humans are becoming worse day by day. I guess the reverse evolution has started. Or whatever they call it. I can’t even begin to imagine how would we proceed from here. Thank God we won’t live to see the end of it. I fear for my next lives though.

    • πŸ™‚ Thanks Nisha.
      I think this is reverse evolution. This is what is meant by Kalyug.
      I fear for my next lives too. I would prefer to be born an animal.

  18. For a short span of time we had begun to appreciate the human brain. Today, it seems to be back to brawn. Humans have edged other species out of their natural habitat by force, uneducated goodas do whatever they want on our streets and even lend a helping hand to the powerful to remain in power. Here’s what positive reinforcement can do for dogs Wonder if there’s anything on the net for humans (or pigeon mess:).

    • I am always reminded of what Agent Smith said about humans in Matrix – I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You’re a plague and we are the cure.

      Sadly, that is the truth.

  19. And there I was, enjoying the ride when you had to come along and throw that reality check in there. Such a sad truth 😦 On another note, please tell me you don’t really feed the stray dogs, do you?

    • Yes, I feed the stray dogs. An astrologer has told mom to give food to the needy humans and animals and it is better to feed the leftovers rather than throwing them in the bin.

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