Saturday, November 1

The Cow Ate the Tulsi Plant

The tulsi plant in the courtyard has been eaten. I always tell the guard to keep a stick for the street-cows. First, we used to heap the vegetable greens outside for the wandering cows. Green stems of cauliflower, fine stems of coriander, the last slice of bread.But now they have learned to walk into the wide stony corridors of our house. On the way, they chew on the court-yard plants and the garden fruit (no pumpkin is whole).One by one in the evening, they sail in like slow boats. I have asked the guard-bhaiya to wave his stick at the cows. And he always says, bahuji- gaiyamata ko kaise mare, aap-ahee bataiye?So now the cow has eaten the tulsi plant. It is Holi v. Holi. I could share this problem with Manju (my husband's younger brother's wife) who is staying with us for a week. But if I take one side she will take another and emerge more righteous. Then I will have to remind her how I wake up a few minutes earlier than her and boil the milk. I will have to point out the parrot I embroidered on the net-cloth. This is so predictable. So I just give her a vessel of pea-pods to shell. This keeps her busy and every time I catch her popping a pea into her mouth, she loses more moral points.

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