Asia/India

Brilliant life

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I sat this morning reading under some coconut trees. The sun shone in dappled form through the leaves and the shade took the edge off the heat. As I sat and read, out of the corner of my eye I saw one of the ubiquitous crows acting a little differently form usual. These black and grey birds have quite savage looking beaks of a size quite out of proportion with the head. It was pecking the ground repeatedly, but it wasn’t the ground it was pecking. It was the bloodied and mangled body of a fish. As it stood on the body and began tearing at the flesh on its head another crow joined in, this one trying to steal the body of the fish from under the feet of the first.

Life here seems so much earthier than at home. The butterflies are larger, more numerous and more colourful. The ants in the formicating swarms are of sizes quite extreme (both small and large) when compared to hose at home. The plants too have a more wild aspect. Even after eight months of no rain, the colour is there, the flowers are bright and erect, and the parks beautiful.

By earthy, I mean something different though. Life is much less sanitised and compartmentalised here. Cows walk along the road as they search for food. Dogs and crows scrap with each other for rubbish on the road side. Water Buffalo graze by the edge of the lake. Oxen pull carts along the road; elephants are ridden as work horses; kites fill the air searching for carrion.

And human life is less sanitised too.