Tonight my husband and I rode on the bike to a quieter part of Nagpur to take a walk together under the trees. We rode below the Cheshire cat moon, the same moon I saw as I flew over Mumbai. The same grin, this time a little broader as the moon is slowly becoming fuller each night and it has been already nine days since I landed! The moon followed us through the traffic, passing the garland stalls overflowing with flowers, shining temples and road side restaurants full of life. As I looked up once again at the Cheshire cats smile, I felt a gentle warmth on my right knee and a sudden jolt as my husband turned the bike off of the road and we came to a short stop.
There she was, absolutely unperturbed; a large and majestic Indian cow. She had been walking in the middle of the road in the direction of the traffic and as we were passing by she must have thought ‘left might be a nicer idea’. No harm done to any of us, but it was close. The warmth remained on my knee for a couple of minutes even though there was only a moment of soft contact.
Maybe she was the same beautiful cow I had been watching for a long while from my bedroom window earlier today. She too enjoyed the middle of the road, but this time she was simply standing motionless, as if meditating, as the traffic passed on both sides. The pure white of her body shone bright like a holy aura and the gentleness of those black eyes made it easy to understand why the cow is so sacred here. She soon started to look around and our eyes met for a short while, then she was off again on her travels. I was quite sad to see her go. Goodbye, Holy Cow.