Notes from Bishnupur

il y a
1 min
A white bull grazes from a large, lush rectangle of grass in the courtyard. A groundsman shoos the cow along. They play a cartoonish herding game through the manicured maze as if it had been played a thousand times before.

A monkey jumps up onto the stone wall which shields the garden from the main road. Then another. And another. Nearly a dozen bounce around from wall to road to tree to wall. A motorcycle seating three stops on the dirt path to take their picture. An enormous truck roars by with Hindi music blaring from a megaphone. The startled monkeys race back to their protective ledge.

The bull that had just been expelled from the garden has now made it around the wall and onto the main road. He moves with a nervous trot. A bicycle approaches and the cow stops in his tracks with a sideways glance as if to say, “nothing unusual to see here.” The bicycle passes before the cow picks up his shuffle again, hustling past the monkeys and out of view behind a wall of trees.

Another bicycle. A Toto vehicle clashes into it, knocking a young boy from his perch. He rubs his bottom and a Toto passenger steps out to pour mineral water on the lad’s hand which is surely burning from a hard scrape against the grit. The Toto drives away as the boy presses on, now guiding his bike by the handlebars as he walks alongside it.

I glance back towards the courtyard to find three stray dogs have moved to the swath of green where the bull once stood. One takes a dump while another squats to pee. The groundsman has given up.

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