Here in India when I look around me, I love seeing how the “rightful place” of any life form is a very malleable thing. No space, save perhaps the inside of a houses, seems restricted solely to one species. Goats brush past men sitting under palm fronds as they spoon rice into their mouths with their hands; cows wander freely anywhere their four legs can carry them; dogs trot around breezily, and all this merry menagerie seem to get on very well together.
Of course, this cohabitation is not always harmonious, beginning with road users, whose driving, as they criss-cross and swerve, slow down or accelerate abruptly, should really be described as reckless, if it weren’t for some underlying watchfulness which seems to allow the flow of traffic to perpetuate without mishap. Then there are the boys who loiter under tree branches, slingshot in hand, eyeing unwary bird life.
But it makes for heartwarming friendhips too, like the unknown dog who spontaneously came and used my foot as a pillow as I sat drinking chai. Or the monkey hitching a ride with a dog in the picture above. I think I may prefer this world of nonchalant lack of order to one where dogs must be kept on leads, and animals tethered.