When you stay for a few weeks in Gujarat, you can see such funny little things:
Posts Tagged With: Animals
I think my blog has been dealing too much with Bollywood lately. But this time, I can’t help sharing this video, I’m sorry! It’s an extract from a film called Houseful; anyway, I laughed so much my neighbours must have thought I was crazy!
I promise, tomorrow, I’ll be serious again! ( Or I’ll try, at the least!)
I warn you, the theme I’m going to deal with is weird; a mixture of Halloween and Valentine’s Day.
Everything started from this strange article found on Dogster.com , – I don’t even remember how I found myself on this site, this is the mystery of the web. This disturbing story I’m going to tell you is finally quite understandable once you have the explanation and anyway, when you are interested in India, you get less and less shocked by that kind of events which sometimes happen in the country.
Here you are: in an Indian tribe situated in eastern state Jharkhand, having a twisted tooth is considered as a bad omen. This means that in the future, your wife or husband may die.
Thus, the best way to avoid such a tragedy is to marry something which is worth less than a husband or a wife, something like an animal!
For example, let’s imagine I’m part of this tribe and I have a tooth longer than the other, a bit like a small tusk or whatever! This means that my future husband is doomed to die. As I can’t fight against my destiny, my parents have no other choice than to organise a real wedding, with food, flowers, guests and of course a religious ceremony. But my fiancé won’t be a man but a dog so that my doggie-hubbie will die instead of my real future husband. Cause fortunately, I’ll be allowed to marry a real man despite my first weddog ceremony. It is the same for boys of course but they marry a she-dog.
In this Indian case, (see the video at the bottom, the doggies are so cute!) it is obvious that that is a question of superstition and a way to get rid of the evil eye or a curse or anything bad.
But in other countries, some people get married to their dogs too but their reasons are only love or frienship. And I finally think it is worse!
For example in 2009, in Ghana, a priest married a 30 year-old-woman and her dog because she was disappointed by men and found more qualities in animals. I know that dogs are often far more faithful and obedient than men, but, well, does one need to go so far?
In Australia, the same kind of insane stories has happened; a young man married his she-dog called Honey. The guests at the ceremony found it very moving. Hopefully, the young man specified it was just friendship and that the marriage wouldn’t be consummated. Phew!
When I write a post for my blog, I always try to look for more information to go further in my little investigation. That’s why I saw that human-animal marriage was widely treated by Wikipedia and I find some stories quite disturbing; so you can read the article but, for my part, I think I will stop here because I’m starting to feel a little sick!
I’m very lazy today. I’m still in my pyjamas, I’m hanging around the flat with a cup of coffee in my hand, I surf on Youtube, I check my mails again and again but there are only spams for fashion web sites. I really have to kick in my own behind (it is not too difficult but you are ridiculous when you do that), get dressed and try to do something more useful than counting the number of visitors on my blog since yesterday.
But before that, I want to give you two reasons for being happy, which is not so useless after all. At least, these two things make me happy and I hope they will do the same to you.
The first happy thing is this song called Chikni Chameli from the film Agneepath starring Mary Ingalls’ s twin brother Hrithik Roshan. Go there and listen. In a few seconds, you will feel like dancing. Indian songs are the best to make you dance!
The second happy thing is this trailer I’ve come across on Youtube, of course, Youtube is my second home.(You can see the trailer at the end of the post.) I knew that Ang Lee – Hulk, Brokeback Mountain – was preparing the film adaptation of incredible novel Life of Pi. I knew this director was the best one to make such a film and to respect the poetry and the story of the book. Night Shyamalan, the American director who is a native of Tamil Nadu, had been offered the adaptation before but he hesitated too much and prefered to shoot Lady in the Water instead, which I think was a mistake as this film is rather disappointing.
The novel Life of Pi was written by Canadian Yann Martel. It is the adventure of Pi Patel, an Indian boy from Pondicherry who leaves India and takes a cargo ship with his family. On board, there are also all the animals from his parents’ zoo which are supposed to be taken to North America. Of course, like in any story taking place on a ship, there is a storm and a shipwreck. The young boy finds himself all alone, drifting on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean. Actually, he is not all alone; he soon realises that he has a companion in misfortune: a huge Bengal tiger!
Some of you who haven’t read the book yet, probably think it is imposssible to hold the reader in suspense with such a simple plot. I can tell you this book will change your life! The Little Prince meets Robinson Crusoe on the same lifeboat. It is a sweet ans salty mixture of philosophy, adventure and poetry. No wonder Life of Pi is a bestseller worldwide!
As far as the movie is concerned, there is little information about it but this little information as well as the trailer herald the best.
First, contrary to what I feared, they didn’t get rid of the Indian culture which is depicted in very small touches in the novel; thus, the first part of the book which takes place in Pondicherry and, in my opinion, which is a little boring, will certainly be an opportunity for Ang Lee to show India in her spiritual and visual magnificence.
Moreover, when you read the Canadian writer’s novel, you may consider that the story could have happened anywhere; India doesn’t seem to be such an important element in the plot so, it would have been easy for the American producers to ask for a common caucasian-typed actor in order to stick to a sad artistic globalisation and to enable the highest amount of spectators to identify with Pi. But we are lucky this time: no Robert Pattinson, no famous dandy from Gossip Girls series. Phew! Ang Lee has chosen a young Indian student called Suraj Sharma. Suraj had never acted before, he is 18 years old, he is from Delhi and his moving eyes and innocent smile seduced Ang Lee and his team.(More information about Suraj Sharma in The Times of India )
As far as I’m concerned, I’m very happy to discover a new actor; especially an Indian actor. I like directors who show me new faces, I don’t like when an actor is chosen for his previous success and not because he is the character.
The rest of the cast is really satisfying too! Talented Indian actors have been chosen: Irrfan Khan, is a man who has always been clever enough to make a career in Bollywood ( Mumbai Meri Jaan, Billu Barber ) but also in other cinema families (Salaam Bombay, The Darjeeling Limited, Slumdog millionnaire). Adil Hussain seems to be the same versatile kind of artist, acting in bollybuster Agent Vinod one day, and being an acting teacher in Delhi the day after. Even a great French actor has taken part in this movie (Allons enfants de la patriiii-i-ie…), Gérard Depardieu, who is a demigod as an actor, but a real swine as a human being, if you really want my opinion…
However, a slight point scares me: it is a 3D film. I am a bit prejudiced against 3D movies. I am afraid too many special effects will spoil the film and make me feel sick. In addition,I have bad memory from my first and only experience in watching a 3D film. Do you remember Creature from the Black Lagoon, a 50s classic and one of the first 3D films ever shot? This film was going to be shown on TV in 1982 and my mum had made blue and red spectacles for me and I couldn’t see anything at all, I was very frustrated!
Well, after reading my post, or after watching this trailer, I hope you will feel like seeing Life of Pi which is going out in December 2012. But above all, I’ll ask you to read the book first because after seeing the film, it will be too late, Ang Lee’s pictures may haunt your mind while you read the novel. Always read the novel first! It is my rule! To let your imagination be your only camera!
Even in Corsica, India is not far! Can you make the difference?
(Unfortunately, I did not take the pictures myself, so click to know where they are from)
Seven years ago, I went to Genevillier’s SPA Shelter, near Paris, and I adopted my cat. He was three years old, he was black and white and very big. But he is the sweetest cat I have ever had, he gives me love end tenderness every day. He does not judge me; he never criticizes the way I dress and does not make any remark when I eat a third piece of cake. His adoption cost about 100 euros. For only 100 euros, I had my sterilized and healthy best friend and I have given him a happy new life!
It is Summer holiday in France, which means hiking in the mountains, basking in the sun, swimming in the sea, travelling, visiting family and in the meanwhile… Paris gets empty!
But it also means that many families will abandon their pets. Each year in France, more than 60,000 animals are abandoned by their selfish masters who prefer to go on holiday leaving the shaggy burden behind. Once they have been found, the pets are taken to animal shelters where they wait for a new owner…or for death!
Hopefully, the animal welfare « Résistance » does not give up. Associations like SPA or Brigitte Bardot campaign against abandoning and shelters set up adoption days in which many celebrities take part. Average Joes can act effectively too: The Internet has become a perfect way to find someone to keep your pets for the holidays; animal lovers offer to look after your animal at a low price and the elderly who need company and do not go on holiday, stick some ads in animal hospitals and local bakeries.
Despite all this willingness, bastard dogs and European cats struggle hopelessly against the trend of pedigree pets who are bought in shops like a It Bag or a new video-game. After Christmas, have you ever noticed all the children walking proudly outside with a puppy Yorkshire or a young Labrador frolicking clumsily on a leash?
The Farangi Doggy tendency
This problem also exists in India even though it is different.
In big cities, having a pet has become really popular but despite the high number of dogs in India, wealthy people order pedigree cats or dogs to foreign breeders. Having a pet at home, is a symbol of financial success. The more the dog is expensive -up to 6000 dollars!-, the more the family’s status is high! Luxury accessory pet shops and pet salons are booming in India’s big cities. Pet owners do not hesitate to pay hefty amounts of money for a Gucci collar or a body massage for Whiskey or Lassie! -Luxury dogs always have American names, I don’t know why…- India’s pet industry is valued at around 45 million dollars annually, according to research firm Euromonitor, – but 40 billions in the US!-,( article from AFP.).
In Bollywood -which is often a good barometer to know the current trends among well-off people – actors and actresses have no cause to be envious of Paris Hilton’s Chihuahuas: Shah Rukh is a real dog lover and his dogs are pure race: Maltese, Japonese, Labrador… whereas Shilpa Shetty likes to display her white protruding-eyed Pekinese dog. Believe it or not, but it is rumoured that Salman Khan’s monst...well…Dogues de Bordeaux, have their own chef who follows them when they go on a trip.
So, what? You might say. People do what they want with their money!
And yet, there is a problem; the streets of India’s cities are plenty of stray dogs – 500,000 in Delhi – which survive by eating the waste or the food left by the local residents.
So, the dog war has been declared in the streets:
On one side, even if it is strictly forbidden by the law, some people don’t hesitate to kill stray dogs in ways I cannot describe here. But, although this idea sounds shocking, we must understand that dogs can be real vermin in some parts of India. If you can see them submissively snoozing in the shade during the day, they gather in packs when the night comes and then, they become the kings! According to the WHO (World Health Organization) 20,000 people die of rabies every year in India and dogs are the source of 99% of the cases. Thus, some people are legitimately scared or irritated but killing stray dogs is not the best solution.
On the other side, charities struggle to save slumdogs. First, birth control is essential and animal welfare organisations such as CUPA pick up animals to give them anti-rabies vaccination and to sterilize them. The second point is to convince people to adopt puppies from the streets instead of buying their pets to breeders. Unfortunately, keeping a common mangy doggy at home seems to be inconceivable to many Indians.
A young Canadian woman called Anna has experienced this on her blog Bombaysun. I like her respect and love for animals:
« The pic above is a puppy i’ve named Babe and she is part of two stray families living in the building next door. There are 5 puppies and they are about 3 months old now. I’ve been feeding them daily, cooking rice and veggies and meat. I’m most likely known as the crazy dog lady now by the watchmen and our neighbors but i’ve learnt to not give a f*** what these people say, these dogs need food and love. (and i love them!)
I’ve made sure they’ve all got their vaccinations and de-worming. Sadly i have not been able to find a home for them; the preferred breeds as pets here are imported so called “”pedigrees”. The indian breeds seem very intelligent and sensitive, a perfect pet, i just wish more people would realize this…. »
I find the two pictures fresh and optimistic even though the cat looks a bit flabbergasted. By the way, can anyone tell me why Kalki has a string of blue lights spread over her legs?
There are a lot of things to do in the area of Bikaner. You can take a jeep and go watching the rising sun and the does in the desert! You can also visit a typical village or a camel farm. There is also Karni Mata Temple in Deshnok, and a few steps farther, the Shri Karni Goshala.
Before going to India I declared: NEVER! I will NEVER walk bare-foot among rats even in a Hindu temple! But when we arrived at Karni Mata Temple, I let myself go with the flow and the ambiance!
To be sincere, I did not find this temple really beautiful except a few marble carvings at the entrance offered by Maharaja Ganga Singh from Bikaner who wanted Karni Mata’s protection. I had the feeling of getting into a huge hamster cage! It smelt like a petshop! The only thing I liked was the floor which was made of black and white marble. The rats, also called Kabbas when sacred, were everywhere. They were actually little brown mice. Some of them were prostrate and looked sad, (Yeah, I am a rat psychologist during my spare time!). Worshipers had come with holy food called prasad. The place was less frightening than expected but it had no magic to me who does not worship Karni Mata.
Our guide told us that if we saw a white kabbas, we could make a wish and it would come true. I did not see any white rats but a brown rat saw my white foot (I cheated a little, I had kept my socks on) but I do not know what wish the rat made. Maybe it was a wish about bananas or laddu. Rats have little ambition!
Or maybe the rat wished he could become a bard again! Indeed the origin of this temple is based on a legend! Actually, Karni Mata really existed in the 15th century. She had miraculous cured her haunt so people thought she was the incarnation of goddess Durga. One day, the son of her bards died. She wanted to revive him but Yama, the god of Death said « No way! » because he had already been réincarnated. So, Karni Mata asked Yama to reincarnate all the people from her clan into rats so that she could keep them under her protection. And Yama agreed because it is always difficult to refuse something to a goddess.
Please, make a link to my blog if you use my pictures on yours!
Once we got our shoes back, my socks would be stained with kabbas poo for ever, we walked behind the site to visit a cow shelter called goshala (गौशाला). Go (गो) means cow and shala (शाला) house or school. There are goshalas everywhere in India. There, volunteers look after ill, wounded or abandoned cows. Orphan calves are bred and bulls are trained to work.
This place was well-organized and really moving. Our guide did not forget to tell us once again that his name, Gopal, meant cowherd (I didnt say cowboy!) and that it was the second name of Krishna because he looked after the cows. You can see him (him is Krishna, not my guide!), drawn on the sign below, with his flute and his white cow. Actually, Krishna is not really a gopal, he is the son of a Prince but he had to be protected from an evil called Kamsa, so he was sent to live in the countryside and he was surrounded of plenty of pretty gopinis.
On the road to Delhi, our air-conditioned coach had to slow down because two shepherds were trying to take their flock of ewes to the verge. I was not surprised at the ewes on the motorway because in my childhood’s area, goats, cows and even pigs frequently wander here and there on the roads and in villages. But I will never forget the wrath in the two shepherds’ eyes while I was taking pictures of them from inside the coach. One of them even brandished his stick at me before turning back…