Sunday, July 03, 2005
With Charity Towards All....
My cats Azagi (grey and white) and Amul (orange) look like the ones in the pic. I gotta scan my actual cats' pics...:) Aren't they cute?
I love animals whether they're tameable as pets or not. I had three cats back home. The first one was a stray cat that just kept coming back to our house whether we wanted it to or not. It started stealing milk in the afternoons. Our mom appointed my brother and I as Guardians of the Milk. Neither of us relished it much because we couldn't do anything else in peace during afternoons. And the cat was an expert burglar! Once my brother caught it stealing and he chased it down. It tried to get out of the house via a grilled door and it couldn't wriggle out because it had grown so fat! My brother and I just rolled on the floor with laughter and my mom decided that it was too bad to starve a desperate cat. Anyways, it kind of became our house cat. My bro named it "Ramba" because it seemed to have a variation of cross-eyes...(no offense to the actress. Hey! you could take it that the cat was really cute too!:)).
Anyways, Ramba had two offspring- the first one being christened "Azhagi" (by virtue of its prettiness) and the second "Amul" (by virtue of its chubbiness). We bought up both these cats and they were a part of my college life. I used to love the fact that when I came home, Azagi used to run to the door "meowing" as soon as she heard me. Of course, my dad didn't exactly relish our feeding a cat Horlicks milk, cream cakes, chips, murukku, bakkoda et al..He used to look at me and my brother and put a hand to his forehead: "Kashtam!"...:)
Srirangam had an abundance of monkeys because of the groves in the little island. Now that realtors are exterminating groves to build multi-storied apartment complexes, the monkeys get displaced and wander into residential areas in big groups. We used to have monkeys in our backyard all the time. And the poor things used to look for water in buckets to drink and quench their thirst. We always used to leave a bucket full of water for the crows and monkeys. And we had fun feeding monkeys bananas, fruits, biscuits etc... albeit from a safe distance.
Now, there were people in our neighborhood who used to empty water buckets just because monkeys and crows drank out of them. They considered it a "waste of water"! And I have seen many people throw wasted food or fruits in the trash can when they could've given the same food to a starving cow at their gate. They call cats and monkeys "dushtai" (evil ones) and that raising them is earning "pavam". They'd rather sell the cocunuts from their trees for a paltry Rs. 10 rather than give one to a hungry monkey. And these same people would go to Ranganatha temple and search for people to do Anna Daanam. I say "search" because in these days and times, not many people want food; they want hard cash.
Which one is charity? Giving a portion of the food and water we consume to a needy, hungry being or thrusting our charity at other human beings when they really don't need it?? If the former is earning "pavam", I'd gladly go to hell.