Summer of 2015
During the end of summers with the air thick with the scent of mango blooms, it called for no less than a trip to the countryside.
Me, my sister and our cousin, set out on our trip to our native village, an hours drive from city limits. we engaged a taxi.
We were in a rather festive mood, as it was our temple visit as well.
The three of us linked up at the appointed time. We started our journey in the blazing sun. The glare was blinding.
Our cousin donned a beautiful “red” sari.
We sped past sleepy villages, coconut avenues and lapsed into silence watching the scenery and the whirling blur of faces going past. Due to the presence of the driver, the conversation between the three of us was restricted to monosyllables.
Once we neared the place and since it was an uneven stony path, the taxi had to be halted at a distance.
The driver pitched in to escort us but was declined, since the other two were familiar with the route.
We had to trudge along bushes and overgrown grasses.
The sanctum stood in a secluded place, amidst a row of thick trees, and was usually locked.
Upon our entry, a grazing bull with a long rope tied to its leg went unnoticed.
As we were circling the temple, before any of us could realise the bull pounced on us, thrusting its horns, we left off our worship and ran hither and thither but only within a short distance as we found ourselves cornered in an enclosure of barbed wire fence so turning back was another peril.
The bull was possessed., The “red” attire and the scorching sun triggered it and set it on a rampage.
How much ever it tried to leap, the rope tied to its leg had limitations, it could only block our exit, to us retreat seemed impossible.
Now our fate lay with the bull, our worst fears were confirmed. we were like the sacrificial goats. we gripped each other’s hands tightly and almost foresaw what was coming. Growing impatient we cast a grim look at each other and wrung our hands in despair with irrelevant thoughts occupying our minds, imagining the outcome, ourselves with our hands in a sling and fingers encased in a plaster cast or a fractured leg. Sheer hopelessness seized us. Our first impulse was to cry out but were tongue-tied at first.
Now our shout was heard by a couple of pedestrians passing along who came to our rescue with canes. we wriggled and came out unscathed with our dishevelled hair. It would have knocked us with its horns, had it not been for the rope tied to its leg. Now there was enough crowd for a group photo and some hanger’s on collected around us.
Quite a stir was created with the motley crowd milling around.
The gathered crowd scrutinised the bull closely, looking at it for any signature of “ownership.”
A voice retorted that it belonged to a certain so and so. The ferocious bull was forcibly dragged out and the case was officially closed. All’s well that ends well.
We picked up our belongings and went out of the view of the crowd and felt rather awkward to have drawn so much of attention to ourselves, with our “Jalli Kattu” episode.
Back home we took a long sigh of relief and a glowing account of our hair-raising tale was reported.
Its been a while since we traversed that path, but the horrifying scene still remains afresh….