The subjects that captivate me the most to photograph are people but animal behavior is so strikingly similar to our own that they often make us smile and nod our heads when we watch them. When animals cross my path in a tempting way, I enjoy photographing them too, but for me, they are more difficult to photograph. With them the moment is so fleeting and equipment so essential. I have limited equipment but occasionally I capture the moment.
In the photograph above a cow is licking the remains of some oil lamps in front of a Hindu temple while the “lion” watches in frustration.
Cows, monkeys and then dogs are probably the most easily sighted animals on the streets of India.The omnipresence of cows and monkeys enchant most foreign visitors because of the contrast of the mostly sanitized streets in the west and their requirements that animals be leashed. In this photograph, a mother Langur monkey closely watches her mischievous child while seated on top of one India’s most sacred symbols, the lingam. A holy cow passes by, indifferent to the presence of the monkeys. The sacrosanct nature of cows and monkeys in India partially contribute to the reason that they roam so freely.
In Delhi and Mumbai, cows are not permitted in central areas but outside of the big cities they still take precedence. The traffic moves around them. It is a serious legal offense to injure a cow in India as well.
Although I love birds and occasionally go birdwatching, I don’t have the right lenses to capture them well. I was lucky, though, with this photograph. I was staying at a beautiful hotel on one of my tours and they had peacocks roaming around the property. These peacocks do not fear humans and don’t flee when you approach them. In fact, they often came right up to you, looking for food! The peacock is the national bird of India. These birds, in all their magnificence, remind me of a beautiful woman who expects admiration and adoration from everyone.
There are two kinds of monkeys that are frequently seen all over India: the Langurs, with black faces and very long tails (seen above) and the Rhesus Macaques that are heavier and more fierce and have red bottoms and faces. I haven’t found any good shots of them in my archives but will keep looking because I have quite a few tales of them bothering me. They are more aggressive than the Langurs.
One of the many charms that India holds for me is this intimate relationship between man and beast. They are part of the mythology and part of every day life. This helps us to have a better perspective on our relationship and place in this universe. Ultimately, it helps us to understand ourselves. There is so much to learn simply through observation.