Wednesday, March 3, 2010


This morning when I left the house I noticed a goat tethered to a tree in the yard. A little strange, yes, but given the cockrel crowing in the morning, mokey wearing my underwear, spiders the size of my hand, bees the size of birds, bats the size of hawks (seriously vampiresque), ant colonies moving into my room, lizards on the walls, cranes on the lake, water buffalo in the lane, etc. I generally feel like I am living on the Nature Channel. So, in the big picture, a goat in the backyard is not that weird. Returning home after breakfast to a goat in the house was a little weirder, but again, not out of the norm. I do, however, note the fact that he is being led into the Puja (prayer) room. I leave for a meeting and by the time I get back the mistress of the house is sweeping red water out the door and the man stops me in the hall and invites me to lunch. Ahh, now it's all beginning to make sense! Turns out every two years the extended family gathers together to worship Ilema, a local goddess with a penchant for blood. It was our good fortune to be here on the right year and we spent the afternoon socializing with the family and munching fresh goat curry and mutton biryani. Delicious!

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