Becoming Indianised

On Monday evening, the driver dropped me off at the street market after work so I could do the fruit and veg shopping for our apartment. Wary of being overcharged as a foreigner, I usually sidle up behind a well-dressed Indian lady who is haggling over the price of onions at a stall. I greet her and ask how much she’s paying, so the vendor has to offer me the same price.

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I wandered back to the apartment loaded up like a packhorse. The fresh peas looked tempting, so I shelled a few pods and ate the peas raw. Delicious. Rather than throw the empty pods away, I kept them in my hand. This attracted the attention of a cow, on the lookout for some fresh greenery. I fed the cow and continued down the street. This is what many Indians do, although some wrap up scraps and peelings in a plastic bag, which is dangerous for cows to eat. It made me feel a bit righteous, feeding Mother India.

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These are not my empty pea pods

I fed another cow and before I knew it, I was being pursued like the Pea’d Piper of (S)hamelin Bagh. I had to pick up the pace to get to our side-street, or the cows would have eaten my purchases.

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Cows outside the clinic, just off the Grand Trunk Road

By Dr Alfred Prunesquallor

Maverick doctor with 40 years experience, I reduced my NHS commitment in 2013. I am now enjoying being free lance, working where I am needed overseas. Now I am working in the UK helping with the current coronavirus pandemic.

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