They are the most unlovable of my neighbours, and believe you me, that’s a very large breed. And one of their most endearing qualities – and they have many; in fact too many-many-many-many – is the way they dispose off their garbage.
Now the boring rest-of-us park our garbage every morning near our respective gates, which is then neatly collected by the city municipality's garbage collecting squad. Neat, but like i said, boring.
But these neighbours choose to handle their garbage in a manner that is, as the Hindi phillum phrodoocer would say, zaraa hatke. It also showcases their heightened sense of neighbourliness, which while it might not be next to Godliness, is important. (Moses just forget to pencil it in into that Samsung galaxy tablet of his.) So, they first pack their daily load of garbage into a plastic bag, making sure the bag is the flimsiest of flimsy. Then, the tie up the bag and toss it over the compound wall onto the road.
All of which shows an extraordinary amount of the aforementioned neighbourliness because before long, the bag is ripped open by passing stray dogs and the garbage is artistically strewed all over the road. As we are all aware, there is nothing like the sight of freshly rotting garbage first thing in the morning to get those bowels moving. And even better if you slush through a strategically placed piece of banana peel during your morning walk.
But that I’m over the moon about my neighbours is not why I write this.
This morning, it was business as usual. The garbage potli has been flung, properly positioned and waiting. As I muttered angrily under my breath and watered the plants, a cow ambled past me, towards the bag…
Now urban cows are well adjusted to their environment and therefore no stranger to plastic. So, while plastic bags may not be the choice of bovine provender, these cows have found ingenious ways to get past and through them to – alas, to the garbage which they have learnt to “acquire a taste for” . Like the rest of us in the urban world. But this was a plastic bag that was tightly tied up, so I reckoned the cow would just walk past.
But I had not reckoned for a cow as ingenious as this one!
As I watched in fascinatedly, she picked up the bag by one of the handles that had been firmly tied together and with a dexterity that reminded me of a burlesque queen twirling her nipple tassels, Ms Cow began to whirl her head round and round And boom, within a few seconds, the plastic bag burst open and its odiferous innards spewed on to the road.
Fortunately, they weren’t the breakfast she was looking for, because she sniffed, examined and moved on…
My point is this – human intelligence is overrated.