Look Look! Chook! Chook! Tuk-Tuk! (Gorakhpur)

  • 2010
[Srim & I were invited to a wedding in Gorakhpur in India. The wedding ceremony went for about a week. I got to see a lot of animals.]

[folded pages from Look Look! Chook! Chook! Tuk-Tuk! (Gorakhpur).]

As my tuk-tuk driver steered around a cow, I asked if he had ever hit one, pointing at the cow. He told me, frowning, “ Everyone – Hindus, Christians, Muslims, – all drink milk. Cow is important to everyone. Only fool would hit cow.”  I hadn’t made myself clear. I tried again. His answer: “I have eyes for cow, little children, people – all things.” The tuk-tuk told me that everyone has a ‘god-bank’. He explained that because animals can’t speak, they can’t ask for food or help. By feeding animals or lending a hand to animals people can increase the size of their ‘god-bank’. I reworded my question once more including the word accident. The tuk-tuk man looked confused, he stopped the tuk-tuk, bought some bananas, and fed them to some cows. The tuk-tuk man said, “Gods see this.” He smiled. He seemed happy, the cows seemed happy. And the gods? I guessed they were happy.
[text from Look Look! Chook! Chook! Tuk-Tuk! (Gorakhpur).

[Srim & me in a tuk-tuk.]

State Library of Victoria
State Library of Queensland