20 November 2008

Pigeon at the rat temple

Click to read Dave Bonta's poem prompted by this photo
The Karni Mata Mandir, the rat temple at Deshnoke, near Bikaner in Rajasthan, probably isn't the healthiest of places. Even the rats and pigeons looked a bit worse for wear. But I loved it there. Yes, rats are vermin, but they're also living creatures—complex, intelligent, highly successful. Mammals, like us— and probably more like us than most of us like to admit. I found it moving that here, at least, they were treated with honour and respect. Perhaps my appreciation was part of the reason I was lucky to see the white rat.

All content © 2008 Pete McGregor


Zhoen said...

Pigeon in a rat temple, makes me think of a song, the "lonely little petunia in an onion patch."

pohanginapete said...

I'd never heard of that song, Zhoen. Hope I haven't ruined it for you ;^)

D.V.A. said...

why would rats get a temple? do they cook them in that large metal pot? haha just kidding :) I immediately thought of the irony that pigeons are widely regarded as rats with wings - I guess they're closer than we thought.
great shot! I wonder if the pigeon startled at your "kachsheee" sound of the shot. nice wall structure too.

pohanginapete said...

D.V.A., Ha! That would be fighting talk there. In fact, the rats are believed to be reincarnated souls (the details vary according to which explanation one reads or hears).

The pigeon seemed oblivious to all the noise and activity. I suspect only the sight and sound of food being put out would have sparked its interest.