People always asked me " What is your favorite pet animal?". As such, I had no solid answer. Well, I tried to think and then say " there is nothing like that". I had told that few times. Once, I gave a deep thinking. Well, I am okay with dogs..I am okay when they lick me and put their fore legs on me. I can just say "Dogs" if somebody really wants me to pick a pet. What about Cats?Actually I have spent more time with cats esp. in my cousin badhri 's place. They had 2-3 generations of cats. Badhri's grandma was affectionately taking care of the cats that we call her either badhri paati or poonai paati. Even after all that, I am so scared of cats...their eyes plus the tales that I hear from all 3 cousins about how they eat their own kuttis..its soft body..plus their hair giving asthma issues..Whatever..Ironically, all my ex-roomies loved cats and they had wall hangings, jigsaws of cat's picture.
So, what do I like? My deep thinking came up with 2 animals..horse and cow. I was so surprised at my own self..why do you like to be around them..No strong logic..I have no idea why I like cow.
Well, with horses.. may be.. because we had this horse carriage (Kuthirai vandi) rides from the St. Thomas Mount Railway station to Surendran nagar every now and then. I loved to take the carriage rides when young. Later, in lexington, the horse capital of the world, I got to see various breeds of horses. There were so many things happening around in kentucky. Every street was named after a horse that won races like Kentucky derby, triple crown, horse carriage races..what not. During that time, a silent wave of thought used to pass through my head. "Well, horses look nice but we cannot afford to have them. Its for rich people or people who do racing". Later in my life, when my PhD studies werenot going right, I was asked to pray Lord Hayagriva (horse-faced God who is thought to be teacher for Goddess sarawathi. It became a routine for me to chant Hayagriva stotram standing in front of a small photo pic of horse-face God and in about an year, I got a big photo of Hayagriva. About an year ago, I was in this junk shop looking for handicraft stuff and I found a nice, well sculptured Horse doll. Did not know why I bought that. But I see that I admire looking at it like anything. I liked horses to an extent that, once when somebody asked what kind of guy do you get attracted to, my quick-answer was "He should be like a horse" and my answer made many of my friends laugh right away.
Two weeks ago, some body asked about pets and the same wave of thought passed through "Well, horses look nice but we cannot afford to have them". Then I was like.. "Wait a minute, you are in El Paso, a place where people take horses for desert-hiking". May be, you can try to learn horse-riding. I asked about this to my lab-mate and she said "Well, if you are not scared, try taking lessons". With confidence, I was like" It's not as scary as swimming or bungie jumping!!". I did a thorough search on the same day and found a place to go for taking lessons during the weekend. Promptly, I reached the place to learn horseback riding. It was so amazing to learn what horse wants. Horses do not want somebody on it who is scared. He(It) wants a leader to lead him. I had to walk, climb and sit like Bharathiyar Pudhumai Penn (Modern Girl) "Nimirndha nannadai, nerkonda paarvai, thimirndha seruku (without gyanam..he he)". My mind got quick flashes of Jhansi Rani..Actress Vaijayanthi Mala in the movie "Penn" in the song "akila bharatha pengal thilakamaai", Raja Raja Cholan, Alexander the great and the 10th avatar "Kalki". With so much inner happiness, I got on the horse and did 3 rounds with the teacher's guidance. Believe me, I never have derived this much pleasure. And I got some relief of my back pain during that time.
At home, I hear a lot of tamil sayings with horses. Amma always said "Run in life like a horse"and also used sayings like "Dont be a stone on the way while the horse is heading forward (oodum kudhiraikku kaaluka kallu)" "In life, its not how fast you run (like a horse) but how well you can get along with the Jockey and keep up with running"Blah blah..blah
It took me this many years to identify what animal I like. A lot of times, we have a mind-block to not proceed with what we wish to do. We think "No I have no time now.. I have no facility available..its not affordable..I will do it after my life is a bit relaxed or after my workload gets reduced." Now, I am a firm believer that it will never happen until we really look for it. If we can think out of the box and if we really want it, we can see that things are right next to us. Well, may be, one day I will also buy a horse.