23 March 2008


i'm scared of dogs
i am scratching my yeddu
yes, i am scared of dogs, specially growling howling kind
the barking kinds are ok i think
anything wrong with me ?
i'm scared to death actually


KOZHIKUMUTHI is one of the cleanest tribal villages i have seen,
near Vargaliyar forest.
nice people
but the dogs are not very nice
they don't like stangers and they don't like me.



i have been there many times, these are the pictures of my last two visits, a couple of them are already posted in some older post. i like going there and meet the tribals, feel miserable that i can't do anything for them. The only thing i can do is sit and spend some time with them. Take pictures and all.



They don't want money or comforts, they just want to be respected. They are untouchables. So i remove my shoes and enter their houses which are made of bamboo.

Removing your shoes is a mark of respect.
i sit and eat their food in their vessels which is a big thing for them



From the illeterate, untouchable tribals to high cast scientists to the President of India, one thing is common.
they are all crazy about our insipid Indian movies.
You can see their dreams pasted on their bamboo walls.



This is Priya
Pretty isn't she ?
i met her there during my earlier visit.
She was scared of me
i look like a gorilla
it took time, and a couple of biscuit packets to get friendly with her
i took her pictures while he mom was making black tea for me, badly needed a cup of tea after a very long and tiring trek.


there she is, playing.
as i was leavingthe village, a pack of dogs surrounded me, barking, some of them growling
this is the time when commonsense takes leave of me.
i can't walk
i can't run,
and i can't just stand there
i stopped breathing
the dogs were advancing towards me.
can't even look at the sky can't look at the ground
i am stuck and scared to death.
mind completely blank
a sort of nirvana
too scared to take care of my itchy nose

ah here she comes to my rescue
not even 20 inches high, our little Priya
She came and stood like a wall between me and the growling dogs. Protecting me, her little arms streched.
i think even God did not give me this kind of security.
she was my Angel now.
i was too scared to be ashamed of anything

she said HOOSH to the growling dogs
the dogs Hooshed
all but one, who continued howling at me
She said HOOSH to him as well
And he hooshed too
she took my hand and took me to the stream
now i did not bother about the dogs following us
i was safe with her
we crossed the stream together
she tilted her little head and said 'PO'
'po' is go in Tamil
too scared to turn and wave at her.
not even a thank you.
i walked into the forest.



kenju said...

Priya is beautiful, and your photos are terrific. I sense an old, old soul looking out of those eyes.

I don't know why these people are untouchables, but I suspect they are happier in their simple life than most of the rich people I know.

vishesh said...

hmmm....are you cynophobic too?

Ruth said...

Did your Guardian Angel ever smile at you, rauf? Maybe she is the guardian of the whole village, a big responsibility.

I am afraid of dogs too, but I pretend I'm not because I heard if they smell your fear, it will only make things worse. We had two coyotes on our property yesterday, I've never seen one before. Maybe the winter has been hard for them too. If they get any closer to the house, I'll be wishing for Priya's protection.

mystic rose said...

thanku thanku ( for your message in the comments boxu)

I must admit when I first read the title , i was a bit jealous, I thought oh oh competition.
I think i look like her, except for the eyes , she has lovely eyes, and no fear in them too.
It is such a heart touching image when I think of her saving you from the pack of dogs. and what you said about not finding that kind of security even from God.
You know, Im bravest with my children, they make my heart so strong. and i especially like it when they are very noisy. I think that noise can drive away even demons.

Beautiful ,lovely photographs.
and what else can you do, except be a human being. thank you for reaching our hearts.

marietom said...

beautiful !!!

katy said...

I have so missed your posts Rauf.
indeed she is a true beauty, she shows no fear.
I would have been just like you if the dogs had barked and growled at me, so glad you Priya was there to help you.
Mr Milo say's he would never make you feel afraid of him.

Ruth said...

Came back to say I don't think Priya was scared of you, rauf. She was sizing you up.

You must have shown her the LCD with her pic on it after these shots. I wonder if she had seen a camera before.

I'm sorry, I don't want to take away from the sense in these pictures that there is no camera, there is just the village, the girl, and a sense of peace, in spite of what you told us about dogs.


Welcome back mate. I was starting to get worried about you 'til a comment popped up the other day.

Smashin' pics as always. Very sad though. Untouchables. I'd sit and chat and eat and drink with them all day - and I'd try stroking their dogs too!

Nobody is untouchable. Especially not when they have smiles like that!

Next time you visit give em a Dinners hug eh?

Show 'em The Simpsons Movie 'n all. That'd get 'em onto quality movies eh? ;-)

Rauf said...

Hi Friends !
i am traveling again, i'll be back on 29th, packing in a hurry
I'll come back and respond to all your comments and mails
lot of explaining to do on this subject, need time to think also also also.
Be good
Cheers please take care
all my love

tulipspeaks said...

the photos spoke a story on its own. sharp and beautiful photos!


'JoAnn's-Digital-Eyes'NL said...

Hello Rauf,
We just returned from a holiday in Luxemburg, how was your easter-celebration?
About you fair for DOGS:
No Rauf nothing is wrong with you when You are scared for dogs.... You should know that I was scared for dogs sooooo much, that when I saw one, I would.n't go into that street, barking or not....
KOZHIKUMUTHI? So don't/Never go there Rauf, when dogs are NOT nice, people aren't either there is a saying' 'You can tell how the owner is, by the dogs behavior"
I love the houses of the people but why giving them money?When they are happy this way, money is not making anyone MORE happy, but medical help and water and food is more important9 Thats what I think) I would remove my shoes to show them my respect...
I like the pictures on the walls inside the houses,haha the indian movies yes I noticed that too, its a wellloved kinda movie style,
Priya is a reall pretty and lovely clever looking kiddo, ooooohhhh no you can't look like a gorilla Rauf, no no, do you like black tea more than others? I like tea with a taste like mango tea or lemontea, how about you Rauf?
What can I say Rauf, not to be scared of dogs? I can tell you this...."Don't look in their eyes ' they don't like that" Walk away from them, don't try to be a hero...
We went on holiday for this easter , so I made dome cute photo's of the eater decorations at the frontdoor, come and see how we celebrate easter ,

Its snowing here in Holland right now, but it looks lovely too,

Bye from JoAnn (Holland)

Sonia said...

I love seeing your gorgeous photos and reading your stories! Come here is always a great pleasure and I learn always many things! Thank you for sharing your country!


Have a good journey and stay safe mate. Look forward to your return.

Matangi Mawley said...

tht s indeed a beautiful village! where is it???

vrinda said...

beautiful pictures :) the pictures speak on their own and u tend to make ur own stories as u see them, one by one..the old village, the fallen tree trunk, the wall of posters...they r all memerising...and priya..yes rauf i agree with u..she is beautiful...

Cindy said...

What a beautiful little girl. Her eyes look wise, like she's seen a side of life that she should not have had to see.
Awesome pictures, as always, Rauf!

Cindy said...

What a beautiful little girl. Her eyes look wise, like she's seen a side of life that she should not have had to see.
Awesome pictures, as always, Rauf!

priya said...

This Priya has a beautiful eyes and that innocence speaks from her face.

Amazing captures again Rauf:)

Pingu said...

she said HOOSH to the growling dogs
the dogs Hooshed

your narration of how little Priya 'Hoosh'-ed the dogs away was meant to be funny...and it did make me laugh...but it also brought a lump to my throat...like most of ur posts do...i don't know why...

take care Rauf Uncle. Have a safe trip.

Alicia M B Ballard said...

Touching dearest Raufie, as I come to expect :)

Good to know you survived the menacing dogs with the help of an tiny Angel...

I have found that poor people - with dignity – are very clean.
Met quiet a few in Argentina and Uruguay with dirt floors in their shacks that were as “clean and sparklie” as any upscale dwelling and themselves, were just as kept...

Dogs can indeed look very and even be vicious – occasionally...

As Ruth says, do not ever show fear to a dog – it will have you cornered and praying for your life in no time.

I got two rules for “unruly” dogs.

I first try talking to them in the friendliest of voices, it has stopped some notorious rascals right on their tracks OR simply say “NO” with a very stern/authoritative voice, also works....

The first option I prefer, starting with friendly “hello”, I found that if I keep on talking I will soon get to a word they are familiar with and it appears to put them at ease.

The reality is that a dog in that state is actually scarred of YOU!
So, their bluff works well ...
Look how it can reduce us to a shivering heap – lol

Lots of love and hugs

iamnasra said...

You are so lucky, I admire you for knocking doors, your heart must be a gem, as not maany can open for us their doors

Sandy said...

As always enjoyed your photos and commentary about the dog...


Sonia said...

Just dropping by to say thank you for your visiting and wish to you a nice weekend!

Rauf said...

Dear Friends, sorry for the delay in response. We are shifting back to the rebuit house and shifting the net connection will take a week.
Hope you are all doing fine and enjoying the spring.
all my love

Rauf said...

Hi JUDY, Most of the social evils are connected to religion. The caste system is one such evil.
We have to ask what religion is and what is its function.
Intentions are good.
Religion has a specific purpose. To bring an order to the society. Every body wants a peaceful life. How do we bring an order ? How would you stop your neighbour from walking away with your TV ?
How would you defend yourself and your family from club weilding thugs in the stone age who had no idea what is good and what is bad ?
Some wise people got an idea of explaining good and evil by cooking up stories, stories that later became religion. All the holy scriptures have stories and stories, you just can't give them a bunch of rules and regulations. This is the reason why the Ten commandments proved to be such a disaster. They were meant to make this world a paradise. that didn't work.
All the stories in all the holy scriptures tell you only one thing
Now begins the confusion. Each religion has its own formula of BEING GOOD. That didn't work either.
The formula adopted by Hinduism is the most clever one, along with the stories of good and evil in the holy books of Ramayan and Mahabharat. They religiously and cleverly divided the society in four classes. From superior Brahmin to most inferior, Shudra and two in between. No confusion.
you can get the details in Wikipedia.

The original idea is your KARMA, your actions decide your caste, superior or inferior, which are carried over to your next life, next birth. They make people religiosly believe that they are reborn according to their KARMA, actions in this life.
So the most inferior are the untouchables who sincerely believe that their misery is due to the bad KARMAS in their previous life.

Now here is the trick.

If a person leads a life of a good inferior being, a good untouchable doing all the dirty work the society gives, he or she has the hope of being reborn in a higher caste. These unfortunate people carry shit and garbage religiously and work as slaves and bonded labourers.
The idea is to get cheap labour to keep their neighbourhood clean.
This is religion in India.

Rauf said...

Hi VISHESH, believe me, never heard of that term. Cyan is blue, i thought its a fear of blue.
i checked up, yes i am afraid of too many growling and barking stray dogs in our city.
Some friends have dogs and they say please don't worry they are harmless.
Yes they are harmless to you but not to me.
Only one dog got friendly with me in my life. This was in Masinagudi, near Mudumalai.

Rauf said...

Yes RUTH, She became very sweet to me in a couple of minutes.

I have suffered dog bite twice in my life Ruth. Once in my childhood, nearly missed my throat, and the second one in my twenties when the dog of my sister's neighbour plunged its teeth through very thick LEVIS. i was on my bike and it chased me, but the dog was faster. Had to take 14 injections the first time, only six in my abdomen for the second bite. The Levis saved my leg.
The season is a guest Ruth, sometimes it overstays causing unpleasantness. But the pleasant guest summer doesn't stay long. Unfortunately Summer is our unpleasant guest in India and its already here. I am told that its good in a way for us. Excessive heat takes care of all the infectious viral diseases, less mosquitos. i am not sure of this Ruth. i may be wrong.

Rauf said...

MYSTIC ROSE, Thank you. i know your warm and tender heart pours out for the unfortunate people and you want to reach out to them.
Yes Priya is as sweet as you are. and i know you would love to adopt her or give her a good life if you get a chance.

Today children refuse to belive in such unjust system. You can ask sweet little Shivani, she will simply reject it. This is the evolution of human mind. Now the untouchables have a voice. Their life is much better in Tamil Nadu and your state of Andhra. Still not good in Karnataka and North India where the misery still continues though to a lesser extent. Your children and grand children will see the end of their plight and contempt.

Rauf said...

Thank you MARIE

Rauf said...

EEEEEEEE KATY, Mr. Milo sure looks very friendly to me. Sweet Chapee, please give him a pat for me. i dare not do it myself without a proper introduction and a talk about the weather.

Its so good to hear that you had a wonderful time in US of A. Did you lose any money in Vegas Katy ? thanks for sharing your holiday pictures, they are wonderful

Rauf said...

yes RUTH, i showed her the pictures on the camera screen. i found the place very quiet, tranquility every where, didtant wild elephants but they don't come into the village i don't know from where the dogs suddenly appeared. i didn't find them during my recent visit.

Rauf said...

hehehe FOUR DINNERS, you are such a joy. Actually i thought of you when i saw a dish antenna there, reminded me of the funny and irritating experience you had with your Sikh neighbour.
I did not meet little Priya during my last visit, she had gone to her grand parents village nearby, next time i visit her i would sure give her a hug for you.
hope you are having fun as usual Four Dinners

Rauf said...

Thank you TULIPSPEAKS, welcome to daylight again. People are the best and the most interesting subject for paintings and photography.

Rauf said...

What you say is true JOANN, money does not bring happiness or respect. These unfortunate tribals are treated with contempt. It is such a tragedy that even the most educated people of India and those who are working abroad follow the unjust caste system. they don't touch these people and don't allow them to touch any of their things and they don't let them enter their houses. Younger generation is very broad minded. Things are improving, attitude is improving. Now these untouchable tribals have voice at leat in my state of Tamil Nadu and in the neighbouring state of Andhra.

This village is surrounded by bamboo forest and they use bamboo for their houses and fences. there are bad side effects of development. they have the taste of paper money and they are forgetting their rich herbal medicine knowledge. Now they want antibiotic injections when they get sick. Actually these people were leading a very healthy life before civilisation invaded them.

i love black tea Joann with a dash of lemmon, black coffee too. My friend Arshia used to make mint tea for me without sugar though i am not diabetic. Each family has its own formula. But Generally in India people take coffee and tea with milk.

thanks for the tips on dogs Joann. i'll keep it in mind. i did go there but did not find any dogs this time.
Hope you had a wonderful weekend Joann.

Rauf said...

Oh SONIA, i loved the mouth watering pictures of fruits on your blog. Enjoy the coming of the spring. We learn about our world through each other's blogs. Thank you so much Sonia.

Rauf said...

oh i am going again FOUR DINNERS i am frantically typing the response to the comments now as we are shifting back to our newly constructed house, not a very happy experience.
the house where i spent 48 years is no longer there. just walls and celings. though stronger than before with an additional floor. Now the telephone and the net will be disconnected in an hour and it will take a week to reconnect in the new house, These guys disconnect very fast but slow to reconnect. so i am taking a break after shifting traveling south to Tanjavur a temple town with a friend. Actually i am trying to escape from the new house

Rauf said...

Hi MATANGI, how are you ?
Kozhikumuthi is a tribal village near Kerala Tamil Nadu border, though falls in TN.
Pollachi - Anamalai - Topslip off Parambikulam kerala road. then you have to trek into the forest.
You can reach this village from Valparai as well, longer trek but most rewarding. i go there to learn something,educate myself and get civilised Matangi

Rauf said...

EEEEEE PRIYA thank you.

Rauf said...

Hi VRINDA, welcome to Daylight again, i am glad this post is not depressing like my other posts. Thank you so much. i love going to remote villages and meet people. When you move away from well made asphalt road you meet sweet and sincere people. I am very allergic to newly laid fast highways where you can't even stop and look around and enjoy the surroundings.

Rauf said...

oh CINDY i was so upset that i couldn't locate your blog.
thank you so much, i have to update your new link. it will take time as i will have no net connection for a week. Hope you are doing fine Cindy.

Rauf said...

sweet PINGU Bitiya, i was away and you know !
Not in right frame of mind.
i too get too emotional when i visit remote villages and meet some very sweet people. i feel miserable that i can't do anything for them. so helpless i am. i just try to make them happy for a few minutes thats all i can do.
Had rice and cabbage poriyal in ketan's house, man standing by the bamboo wall full of pictures of movie stars. they have dreams too but sadly they dream of the cities and i dream of living in remote villages. its such a tragedy that the business of survival brings me back to the city.
Hope you are doing fine Pingu bitiya, haven't responded to your comment on blunt knife, feel guilty about it, i was waiting for right frame of mind

Rauf said...

oh dearest ALICIA, i was typing frantically, our net was about to be disconnected as we are shifting to the newly constructed house. Not a very happy experience. i wrote a long response and they decided to disconnect. hahaha
i called the service provider to reconnect just for an hour to complete the comments and reply to my pending mails.

Normally i don't look at the barking dogs under a gross misconception that i am invisible to them. I panic when dogs follow me specially in the nights. Why they follow me is something i do not know, i think they pick and choose. My city of Chennai is full of stray dogs. My friend Amala a retired movie star is running an organisation in Hyderabad something like Blue cross. They catch these dogs and sterilise them, so that they don't breed. i don't know if its a good idea. But there is no such organisation in my city of Chennai. Stray dog menace is growing. there seems to be some confusion between animal rights activists and the civic authorities who simply want to kill the stray dogs. What do we do ?

i don't think i have the courage to say hello to these growling dogs. i avoid going out in the nights, no such problem in our old neighbourhood to which we are going back today.

Villages are not very clean in India Alicia, specially in the north. South is relatively clean, and villagers are clean in Tamil Nadu Andhra and Kerala.
hope you are enjoying the spring
lots of love and hugs

Rauf said...

Hi NASRA, i feel miserable that i am unable to do anything about the plight of these tribals. they seem to accept their misery and try to be as happy as they can.
i just go there and spend sometime with them, treat them with respect.
hope you are doing fine Nasra.
i have been away for a while.

Rauf said...

Thank you SANDY, i enjoyed the pictures of flowers you posted.
Happy springtime Sandy enjoy the sun.

Rauf said...

Hi SONIA, i'll be away for a few days as my net connection is being shifted. It will take a week perhaps. Hope you are doing fine and enjoying the spring Sonia

Ruth said...

O dear, o dear, terrible dog bites, o no wonder. I would be petrified of dogs in that case, debilitated. Which was worse, the bites or the shots? I would imagine growling teeth at the throat and leg would be worse, so very frightening, especially to a child. Poor rauf. I'm glad there are no wandering vagabond dogs in your old neighborhood where you're heading back.

rauf, it's sad your house of 48 years is gone. I know your many friends will pile on you there in the refurbished place, and in no time you will make it your cozy home again. I pray that will happen.

vrinda said...

thanks for visiting my blog rauf...and this is to tell u tht i've linked u on my page..hope u don mind :) keep clicking

Don said...

What an amazing story. Rauf, you need to write books for all of us to read. You could probably write hundreds of stories for children of all ages to sit and laugh and cry over. I can see this story as a large picture book with beautiful illustrations of that village and Priya, the jewel of the story.

Pingu said...

I second Don's suggestion...

and Rauf Uncle u don't have to feel guilty about not replying to comments and all...all u need to do is be in "the right frame of mind" 24/7 :)
Hamesha kush rehena aur apna smile intact rakhna!

DJ Kirkby said...

I didn't know these villages existed. This was the most beautiful post I ahve ever read or looked at of yours. That little girl is very special to have come to your rescue. You are very special to have deserved to be rescued in such a way.

Sewmouse said...

Lucky you, Rauf, to have such a beautiful lady come to your rescue! How sad/silly that such a lovely young lady is considered "untouchable" - I'd want to give her a huge hug!

I am not afraid of dogs, I love them, and they seem to sense it and I almost never have a bad experience with them. I do, however hate insects and spiders, and I'm not over-fond of snakes!

ichandrae said...

the flexibility of kids-
I work with them and they never cease to amaze me.
thankyou for your beautiful photography.
have a beautiful day.
love and light from Canada.

Anonymous said...

I say ur a very lucky guy!! And u deserved it well. Hey, I'm back! :)

SwedeHart said...

Hello, Rauf. Sorry, I'll have to read your blog later, but I just wanted to swing by and say hello. How are things in India? We have nearly 200 students at Stevens-Henager from India (out of 650 total students!). They are so sweet and polite.

I had the chance to sub for one of their classes, and it was such a hoot. One of the boys had not shut off their cell phone, it rang and he answered it in class, while I was in the middle of a conversation with him! I used it as an opportunity to teach the lesson, which was, How to properly write someone up on the job. We wrote this boy up on the board as a class- it was hilarious! He'll shut his cell phone off before class now:D

e2d said...

Hi Rauf: Such a lovely village and looks like a very simple life but too scared to adopt myself.
Pretty Priya to the rescue..but glad she did :)
take care

Rauf said...

Dear friends
i have shifted back to my old place
its a long story
i am trying to adjust to the new surrounding and doing my best to adjust to the heartlessness of the young generation.
No internet connection as yet as the telephone exchange is ful and it will take a month for them to create a new connection for me
so i would be away for a month
right now i am in a net cafe' with a bad keyboard, mine wasn't very good either.
i'll visit you all and respond to your mail and comments as soon as i get connected at home
all my love
your friend

katy said...

hi my friend just want to let you know that I am taking a break for a while, hope to be back, till then byeeeeeeeeeeee x

Don Iannone said...

Rauf: Greetings. Been awhile. You continue to capture reality frame by frame...all we have...always just the moment. Hope things are well.

Poetic Alchemist: http://poeticalchemist.wordpress.com


Nathalie in Avignon said...

Rauf, each new post from you is such a treat. This one is no exception. Your description and photos of the village are wonderful. And then there's Priya, your savior, your little guardian angel. How lucky we are when we have little Priyas in our lives.

Good luck with your installation in your old place and you internet connection.

Pingu said...

Back to Whites Road, Rauf Uncle!

good good...Hamesha khush rehna :)

take care!
Pingu Bitiya

'JoAnn's-Digital-Eyes'NL said...

Hello Rauf,
I just red your message, no internet ok thats also possible these days...we did long without.
How are you doing there?
By the time you are able to read this message from me, its may be MAY 12th or later.

We just returned to Holland and are back from our -short-journey to Switserland (its may 6th now) so please come and see our/my adventures there and impressions.

Bye TAKE CARE< greetings from JoAnn
(Now in Holland)

paul maurice martin said...

Great series of photos, feels almost like I went there...

The Manic Street Preacher said...

missin' yer mate.
Hurry back eh? ;-)

4D x

K M F said...

wounderfull pictures

iamnasra said...

Love how your bring your world closer to us

Sonia A. Mascaro said...

Hi Rauf, how are you!
Just dropping by to say hello! I hope you have a nice weekend!
My very kind regards!


She was beautiful.Your pictures carried their stories.
Nice blog.
best wishes...

marietom said...

magnifique série d'images, cela faisait longtemps que je n'étais pas venue, c'est toujours aussi beau. I like a lot the picture with all the cards on the wall, and the portraits are wonderful.

'JoAnn's-D-Eyes'NL said...

hey rauf how are you doing?
greetings from joann holland

SwedeHart said...

Hi Rauf. I've been so busy- but I came back and read this entry again- and liked it even better the second time. Hope all is well:D

shooting star said...

hey there..back to yuor blog after a long time!!!
your photographs are always nice..and they tell stories...
if we leave the tribals alone...i think they would be much better off.without our technology, our knowledge and our development.....coz they have already figured out the best way to live in this world..in conjuction with nature....

wafinela said...

verry nice articles.. and i like your blog...