You lucky Buffalo…

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We usually use the word buffalo as a derogatory term. “You stupid buffalo”. “Fat Buffalo” . “Don’t behave like a Buffalo”. Most of us get irritated with the fact, that the Buffalo does not care about our pace of life.

You want to fly to your office (you are already half an hour late and the monstrous face of your boss has just replaced the happy family picture you carry in your wallet ) – and there it is! A buffalo. Right in your path. Trudging along slowly. And deciding to sit down – in the middle of the road. Slush down its back. All dried up. Slowly chewing cud. Spittle drooling over. Lazily whisking away flies that dare come near it.  And it looks at you – with the one expression you do not want to see right then. Indifference.

The Buffalo does not care. You may want to drive at a 100 km/hour to reach your office and punch in your arrival on time. It does not care. You may want to drop off your sulking child at a music class. It does not care. You may be working on your project in the car, to save time before your meeting. The buffalo just does not care.Worse still, are spouse fights, angry phone discussions, customer care conversations in the car. You just want to escape. But you cannot. For in front of you is a Buffalo. That just sits. Or slowly walking ahead – blissfully unaware of the innumerable mundane thoughts that might be whizzing through your mind in just that moment!

What do you do then? Get down in your corporate suit and scream at it? I don’t think so. Leave your child in the car – and try to prod the animal to go faster with a make shift stick? Nope. Tell your wife/husband or the credit card company to shut up? Huh? Think again.  You want to do a million other things besides the continuous honking and frustration that just seem to take over your mind just then.

But since you have no choice – you just slow down. You wait. You take a breather. You actually might listen to what your partner is saying to you. You actually might heave a huge sigh and think about your presentation / points to be discussed, instead of fervently tapping keys on your laptop. You might actually bond with your kid over an ice-cream promise, in an attempt to appease his late-arrival at class.

And then the Buffalo decides it has had enough sun. And moves. Maybe the impatient vibrations of the crowd around it has spurred it into action. The sun is back in our lives again. We get back to madness after a pause, not knowing that the pause has maybe reduced the intensity of the madness. But are we aware that the “lazy” Buffalo has just made us take some me-time? Has made us detach ourselves momentarily from the craziness around us for just that split second? Did we ever give it its due? Or at least some credit? As selfish homo sapiens – we do not. So the next time you are going to use the word buffalo as a condescending piece of vocabulary – stop it. This slow animal may be just the reason you did not get into road rage, typed in an embarrassing word in your presentation or impulsively used a wrong word in a dialogue.

In its own world - the Indian Buffalo.

Slow and steady, might indeed win the race

Thank you dear Buffalo, for slowing down our pace!



12 thoughts on “You lucky Buffalo…

    Jean Mishra said:
    February 5, 2012 at 4:18 am

    I LOVED this! Very well said. Having lived in India less than a year I’ve seen what you are talking about. Don’t you wish we could carry that same buffalo-indifference? I’m going to reblog this I enjoyed it so much.

    Jean Mishra said:
    February 5, 2012 at 4:22 am

    Reblogged this on MoonLightened Way and commented:
    For my readers who wanted to know more about life in India…

    Mathangi Jeypal responded:
    February 5, 2012 at 4:23 am

    Thank you so much Jean! 🙂 If we just looked around there is so much to learn from the most unimaginable teachers – I think!

    grosenberg said:
    February 5, 2012 at 10:05 am

    One of the best blessings my partner and I had at our wedding was a wish for ‘white space’. A blank spot in each day to relax and appreciate . Maybe we should call it Buffalo space. =). Namaste

      Mathangi Jeypal responded:
      February 5, 2012 at 3:33 pm

      @grosenberg – I think it was a really wise thought that occurred to both of you 🙂 Some white space/ buffalo space – is necessary for life to go on – normally! 🙂

    Sukanya Ramanujan said:
    February 5, 2012 at 10:05 am

    I haven’t seen a buffallo or a cow or even a goat for that matter on the streets of downtown Chennai for the last 3 years. There are a few goats near Nandanam Signal though

      Mathangi Jeypal responded:
      February 5, 2012 at 3:34 pm

      @ Sukanya – I encounter them almost everyday in the traffic jam under the bridge near my house. 🙂

    14ideasforaname said:
    February 5, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    That’s simply BRILLIANT!

    S (@ataraxistix) said:
    February 16, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    A uniquely Indian way to soothe ones harried nerves in a fast-paced city! Really enjoyed this piece. 🙂

    Vijay said:
    June 25, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    Looks like a good appreciation with a good depiction of actions in words.

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