Stories from the Road: Lunch with a Cow

Stories from the Road is a collection of stories about my own photographic adventures in South Asia. Sometimes the stories are exciting and sometimes mundane and at times emotional. This section deals with vernacular photography and the way we all experience the photographs we see. What they meant when we took them and what they mean over time.

Cow entering cafe, Khajuraho, Madyha Pradesh, India

When a Cow Tries to Join You for Lunch

I have had a vast number of experiences with animals in South Asia from dogs to monkeys to cows and donkeys. Most of the stories we here are of a cow head butting a tourist or a monkey stilling someones snack. (You can read my terrible monkey story here.) These are all experiences I have witnessed or gone through myself. But today’s post is about a nice cow in Khajuraho. Khajuraho is a small town in north central India, famous for an ancient group of Hindu temples decorated with sexually explicit relief carvings on the exteriors. Though Khajuraho is a small town, it is well worth a visit. In addition to the Hindu temples, there are also Jain temples to explore. The town even has a small airport and is connected to Delhi by a short flight. Though many people on tour groups fly in and out of Khajuraho in one day, I suggest staying at least one night. Now about having lunch with a cow.

My first evening in Khajuraho, I headed out to find somewhere to eat. I went to Raja Cafe. I do not remember if it was listed in the Lonely Planet Guide book or if I just found my way there. At any rate, that night I sat in the dinning room of the restaurant and had chicken pasta and it was delicious. I had seen several other things on the menu that I thought sounded tasty, so in the end, Raja Cafe was the only place I ate at in Khajuraho.

The next day I headed back to the Raja Cafe for lunch and this time I decided to sit on the outdoor patio. The corner of the green marble table top can be seen in the bottom of the photograph above. Also, you can see in the photograph that there was an iron fence with foliage growing on it along the perimeter to add some privacy. However, the white lady cow seen above, did not care about privacy or anything else. She had shown up for lunch too. She slowly began coming through the gate. As you can see in the photograph, she was just standing in the middle of the doorway. She was patiently hanging out, waiting for an invitation. She was super cute and I wanted to give her food but I knew that would make the staff mad. After some time, she did enter a little further in. At which point, the staff tried to shew her away. But she was persistent and continued to hangout near the door. She was going to get her lunch! After some time, she did get some chapati (bread). When I left the restaurant, I notice that she had a calf with her. I hope they are both still doing well in Khajuraho! Later that evening I returned to the Raja Cafe for dinner and had the chicken pasta once again. There was no sign of the cow.

To read more about my time in Khajuraho check out the posts here, here and here.

Have you had any memorable experiences with the animals of India? If so, I would love to hear about it in the comments section!

* indicates required
Photography/History Vocabulary: Principles of Design
Photography/History Vocabulary: Elements of Design
Photo Focus: Vidura Jang Bahadur
* indicates required

By |2018-10-10T12:59:01-05:00July 25th, 2017|India, Travel|0 Comments

About the Author:

Betsy Williamson is an assistant professor of art in the state of New Mexico. Before coming to New Mexico for this job she was an adjunct professor throughout Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, teaching photography and art appreciation. Between September 2015 and May 2017, she took a break from teaching to pursue art, research and life in India. Now she is back to teaching and part-timing it in India.

Leave A Comment

sign up for email list to be informed of new class material (posts)

Join 244 other subscribers