The other day, while on the balcony coaxing Baby to eat his food, I observed a curious sight.

A decorated bull with smoke coming out from its forehead (later I realised that it had agarbathi sticks stuck to its forehead) was being led by a man to all the houses. At each gate, the man would take out his nadaswaram and play filmi and religious tunes.

At one home, a lady came out and started a weird ritual. She came out with a platter of fruits, coconut, water, vermilion, turmeric and a lamp (at least that is all I could see from my vantage point). She started off washing the bull’s hooves with the water, applying the vermilion and turmeric on its legs, rump and forehead, and then she started waving the lamp in front of the bull and chanting something. Then fed something to it.

Does anyone have any idea what this is all about?