In colloquial Hindi, an owl is equated with an ass – ullu is same as gadha. It ranges from being an affectionate term to a mild abuse – meaning anything between a lovable fool to utter good for nothing. In Punjabi, ullu ka pattha (son of an owl) casts doubts on your genealogy and is a clear call for a fistfight.
Those are a few unpleasant ways in which the poor bird is portrayed in this part of the world. But there is another side to it too. An owl is considered to be the vaahan of Laxmi, the goddess of wealth, therefore a good omen. I don’t know how to appropriately translate vaahan in English (literally, it means a mode of transport), but the owl is to Laxmi what the mouse is to Ganesha. Do a Google image search, you will get the idea.
Once you do, spare me the lecture about Hinduism and how it is a naturalistic religion. We are the oldest, so show some respect.
Anyhow, Siddhartha was not flying yesterday too. While idling his time away at home, he spotted a Barn Owl (Tyto Alba – no relation to Jessica Alba, or is there?) and took a few nude photos of it. Wait, you must be thinking who spots a barn owl while idling away at home, unless one is living in the Sunderbans?
He doesn’t live in the Sunderbans, but in another jungle – Gurgaon. Without further ado, here are the photos:
You know why you see this owl during the day? Because, Gurgaon mein parinde bhi raat ko par marne se darte hain!