City diary: Lalji, animal angel #62

central-cat

This white tom stays right outside Mumbai Central station. I bumped into this scene while rushing for a meeting in South Bombay. “I am just watching the shop before my hire takes over. He is on vacation,” says Lalji (as he’s called by all) who also owns a general store in Nallasopara (in the far flung suburbs) where he resides.

In the meanwhile, he has been feeding the white tom and plenty of other cats in the municipal garden behind a packet of milk every day. I stand by the garden to watch the cats move around serenely, a stone’s throw away from the chaos of the market. What happens when he’s back in Nallasopara? “The other guy will feed them. He is the reason they live here,” he says after offering me a cup of steaming chai.

by Kasmin Fernandes

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