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Bull in "chikan" shop? Varanasi's Nandi brings prosperity

Written by: Staff

Varanasi, May 7: A bull in a china shop may break all those delicate vessels and plates and spell ruin but in the holy city of Varanasi, it is welcomed as a harbinger of prosperity at a shop selling equally elegant "chikan" work.

The Bull, in this abode of Shiva, is revered as "Nandi", the vehicle of the Lord. Thus, the owner of a swanky showroom selling signature Lucknow chikankari, the delicately patterned white embroidery work do not mind the animal wandering in and making itself comfortable on the shop floor.

''This is the not the first bull who has come to our shop in bustling Godowlia, but continuation of a unique bond that we share with them, as three other bulls have been coming to our other shop which is 25-year-old and located in Misir Pokhra area,'' shop owner Sanjiv Chugani said.

The white bull with patches of grey and black, has been coming daily to the showroom and resting for hours without disturbing or harming customers. In return, the showroom owners feed him seasonal fruits and vegetables.

''It is not in summer alone, that the bull comes to the shop, but for the last ten months, winter and monsoon, it has been a daily visitor to the showroom,'' Mr Chugani added.

On Sundays, when the showroom remains closed, the bull rests on the stairs leading to the shop.

Asked why some of the bulls, which usually prefer to relax in the cool, narrow lanes and bylanes to escape the torrid summer heat, come to the Chugani's shop only, he said, "we are ardent 'bhakt' (devotees) of Lord Shiva, the presiding deity of the oldest living city. May be this is what has prompted Shiva to send his mount to our shop for paving the way of our progress." ''We owned one shop ten years ago, but now have one of the best showroom of chikan wear in the city, only due to the blessings of Shiva and his mount Nandi, who has permanently been with us. We will like to have a Nandi each in all our shops,'' Chugani added, signalling towards the idol of Shiva perched on Nandi, that blesses all customers on arrival.

It is not the bulls alone that have frequented Chugani's shop. A white cow had also made it a favourite place for a few months before the advent of the current ''Nandi''.

The unique relationship that the shop shares with bulls, however, has been contrary to popular belief in Varanasi that says "Raand, Saand, Seedhi, Sanyasi, Inse Bache To Seve Kashi" (those aspiring to live happily in Varanasi need to be cautious about widows, bulls, Ganga ghat steps and mendicants).


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