In the land of sun-worshippers, dawn is a blessed time. It is advisable to start early and take a break during the hottest hours of the day.

At 7 o’ clock in the morning, when the road offers views of the most unexpected, a bullock cart race appears out of the blue on the Chettinad road.

You can decide to be angry with those crazy farmers, who take over the main arterial road and stop the travelers, unacceptable indeed, or you can find pleasure in such a twist in the tail.

Only men around, most of them sporting a mustache and wearing the traditional dhothi, pulled up in a miniskirt. Four bright blue bullock carts pulled by the leanest, fastest oxen in the region, line up on the street nervously waiting for the “go”, shouted out by the man who seems to be the authority there. The finishing line is only a couple of hundred meters away; the race is about speed, not endurance.

Excitement is tangible in the air, as if man and beast are both gearing up to win. The race is quickly over and the winners only seem to gain everyone’s admiration.

After much congratulating and hugging, everyone slowly goes back to their lives, leaving behind a few pink and orange balloons, while the street vendor, who had a good start of the day, pedals away his mobile shop.