A typical shot of daily common life in Madurai.
After all Madurai is a town of farmers. Many of them left their farm, due to the continuing drought to go and live in the city. And they bring their habits from the land with them along. Incredible but true this shot is taken in the middle of the town. Here the lady dries the cow dung to use it again as a natural cheap fuel to cook on.
Yes it is still possible to live in the center of the town in a small room and to keep a cow. During the day they run free from chop to chop to eat the garbage from the streat and in the evening the cow knows her way back home to be milked.
Cow dung has been used for ages, in huts to keep the insects out and even nowadays if soot of an old chimney has to be plastered, cow dung is the most effective undercoat to stop dispersing the soot through the plaster.(tip for the handy-man)