Monday, August 15, 2016

My Mother's Cow

With all this 'tamasha' going on in India about cow crusade and 'Gau-Raksha',I am reminded of a funny incident from my childhood related to the 'gaiya' or 'goru' as we in the Brahmaputra valley call the cow.
By the way,'Goru' is also used as a harmless abuse in Assam.We use it to insult anyone who we think has less brains and is an idiotic simpleton.(If any member of the RSS is reading this,please ignore!)

                                                                                                   Gau Mata

Politics is obnoxious,let's not bring that up.Today I just want to share this cute little story about a cow.
My mother came from a land owning community in Kerala.They had lots of cows,goats,chickens, ducks around their house.When she married and settled down in Assam,she missed her 'mini Kerala zoo'.And so she kept whatever animal she could in our little house in Guwahati.
Guinea  pigs,dogs,cats,rabbits,pigeons,parrots,fish,all shared space with us during our growing up years.
One fine day my mother decided we had to own a cow too.Our 1200 square yard of grassy lawn seemed a waste with no cows grazing on it she stated matter-of-factly.The children could get fresh unadulterated milk and butter she reasoned.After a lot of cajoling my dad finally agreed to buy a cow.
The cow came with much fanfare.A shed was specially made for her and a Nepali help was employed to perform the cow duties.

                 And so we owned a cow.

One summer afternoon I woke up to loud heated arguments between my mother and kancha (the Nepali help).It transpired that OUR COW HAD DISAPPEARED!

My mother was in a fit.She ordered my dad to cut short his much loved siesta and go on a cow-hunting spree around town and not return till the animal was found.

After almost three hours of cow-hunt dad was finally back.He ordered my mother to serve him some  tea and said he had been successful in locating the cow. Kancha was bringing the lost cow back tied firmly with a rope.
 When the cow finally came home,my mother ran to the gate to receive her.But to her utter horror and shock it wasn't our cow!

                   I am the wrong cow!
Kancha was then asked to go right back and return the wrong cow from the place where they had found her munching merrily on the garbage.We couldn't keep someone else's cow my mother concluded firmly. 
And so off went Kancha to return the wrong cow.As luck would have it,on his way back, he was confronted by a couple of men who were out searching for their "lost cow"!They saw our Kancha pulling the cow with a rope and walking down the street.Nepalis in Assam are not very fluent in Assamese or Hindi so although Kancha tried his level best to explain things to them,they didn't buy his story and I guess it was too complicated anyways.The  men beat him up calling him a cow-thief. Kancha left our house that very day,"no cow,no Kancha"he said, refusing to take up any other domestic responsibilities.
What followed is any one's guess.My dad remained at the receiving end of my mother's mutterings and nagging for his failed attempts at  "Gau-Raksha"!   
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