Remember Kachir Gaw? Why surely you can't have forgotten the wonder bovine that hit headlines when it was issued an online admit card for a competitive exam in Kashmir! Well Kachir Gaw (roughly translatable as the brown cow) ended up disappointing a lot of people when it did not turn up at the examination center.
So the next day found me once again at the address listed in the admit card issued by the Board of Professional Entrance Examinations (BOPEE) in Kachir Gaw's name, my assignment being to ferret out the real reasons for Kachir Gaw's absence.
I encountered the same cantankerous old bull sitting in the shade of the same tree but this time I didn't pay it any heed and went directly to the Rock behind which Kachir Gaw had been studying for her exams the last time we met. However Kachir Gaw wasn't there. Instead there was this skinny young cow flirting with a dandy looking bull.
"Can you please tell me where I can find Kachir Gaw?" I asked the duo.
The skinny young cow regarded me with bovine disdain and said, "Do you have an appointment?"
"Well no," I said.
"Madame won't see you then," the skinny young cow dismissed me with a flick of her tail.
My identity card helped as usual. One glance at it and the skinny young cow smiled and said, "Oh you are from the media. Just go into the woods yonder where Madame is holding a meeting with her workers."
Appointment! Workers! Well maybe Kachir Gaw could throw some light on all this. Once I entered the woods I could see that a lively debate was in progress with Kachir Gaw clearly in charge. Two ferocious looking bulls blocked my way.
"Who are you?" one of them growled.
"Where do you think you are going?" the other one snorted.
Kachir Gaw looked up and seeing that it was me shouted at the bulls, "Security! It's OK let him come in!"
After exchanging greetings with Kachir Gaw I came straight to the point. "You didn't turn up for the exams?"
"Oh that's history now, "Kachir Gaw said with a laugh, "with the amount of publicity I got, being the first ever cow to get an admit card for a competitive exam, everybody said it would be a pity to bury myself in some educational institution. And then there was no guarantee that it would be a fair selection and I would be selected which would get me a failure tag for no fault of mine. You see we know all about your Mushtaq Peer. In fact we still tease the cow whose milk his household would be supplied with."
"So that's what all this is about!" I said indicating the crowd of 'workers' around her.
"Yeah everybody said that it would be a pity to waste the prestige that I had gained. My own community and even some humans told me that I was destined to play a greater role and that the best way to do it would be to join politics. We cows are a neglected and exploited lot and so far nobody has been there to represent us." At this point the 'workers' created a din by moo-ing loudly which I could understand was their way of clapping.
This seemed to inspire Kachir Gaw and she launched into a regular speech, "Dear Bovines, for years Man has exploited us, stealing our milk and depriving our calves of it. Man uses us as beasts of burden, makes us till his lands and then never allows us to eat even a blade of grass from these. They slaughter us for beef and as if all this is not enough they even strip off the hide from our carcasses and make shoes out of it! See the abysmal conditions we live in. If I am elected I will ensure that cowsheds are not the shabby stinking structures they are nowadays. I will also work towards reclaiming the Kahcharai land (pasture land) that some humans have usurped. "
The bovines moo-ed lustily and it sounded like they were raising slogans.
Later Kachir Gaw briefed me about her party, "We haven't yet decided on a name though there are a few suggested ones like Cowgrass Party, Bovine Justice Party or CPI (B) that is Cow Party of India (Bovine). As for party symbol I would have liked to use the ploughshare which is a symbol of oppression for us but one of your parties has already usurped that. So I have decided upon a Tilwaen Dhand (Ox-driven oil press) as a party symbol because it is the ultimate in bovine repression. My grand uncle who worked in an oil press in his youth tells harrowing tales of the same."
"That old grump under the tree?"
"No wonder he is such a bitter old bull." Kachir Gaw said wistfully and then the very next moment fluttered her long eyelashes coquettishly and said with a simper, "I hope you are not miffed with me for saying all those things about you humans. One has to make such statements. Politics you know!"
"It's alright I can understand."
"Er…I was thinking whether you could put in a word for me with these major political parties. Not that I will give up on my agenda but you know politics cannot exist in isolation…one has to consider the realities…what I mean is if my party gets some seats, which of course it will, you can tell them that I can…er…consider a coalition…"
"Sure! Sure! I will be glad to help." I assured Kachir Gaw and I really intend to for it will be quite a cow-lition indeed!
(Truth is mostly unpalatable…but truth cannot be ignored! Here we serve the truth, seasoned with salt and pepper and a dash of sauce (iness!). You can record your burps, belches and indigestion, if any, at email@example.com)