Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Tired of the bullshit, try cow

The cow is of the bovine ilk; One end is moo, the other milk.
Ogden Nash

Call it a cowlumn if you please but cows are in. And I am going to talk about cows today. A man had died of fright watching Bhoot at Paras Cinema here. So this time, they are playing Darna Mana Hai, which stars about two-dozen Bollywood stars. (Where is the cow in it?—Ed.)

One of them is Vivek Oberoi, who broke his leg in an accident and landed in hospital. He has taken the title Darna Mana Hai seriously (Where is the cow, dammit?—Ed.). He isn't scared of nothing, including Salman Khan, the filmstar known for accidents of emotional, accidental and road types (Bring the cow, this column is digressing!—Ed.).

I don't talk about road accidents in front of my boss. He believes cows play a major role in raising the number of road accidents, especially in Delhi. (That's more like it. Carry on, Kakisi.—Ed.) But cows are important and like any other important animal, they play a major role in all affairs of life.

These are interesting times. Cows are more in news than Aishwarya Rai is. That's right. Rai, who is shooting in London for Gurinder Chaddha's Bride And Prejudice, took a day off to spend about eight hours with her guy Vivek Oberoi, who was nursing his leg in a Mumbai hospital.

On normal times, that would make big news. But when you got gaais, who cares about Rais and Oberois. Cow, the mammal with a mouth to moo and tail to shoo, is the mother of all animals, remember Gaai hamaari maata hai. Moo!

Our own municipal corporation is trying to remove cows from the roads, where cows have their general board meetings and more often midnight sittings. Cars have to make way for them, trucks have to stop. Now municipal corporations across the nation think that's a menace.

Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh doesn't think so. He saw BJP's Uma Bharti milking votes out of cows and declared the cow a state animal. That's the twist in the tail.

Singh guessed that the discomfort about milking the cow was his Congress party's Achiles Heels. The BJP had been wounding him time and again over his party's stand on cows. You know if-you-worship-cow-you-lose-Muslim-vote-stuff. Now he has got rid of the moral bull and is standing on her four feet. Wounds have gone.

Cow heals. Even cow dung heals.

Ask the students of a school in Jharkhand. Fifteen of them, who were struck by lightning, recovered after villagers covered their bodies with cow dung. Poor boys of government-run Hesalagarha Rajkiya Vidyalaya were in their classrooms when the lightning struck. Holy cow, the principal, Sadarnath Mahato, said and screamed for help when he found 15 of his pupils lying unconscious inside the school hall.

By the time doctors from a primary health centre four km away arrived, villagers had removed the students from the school hall and provided them with first-aid: cow dung. Thirteen of the 15 recovered within a couple of hours. Two recovered after going to the hospital. Moo!

But Digvijay Singh and others of his ilk need to read the basics of bovine behaviour: It's possible to lead a cow upstairs ... but not downstairs.

Bush led Osama to fight Russians and then asked him to come down. He hasn't. Our own Indira Gandhi pushed Bhindranwale up to gore the Akalis. Once up, he didn't come downstairs.

There are examples galore of such mistakes in understanding the cow, but our netas will go to any extent to milk it. And when they get no milk, they will find someone else to milk. This column began with Nash and ends with Samuel Johnson's apt: "Truth, Sir, is a cow, which will yield such people no more milk, and so they are gone to milk the bull." Moo!

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