After my lunch, I went for my usual post-lunch walk. Since the past two-three months, I had religiously made it a habit to feed the four-legged gau-mata. After trying for a couple of weeks, it automatically developed into my habit and made sure they get their share of food.
So as I was saying, behind the shopping mall is a vast green land. Just adjacent to the back gate a wide road is stretched to a kilometer. On the left side lies the street food-junction selling all sorts of low-priced, oily & fried yet tasty food along with a coconut vendor. People who come to dine at the food stall, after their meal quench their thirst with his nariyal pani in the hope that “kuch toh nutrition pet mein jara hai.”
And on the right side lay constructed a five acre of condoville complex, across a span of six lakhs sq. feet. Just behind the complex, a broad lane runs which is practically vacant. The green lush is an ideal spot for the cows- as they graze, run and nudge each other and then ravenously indulge in the food offered to them by their bhakts. 😛
So, I was lost in my thoughts- actually I was hoping I get a bunch of gau-matas since today I was carrying extra food- rotis and raw vegetables. So on arriving to my usual spot, I spotted one gau-mata. The dark-chocolate skinned gau-mata was moving at a decent speed. In fact, two bikers coming from her opposite direction had to turn to her left to make space for her (You see in India, you can expect gau-mata to be moved by our horns :P). In my childish behavior, I whistled the gai-mata to stop – I mean how else can you call them out na? Otherwise I would always call them, “Oh gai-mataaaaaaa” but IDK what prompted me to whistle this fateful day!
And then the gai-mata did turn! I was delighted that I was improving at my newly found skill of whistling and I approached her. I loosened the grip over the food packet and was about to take out the rotis my grandmother had prepared. You see, in my family, the tradition is, “Ghar ka phela roti gai-mata ke liye hota hai.” So I was about to feed my four-legged friend when few vegetables and one roti feel on the ground. Normally I get rotis only, and in some occasion slices of bread but I was amused at the display of so many leafy veggies- cucumber, beans, barbatti and toru (turai/ridged gourd). Mix vegetable, I chuckled!
Somehow one roti and few vegetables were left in the packet. She smelled the fallen food and started eating the roti first. Now she was eating barbatti and I saw that the stem of toru was not chopped off so I thought of picking it up but it was behind her latter leg and she was wailing her tail. I hoped, okay, chalo, she would not eat that so I tried to break the stem of the toru which I had and shove it to her mouth.
My father had always adviced me, “Never throw food at animals- its okay if you don’t feed them but never throw food at them. It is a mark of disrespect- both to the nature of the food as well as to the being because overall the act of feeding is to make sure you are giving something to someone without expecting anything in return so it should be done willingly and lovingly.”
With such positive thoughts glued to heart, my brain etched this quote forever in my memory. BUT you see, too much of positivity ain’t good all the time! Before I could understand anything, the gai-mata knocked me off and hit me on my left knee! I was taken aback and screamed- “Arrrrreyyyyy!” and made my distance from the fuming gai-mata!
So, the area where I met this gai-mata, adjacent to it was a complex. Two security guards were on duty and one resident along with his dog witnessed my ordeal. The dog, seeing the gai-mata’s stunt started barking loudly and the men’s attention turned to me. One guard came upto me and inquired whether I was okay, but I was too stunned to reply him. I only laughed in utter confusion with my right hand still holding the toru and roti on the left.
What a magnificent kick by Gai-mata! Kicked by a cow! I was laughing! And then I was like, roti ka kya karu? Meanwhile, the guards hushed the cow but there she was- eating the leftover roti as if nothing has happened! The guard thumped her back and she made a U-turn – towards her friends.
Security Guard : Thik ho na aap?
Me: (Still shocked and smiling): Haan haan, ekdum badiya but samjh nai ara, mara kyu?
SG: Arrey woh aap black pant pehni ho na, gai ko kala nai pasand!
Me: Kya? Woh toh laal ya maroon hai na? Kala toh mai hamesha pehenti hu, par yeh pehli baar hua hai, Black toh chalta hai na?
Dog owner: (In an alluring American accent) I think she did not like the food that you gave.
Me: Kya? But I gave her rotis, the regular ones with few veggies…
DO: Yeah right, maybe she did not like the veggies – she seemed agitated at seeing the ridged gourd…
Me (Cutting him in between): Kya but gais eat sabzi…
DO: She did not like the ridged gourd that you were feeding.
I was too embarrassed to reply. I thought I have fed them veggies before and they do eat that but what in the universe happened today!
Did I shove the toru on her face?
Meanwhile, a rickshaw puller pulled over and having been another witness to this incident he interrupted,
Rickshaw wala: Shudh bengali bhasa boli toh goru ra toru khaye na!
I looked at him deeply, trying to digest the new found information.
Rickshawaka: Hum bolta hai, goru ra toru nai khata hai
Me: Ami bangla bhuji kaku, Accha, khaye na? Ami toh jantam hi na!
SG: Next time se, black ya lal mat pehena, yeh dono rang se use gussa ata hai.
I nodded in agreement and smiled. I squinched my eyes to locate my kicker. The gau-mata was now with her other- gai-friends, grazing. I smiled and tried to observe her demeanor. Her small horns – whcih she thankfully hit me on my knee and not my stomach!
I don’t know, but maybe she was laughing, feeling proud at her rowdy stunt! Probably conveyed this incident in her group to become a “HERO”!
“Achcha sabak sikhaya…. toru deri thi mujhe!”
SG adviced me to shred the roti so that atleast the crows could eat. I did so and left. On my way, I called my dadi and narrated her the entire incident, “Gazab ho, woh dekho gau-mata tak toru ni khati aur aap meko zabardasti dete ho!”
Meanwhile, you know jis cheez se bhago woh cheez zyada ata hai? On my way back to my workplace, I saw a herd of cows coming towards me. I saw a white mother gai-mata with her bachdas coming towards me. This time I was frightened. I turned left and so did the bachda, I turned to my right and so did she, then I made a quick right and sped till I reached the staircase. I turned back and smiled registering this funny incident and waiting to pen it down ASAP.
But you know what? Now that I think of this incident, I empathize with the gai-mata. I mean – Toru is the worst vegetable. And she was right to kick me, atleast now I have a valid reason to never shop or eat toru! 😀
Heyyy you all! Thank you for reading this post. I hope you had a good laugh from my funny ordeal. Please do comment if you’ve any encounters with animals like this. And do share this post with your friends if you like my writing.
Here’s to stop eating the dreaded toru! 😀