The International Writers
Perils of Illiteracy
The brown cow
was either suicidal or grossly illiterate. How else to explain why
she did not take heed of the name calligraphically etched upon the
granite slab affixed to the gate post?
"Oh! This is the most luscious spread ever!", the cow
must have thought to itself (if it was capable of thinking); she
nudged open the unlatched gate which was left so conveniently ajar
and without delay dived onto the tufted verdure and began chomping
up knolls of fine Mexican.
She swished her tail incessesantly to drive away those pesky insects which
swarmed and buzzed surely in warning?
Cows dont normally eat ornamental grass. They stick to their tested
meals and lay back in barns or in the back of cowsheds and doze off in
the afternoons and nights. Maybe, those cows dont really have a
reason to, for they are fed six times a day on Lipton Cattle Feed, megatons
of freshly cut bovine favourite jungle green grass, and unlimited volumes
of sun-dried golden hay as munchies whenever their gastric acids even
dropped a hint of becoming active.
Shotorupi (meaning One with a Hundred Forms), was the name of the brown
cow. She had never enjoyed the dietary luxuries which her cousins from
Jersey took for granted. She survived by eating anything and everything
that appeared in the roadside trash collector including old socks, plastic
covers, old books, and sometimes even stubs of pencils, broken ballpoint
pens, and chalk bits. This scholarly diet did nothing to improve her literacy.
She gained no knowledge even while being around when those monthly adult
literacy classes were held in the open air close to her residence.
She enjoyed her simple daily life in a manner only a cow is capable of.
Political turmoil did not affect her, nor was she depressed by the religious
riots that periodically took place in her locality. Life just went on,
the same way as any previous day.
Today was different. There was a festival or a celebration of sort going
on. Children had not gone to school. They were playing on the streets,
unmindfully messing up their bright new scintillating coloured dresses,
laughing, shouting, and hungrily awaiting the lunch hour; while their
mothers, grannies, aunts, elder sisters and cousins were cooking up gastronomical
delights inside stuffy kitchens.
To the frail old wizened man half asleep under the shade of the great
pipal tree, the advent of the brown cow appeared as a message from the
masters themselves. He shouted out to get his army out from the kitchen.
The cow became terrified with the mobbing and before it could turn and
run, the believers had tied up its forelegs and hind legs in smart pairs
and took the bellowing creature into a one way journey to the recesses
of the unknown
Nagendran June 2007
Stories in Dreamscapes
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