It was time for star gathering in ‘Cinemal Kingdom’ (Cinema Animal Kingdom). Emulating the human intellectuals from different language cinema fields, the animals and birds too had decided to hold a get-together. Paapa, the rooster from Tamil film “Saivam” came with Kabootar, the pigeon from “Maine Pyaar Kiya”. Lakshmi, the cow from “Ghai aur Ghauri” was a slightly reluctant participant. Babe, the pig from English movie “Babe” was given charge of organising the event. Entertainment, the millionaire dog from the Hindi movie “Entertainment” was hosting the lavishly mounted get-together. Pinky, the goat from Malayalam movie “Aadu, Oru Bheekara Jeeviyaanu” too had joined along with some more stars from Telugu, Bengali and Marathi movies.
It was a pleasant evening in the air-conditioned conference room of Bollywood Cafe. Babe welcomed everyone with a short introductory speech. Paapa came on the stage and said, “Let me inform you all about the most important rule. You all from the ‘cow belt’ cannot impose Hinthi here because Hinthi isn’t our national language. We will speak only English because Babe unfortunately doesn’t understand Tamil. Let’s enjoy the evening. Cheers!” Tuffy, the pomeranian from “Hum Aap ke Hai Kaun” joined the gathering.
Looking exceedingly happy, Kabootar chirped, “You are a trendsetter Paapa. Your movie Saivam, which means ‘Vegetarianism,’ has given a strong message against animal and bird sacrifice. Look now the human beings are discussing a ban on animal and bird sacrifice. We are safe now. They won’t dare slash our throats with CCTV cameras installed inside the temples in Tripura. Slowly, all of India will stop slaughtering us to please their Gods.”
Paapa replied, “Oh yeah, we Tamils are revolutionary. We always come out with new ideas, yet we fight to save our traditions like Jallikattu. They still secretly carry out sacrifice in our temples but yes, we will smash the Brahminical Patriarchy and our Dravidian pride will conquer.”
Looking a bit hesitant, Lakshmi asked, “But very few Brahmins carry out animal sacrifices. Aren’t these sacrifices mostly common in Non-Brahmin traditions? Then why do you talk about smashing Brahminical patriarchy?” Clucking with cocky confidence, Paapa replied, “You will remain a cow belt cow all your life. Smash Brahminical Patriarchy is our tagline. Even Twitter CEO Jack held a placard with that message. It is mandatory to say these kind of things to sound intelligent and progressive. You just won’t understand.”
“Meh,” Pinky joined the issue, “What is the use? There is no relief for me and Lakshmi. Even the law doesn’t protect us. The legal luminaries of human kingdom, the animal rights activists and all the intellectuals; none of them talk about us or oppose us being slaughtered in thousands on those special days. Every year, more and more of us are being sacrificed while all the rights activists rush to save puppies and kittens.”
An extremely agitated Lakshmi nodded and said, “Yes, very much true. What is worse is, just because one segment among humans consider us cows as holy and mother, a few other segments deliberately slaughter us. There used to be a time when most people in India used to worship us and perform Gau Pooja during Diwali.”
“Nooooo, not Diwali,” Entertainment boomed, “Diwali is so scary and dangerous. My co-stars like Priyanka develop asthma due to Diwali crackers. Poor Priyanka, she can smoke cigars only because they banned those Diwali crackers. My little buddy Tuffy is scared of all the noise during Diwali. Haven’t you heard it from Anushka? And what is this worship and all? So regressive! These cow belt people are utterly hopeless!”
“Yes, yes,” Tuffy joins issue, “It’s crude, this mother sentiment and all that. Gau Maata, Haha, really funny. You know my family calls me son? I eat with them, take bath with them and sleep with them. They never discriminate me. They even introduce me as Tuffy, our youngest son to their guests. Isn’t that cute?”
Angered by this duplicity, Lakshmi asks, “Oho, if they call me mother, that is crude and if they call you son, that is cute. What kind of hypocrisy is this?” Taken aback by the frontal attack, Tuffy moans, “Mmmm, I don’t know. Don’t blame me. All those glamorous people in Bollywood and the intellectuals from literary world and media have always said things like that. I just reproduced what I’ve been taught all these years. I’m sorry if that hurt you.”
Lakshmi replied, “Well, I won't blame you actually. We cows are like the Kashmiri Hindus. We were relatively safe till the 1980s. From 1990, nobody cares for us while a segment among humans continue to heap atrocities upon us. Governments, legal systems, intellectuals and media; none of them care for us. You know they all go on a rampage if those smugglers who steal us and slaughter us suffer even a scratch. They run 24×7 cry-fests on television for the smugglers but never report the daily thefts and illegal slaughterhouses. When our owners get killed by cattle smugglers, they just black out the news. It’s totally depressing.”
Babe gasped in astonishment, “Oh my goodness! Everyone thought it was cute when I considered myself a sheepdog and behaved like one. Life appears to be really dangerous out here in India. Am I safe and will I be able to go back to my ranch in US?” Entertainment reassures Babe, “Don’t you worry, Babe! You’re pretty much safe here. A section among humans considers you ‘haraam’ and they won't touch you. The other section will never sacrifice you and me. It is totally safe for you. So just chill.”
Pinky sighs, “huffffff, all these years, I thought it was an insult when they said it's a dog’s life or it’s bad when they said my life has gone to dogs. Looking at our plight, dog's life is far better. In Kerala, they are very fond of China. They say the Communist China is a wonderful place. Why not we all migrate to China?”
Entertainment laughs loudly, “Hahaha, you idiot goat! You want to get all of us killed too? The Chinese eat all of you and they eat us too. They even eat snakes, rats, cockroaches and bandicoots. They are truly impartial, I must say. They don’t discriminate at all. But no, I don’t want to go to China. I prefer to be a dog in India. No other country gives us as much freedom to bark. And yes, all those glamorous people love to flaunt their love for us and they think it is really cool.”
(The writer is a columnist and writes mostly on Politics, Cricket and Cinema)