Posted by: Prem Piyush | March 10, 2007

Gauri and Budhiya


Dedicating to a characteristic – when a creature want to live for others, and she made me keep writing again.

Gauri was our cow 18 years old !

I reached home 24th Feb. early morning. And apart from human pairs of eyes, a so called animal’s eyes seemed waiting for me. Whether just for me, I don’t know.

Casual roaming around home premises, I saw her, our Gauri sitting permanently beside the walls, with occasional drops of tear flowing down her eyes. She was being feed in sitting posture since last few days as her hind legs got paralyzed without any specific reason.

I suggested Sambhu, our caretaker of cattle, to feed her favorite green grass (dub) , with that she may gain strength. She always needed our touch. I put more paddy straws, under her immobile belly as in these days we still needed quilts in night there. Veterinary uncle, who know all of our cattle, suggested not to put any treatment pressure on her legs. Let her live to her best, as she is.

And today is 2nd March. In the very morning, we all had wet eyes, as Gauri seemed to appear in just sitting posture but actually she left for the heavenly abode.

Green grass was still lying still in her basket. And a straw of yellow straw, she seemed chewing. None could believe that she is no more.

Ma told not to cry at all, as on cow’s peaceful death, one should not cry. Though controlled, was she honest really to herself !

Prior night, at dinner table we discussed about her falling health, but we all failed to get a glimpse at night of hers in talking other things, and we thought she will live for some more time or may gain back her strength to stand. Though I guessed that she might recover with some miracle, but I had a faint thought, if I leave for Bangalore after three days, will I be able to see her again.

She died with a wish of bearing a calf ever.

Our determination to keep an infertile cow for 18 years was a matter of non-sense decision with loads of suggestions around. For children playing cricket in front of our house, Gauri, having a short stature, was a matter of love, as she was the simpler than anything. Annoying point was that, she was the object of desire for the animal brokers!

To the needed persons, ma’s reply used to be “Her mother fed my all children, can’t I keep her last one without asking for milk.”

As Civil Surgeons’ specially regulated medicines and other uterine treatments, traditional medicines, and best possible fertility treatments could not help her conceive a calf ever.

Another reason we kept her without asking for anything was, Ma could not see the last day of her mother. Her mother budhiya was Ma’s best company to feed us with her nutritious milk.

On memorizing Budhiya’s last days, her voice saddens always.

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From our farmlands in suburbs, majority of cattle feeding requirements fulfilled, we do keep cows as per Hindu traditions. The purpose never was or is for economical benefits from cattle, cows only, now just two. May be it’s for auspicious reasons and having pure milk of home.

Budhiya, was our first cow bought to feed my infant sister, Pinky. Her milk used to be full of cream. As we grew, we got habituated to take dudh-roti ( milk-bread ) after dinner daily and we saw several of her calves growing as we grew up. Most of her calves grown into milking cows and few to ox – sent to other places. Though the cows were never sold, was given to others.

Gauri was born as last calf of “Budhiya”, when we completed the construction of our new home.

Year 1889, when our griha pravesh ( house inauguration) function was being performed, along with my parents, as per customs, a perfect white calf , christened as Gauri, accompanied her mother Budhiya and took the rounds of our newly built home

Though Budhiya had little horns, she always threatened us in childhood, if we try to touch her little calves. Those times, we feared her.

Years passed off.

Budhiya became old. Her height seemed shortened, tooth eroded and used to take finer grains and straws only. One day she stopped taking food and water. And none of male member was at home. Ma at Nani’s place. Papa at working place and me in hostel. Sisters called up nearby uncle and veterinary hospital’s uncle. Every thing seemed useless to revive her health.

She sat down finally. Her ropes of neck were freed up, as it’s customary to keep without ropes, when hopes of cow’s life blink faint.

Day 1 passed off. She was looking for someone.. Day 2 and day 3 passed off. Blame the poor communication facilities those days. On those days Ma was eager to come home back, but she could not as having ill health of nani.

Budhiya Passed off with eyes wide open! Though, didi did all Gangajal rituals. While returned home back, Ma saw an empty cowshed. She could not see her last days. She cried for days !

Budhiya was buried at our backyards, on his burial place, now grows green trees.

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Today is 2nd March. Her last calf – Gauri was being kept in the grave forever.

As now the backyard is full of teak trees, we men, carried her body (corpse!) to our farm land. At a corner, rectangular wide and deep land was dug up.

“In which direction her head should be kept ?” – Shambhu asked me, before our cow Gauri was to be put in grave.

I did not know exactly hence asked Patoriwala for the confirmation. It was north.

We kept pouring soil to cover her grave. While pouring soil with shovel, one moment , my emotions were telling jut to look her face back again for last time, taking out all soil put on her, as if how she looked !

But I know the five elements, I kept pouring and pouring !

And we made a square platform over the grave.

She remained a lowest maintained animal, with no complaint practically, with occasional fines that we had to pay, when she used to do graze someone’s paddy / wheat ignorantly.

We bore everything, as our insignificant fines were of no means as those of her of infertility.

Her eyes used to have tears when we bring back from hospital / Gaushala with hopes of fertility. She used to love all the calves grown in front of her eyes. She was several times hit by other cows for her this behavior! Gauri didn’t give us a single drop of milk, but we never complaint ever as we could understand her pains always. She couldn’t speak. While washing / caressing her back belly down, she used to stay calmer!

Today she is not more, with a perfect sitting posture till the last moment, she never let feel anyone that she is no more….. !

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Responses

  1. My eyes filled with tears…..

    It reminded me lots of thing…… go back to the old days……

    Very well written post. Hats off to you. Keep it up.


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