Bovinity: Original Sin

In conversation with Kesari, the woman who turned into a Cow…


Kesari is the queen of his heart. Strong, sturdy, fair as milk, and expensive like a diamond from Ghaziabad’s most renowned jeweler, she is everything a man could hope for– Cash cow extraordinaire. That’s Kesari for you. But she wasn’t always a cow. She was a woman, to begin with. But something happened in her life that told her that she needed to set a new goal for herself, to be the best cow that she could be.

Delta Vie interviewed Kesari in order to tell the world about her extraordinary journey from lowly woman to highly-prized cow. Here are some of the most notable parts of the conversation.

Kesari Ji, please tell our readers a little bit about yourself. You are such an inspiration to all of us. 

Namaste. I am Bhola Ram’s favorite cow. I give him 8-10 kilos of milk per day. The fat content is 5%, within an average lactation period of 10 months. I have been a cow for one-and-a-half years. And I must say, it was the best decision of my life. In my previous life, I had no idea that being a cow would be such an amazing life. I have everything I could possibly need.

Er… then you must be a woman, um.. sorry, (cow)oman of few needs.

That’s not true. I am very high maintenance. That is why I have policemen and the chief minister’s men protecting me the whole time. As a woman, I did not need that. I mean, I am high maintenance now, only because I am so valuable. As a woman, technically, I needed more things– college fees, books, rickshaw money, metro card, bras, panties, sanitary napkins, bindis, salwar-kameezes, dupattas, kajal– but as a cow, I need none of those things. Nangi bhi bahar nikal jaaoon, toh bhi koi haath nahi lagayega (Even if I go out naked, no one will touch me). As a woman, even in full ghoonghat, I was not safe. Men used to watch and pass lewd comments. Now they apply tilak to my forehead and pray for my blessings.

Did you eat non-veg as a woman? If yes, do you miss it?

I used to eat chicken and mutton. And I have to say, they were delicious. This one time, I went to Kolkata with my boyfriend. And we tried Khiri Kebab. They are made with cow udders. They were delicious too. So I know how tasty I am. But I don’t miss any of it. For one, even if I was a woman still, meat would be too expensive thanks to the new CM. Plus, it is safe being a cow now, because no one can eat Khiri kebab anymore. They will be killed before they can take even the first bite. So yeah, I eat leaves and grass. Humans are also eating leaves and grass these days.

What convinced you to finally turn into a cow? Why were you so unhappy being a woman?

It is a long story. You know what the world is like these days. Every day you hear cases of rape and molestation and assault. Let’s just say, out of the tens of cases that you saw in the newspaper in 2015, one was mine. I was so sick and tired. Exhausted. My family wanted me to marry my rapist. My rapist wanted me to withdraw my complaint. No one cared about what I wanted. My trauma, my tears, my pain were nothing to them. It was izzat this and izzat that. That is when I knew I had only two options. I could either jump into the Hindon river, or I could become a cow. As a good Hindu woman, I believed that God would come to my rescue if I prayed hard enough. I knew that this punishment had been visited upon me because I ate the flesh of Gau Mata (Mother Cow) in Kolkata. So this was what I needed to do; spend the rest of my days as a cow. But I was also being practical. I saw what they did to Mohammad Akhlaq on the mere suspicion that he had beef in his house. That told me that I would be very, very safe as a cow. No one did anything to my rapist. But for a cow, they killed a man. So, becoming a cow was the logical thing for me to do.

Do you mind telling our leaders how you managed this astonishing transformation?

Of course, I don’t mind. It was hard work. But everything is explained in the scriptures. Like saints and sages from our religious stories, I went to the Himalayas. And I sat down to meditate in a cave. I did not eat anything for 90 days. I did not open my eyes. I did not do anything except for meditating and remembering the holy name of Lord Krishna, after all, they do call him Gopala, the herder of cows. Finally, he was so impressed by my devotion that he came to me and granted me my wish. He turned me into a cow of my choice, a Sahiwal, one of the best breeds available in the milch cattle market today.

That is wonderful. Did he also teleport you to Ghaziabad? Or did you have to make that journey by yourself?

Not at all. He was very considerate. He placed me right in the middle of the richest cattle trader’s stock in Ghazipur. And that is where Bhola Ram purchased me.

What is your daily routine like? Do you miss anything from your previous life?

My routine is very saatvik. I eat fresh green grass, leaves, hay, sometimes even leftover roti from Bhola’s household. Other than eating, I sometimes roam around the nearby fields and foot-path markets. Like all other animals, I excrete solid and liquid waste, which Bhola thinks is of very good quality. He uses my urine in his morning prayers and my feces for making cow dung cakes to use as fuel. I also sleep a lot. And during a certain time of the year, I do the unmentionable act with a bull from the other farm. I have had two calves so far, Rameshwari and Dulari. I am hopeful that they will be good and lucky cows like myself.

I do miss a few things from my old life. I miss reading Premchand novels. I miss braiding my mother’s hair. I miss eating Gol Gappe with my friends. I miss watching Salman Khan movies. I miss going to college and learning about the history of the world. I miss my freedom. But… at least I am safe. That is all that matters, isn’t it?

We understand. We hope that someday things would be conducive enough for you to turn back into a woman.

It is going to a be a very long waiting period. I can tell you that even without having read the newspaper recently.

Just one last question. What was your name as a woman?

Shanti. And that has made all the difference to my story. If I were Fauzia, Sofia, or Namra, I would have chosen the waters of the Hindon as my refuge.

Note: This is a work of unfunny satire. If you don’t understand it, I feel sorry for you!

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