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Polly put the cattle on…

August 8, 2007

No, the title is not a message by a boss to his secretary, Polly, to put the cattle on the line. One must avoid that kind of herd mentality.

Below is a conversation between two friends, an English cow (EC) and an Indian cow (IC):

IC: Moo moooo !! Mooo moo moooo moo?
EC: Mo moo mooooo mooo. Mooo moo mooomm moo moooo moomoo. Moo moo moooooo?

(Oh sorry, forgot to turn the translator on!!)…..

IC: Hello there!! Cow are you Love?

EC: I am fine thanks. It is very good to see you. I hope your journey went fine?

IC: Yeah it was OK, except at the airport here. Really beefed-up security..

EC: (frown on face) Hmm.. but I really wish you hadn’t used that last phrase. I don’t think you cows in Delhi realise how fortunate you are to be considered sacred.

IC: Yeah sorry about that. Yes we are a privileged lot I admit, at least in some parts of India. But it’s not all great I’m afraid. The living standards are on the whole quite abysmal…. Oh, before I forget…here’s something for you from India…a bottle of our finest BoVine. It’s a Merlot. I hope you enjoy it.

EC: Thank you! That is so nice of you!

IC: So what’s happening at your end? Whereabouts do you live these days? Same old shed as last time?

EC: No, I have shifted. It is at the udder end of the town now. The shed is quite decent and the really great thing is that the guy who has employed me is a dairy farmer…so no Slaughter-House Blues, at least for now and the foreseeable future.

IC: That is very good news! There’s an old Indian saying that goes, ‘good cow shed no tears’.

EC: Clever! Cow-shed… shed no tears.. I get it. (smiles) I bet you guys back home just sit on your rumps all day churning out such random things.. (slightly envious now)

IC: Yes.. ours is a life spent in regurgitation and rumination..(subtly condescending tone).. plenty of things to chew on. Putting it anudder way, there is plenty of food for thought, thanks to our stature of sacredness.

EC: (annoyed voice). Your holier-than-cow status is quite unfair I feel…but come now, let us not indulge in such matters (trying to cool down).

IC: (gauging the situation and changing the subject immediately) So tell me dear, I had heard from someone that you had invested most of your savings in the stock market. I hope things are going well in that department?

EC: Yeah, the markets are looking rather bull-ish at present. I am expecting a good return this year. So yeah I think it is OK. But yes, I admit that I get quite nervous sometimes, the steaks really are quite high you know (very animated expression on face).

IC: I can imagine. Well all the best with all that stuff. (They have been walking all this while. Just then they hear some music which appears to be coming from a cowshed nearby) Hey! Do you know that song? It is one of my favourites! It is simply moosic to my ears. (IC starts humming the tune alongside the song and also does a little jig.)

EC: (looking confused). Um, I don’t think I know this one.

IC : (Totally engrossed in singing and jigging does not hear EC) . Honey honey yeah.. I herd it through the bo-vine… (It appears to be the bovine rendition of Marvin Gaye’s ‘I heard it through the grapevine. EC is a little shocked and embarrassed by IC’s frivolity. Even with EC’s four stomachs (cows have not one but four), she is unable to digest IC’s behaviour. Let us just say that she doesn’t have the stomach for it. )

(The two of them spend a few hours ambling and exchanging notes, occasionally stopping at the odd patch of succulent grass.)

(It is finally time to say goodbye)

EC: Well it has been lovely meeting you. Sorry that I got a bit heated up back there. But what’s a tiff between friends eh? (smiling).

IC: (smiling too) I agree. It was good fun. I hope to see you again soon. Take care and remember that no matter how dire things appear in life, always remain brave and never cowtow to anyone. (EC appreciates the maxim and also the intended pun. They say a loud mooo to each other and go their separate ways).


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