A Puzzled Bovine: Abhinaya Rao
There it stood, blinking. A cow in the middle of the road.
Huge and stupefied, bang in the midst of the city's busiest
intersections. It looked like the poor thing needed to deliver
its calf right there ;it was that huge and waddling. Traffic
swerved and cursed to avoid it, gigantic stupid mom-to-be
who didn't know any better than to stand in the
middle of important intersections. All it did was stand
there and blink occasionally, the fast track zooming past
in all directions. Luckily it was a Sunday so there wasn't
much traffic. But then again, this meant
that traffic speeds were at their highest and accidental
collisions much more likely. Whatever. It was only a pregnant
Life in the fast lane holds no appeal for cows. In the
world of cows, existence is sedate and gracious - calmly
grazing while the sun is in the sky, sleeping when it is
no longer day, being mounted by an
occasional bull when the time is right to breed and then
back to grazing, sleeping, grazing. A life as constant as
daybreak and nightfall. Except when the farmer takes some
into the city for slaughter or when one, this is rare, misplaces
itself in the city by wandering.
It was obvious this one was not here for slaughtering ;
it was due to deliver anytime. How could something so big
and unwieldy have managed to lose itself in the worst place
on earth for any living thing? A city is
no place for existence, for being sedate, for graciousness.
A city is no place to give birth. Life must be brought into
a green world, a lovely world, a world that wants it there.
A city seeks death not life. An intersection is no place
for a calf to be born. Imagine its first contact with reality
outside the soft walls of the womb - smoke and noise,
toxic dust in its raw pink nostrils, the taste of acrid
exhaust on its tongue! A city is no place for a cow to give
birth. No mother would choose it for her own young.
But it just stood there. Chewing nothing. Stoic courage?
Brave pretence? Or was that contempt flashing in a bovine
eye? A suicide to be, perhaps. No reaction to car horns,
irate drivers, curses. No reaction to metallic monsters
zooming past. Calmly chewing. Heavy with calf. A cow in
the middle of the road.