Stay away from cows. That’s the one advice I give everyone.
They provide milk and manure. They look really innocent with their large, beautiful eyes. But if you are not careful around them, they will gore you. Or, topple your bike. Or, make you do a perfect summersault.
Even if they do it by mistake.
How can they not? After all, they are everywhere. And, the middle of a road seems to be the perfect spot for them to take a nap. And, the regulars, they become a landmark of sorts.
“So, you have to come straight from the red light, take the first left and then take a right from where you see a white cow sitting.” Oh, this has happened to me.
That brings me to why I advise people to stay away from cows. It is because my family has a “history”. To date, my mom tells me to be careful near cows till the time I get married and lose my last name!
And, I solemnly swear that these incidents are all true and have not been lifted off a comedy script.
Bumping into the bum
For as long as I can remember, I have tried to stay as far away from cows as possible. Even at age 25, when I go to areas with dense cow population, I ensure that I am not walking on the “cow-side” of the road.
And, I will continue to have this (ir)rational fear till I get married. (Because, mom assured that nothing would happen after that, up top!)
My deadly encounter was when I was 15 and was riding a scooter back from school. (Yes, I know, I was underage and shouldn’t have been driving without a license. But listen to me, the story is more important.)
A “pulsar”-rider (when the bike was a rage) overtook my vehicle from the wrong side and I had to swerve to prevent an accident. As soon as I did, his friend on another “pulsar” overtook my scooty from the other side. I had to swerve again.
Lo and behold, I had to brake hard to prevent myself from ramming into a cow’s behind.
In Delhi, I once shrieked and ran to the middle of the road and was almost hit by an oncoming vehicle. All because I thought the long horns of a cow were about to make contact with me.
On the thin roads of Goa, when I went for a trip with friends, I would inevitably slow down my scooty half a kilometre before approaching a cow. That was the butt of all jokes.
The family on cows’ hit list
Ours was a gigantic joint family and we have had far too many cow-related accidents for it to be merely coincidence.
My dad’s paternal aunt – or our buadadi – had to go to the nearby shop to buy something (I don’t remember what, it has been far too many years). It was drizzling and the road was muddy. She had an umbrella in one hand and a walking stick in the other.
She was walking very slowly, afraid that she might slip and fall down.
She did fall down. But it wasn’t because of the muck. It was because a cow near her turned its head just in time for to touch my buadadi’s back, making her topple over. The result — a broken hip bone.
Then there was her younger brother. He got hit by a cow when Luna was a rage. He was atop one when a cow decided to just walk into him upfront. Yes, he toppled over, along with his precious Luna.
The relatives who saw what happened, brought him in and made him rest in the living room. When he woke up, he could not remember his wife or his children – short-term amnesia. His memory was never the same.
“I want to eat that sabji, the white one, the one in which many vegetables are put, the one which is bitter and has bitter gourd,” he would say. He would not immediately recall the name of the iconic Bengali dish – Shukto.
My paternal uncle had barely walked 10 steps from our family home when a cow came from behind, picked him up with his long horns, and tossed him behind its body. A perfect somersault. (Not the ideal way to learn it though.)
Oooh, that one must have hurt.
And, now the winner
This is the most hilarious cow incident in the history of cow incidents.
My grandfather was riding his TVS scooty one night. (Yes, by this time scooty had become the rage and Luna was old-school.)
Now, he will not admit it, but you have to give him that his vision was not very good at night. And, it was a dimly lit lane he was driving in.
But, he could see enough “shapes” to allow him to drive slowly.
He saw a speed-breaker ahead and slowed down to an almost 0km/hr. As soon as his front wheel went over it, the speed-breaker stood up.
Yes, it was a cow.
Needless to say, he fell down, broke his leg and had to spend a long time in the hospital.
Now, can you in good faith say that I shouldn’t be scared of cows?