“You just don’t like Bhakts, Gau Rakshaks, and the Cow”, a Bhakt told me amicably a couple of years ago. I know a lot of amiable Bhakts, in fact, many of them eat beef if it is cooked properly. I told him I don’t eat cow meat because my mother refused to cook it in Bombay when I was growing up in the 60s, and my boarding school in Mussoorie didn’t serve it, and that was that. My mother also didn’t cook pork.
Her reason was that she didn’t know where the beef and pork were coming from, she saw cows and pigs foraging for food on the roads and garbage bins of Bombay, often together, and the concept of eating those two animals after witnessing what they ate turned her stomach. And when your mother’s stomach turns, and you are young, your stomach turns too. I also didn’t go around hunting for beef because when I was young you hunted for movies, good books, maybe pretty girls, a good cricket match, you played football and hockey, and if you were not reminded you would not eat food at all.
So I took this Bhakt home and told him that although he thought I hated Cows and Bhakts, I was an avid reader of the original books that worshipped and celebrated the Gau Rakshak, the first great Cow Bhakts, and that no, they did not live in India but resided a couple of hundred years ago in America, and maybe this was one more reason why he should emigrate to that country.
So I showed him my collection of several hundred Westerns and told him that in these books people called Cowboys took loving care of cows on horseback and nursed them from childhood until they were grown up. They took them on huge cattle drives across deserts and green valleys for sale in different cities. People tried to steal them, but these Cowboys were great shootists, with revolvers or rifles, and they would kill anyone who stole their cows. There were sometimes great Cattle Wars, and the Cowboys killed people who came in their way. They lived in great ranches and the best of them got all the pretty girls and got to go to bed with them. People wrote songs about these Cowboys and of course, wrote books, and made movies about them…
So I asked him, “How many Cowboy books do you have?” And he said none, and so I told him that I had at least 500, so how could he say I don’t like Bhakts, Gau Rakshaks, and the Cow when I was a fan of the original Cowboys? I told Him he must read some and gave him a Max Brand, Louis L’Amour, JT Edson and a Luke Short. I see him sometimes in Agra. When he sees me he hurries to cross the street and merge with the crowd…
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