Cows come home

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  • Published 20190507
  • ISBN: 9781925773620
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

Anyone in the Sinkul area? Or knows anyone in the Gorkha unit on NH58?

Daym Autocorrect! *Goraksha unit. Plz DM for deets.

Whaaa…Gorkha deployment on NH58? What’s going on? @monalishah

There is no deployment of troops. She is not talking about the Gorkha Rifles. @gymwalla

HH Gorakh
@monalishah Follow for DM

Auto-correct is correct!!! Gorkha = Gau + raksha (smiley face) @monalishah

Why u always talk American slang style? Be normal @gymwalla

American slang style? What did I miss? Hyuk hyuk! Ok, I did pick up ‘hyuk’ from Archies comics @Shalin

I (heart) (heart) (heart) Jughead. I want to marry him and feed him dahi bhalla till the day I die @gymwalla

Would you give him a pet name too? Jaggi? Jaggu? Jagannath? (grin) @gunjan

Gorkhas are the best. Martial skills superb. They charted success against Mughals, finished them off @monalishah @Prof_Saab

Prof Saab
Mughals seem to reside in your system like gut bacteria. Also, using ‘charted’ in that way does not make you sound smarter @Shalin

Direct Messages between MonaLisha and HH Gorakh:

Hi! I am following you now.




Prof Saab
While on Gorkhas, since I’ve got 10 minutes to kill, thread: Gorkha soldiers were in the army of the kingdom, now nation, called Nepal 1/n
Gurkha/Gorkha War = Anglo-Nepalese war of 1814. British East India Company won. The king had to give up 1/3 of the kingdom’s land 2/n

Namdaar Joker
Prof, it’s all on wiki but who reads? Let me ask u something. Are Nepali kings of Muslim descent? Shahs are not native Gurkha @Prof_Saab

Before 1814 Nepal mopped up territory in east India. Sikkim, Kumaon, Garhwal, Bengal (where Gorkhas continue to demand a separate state) 3/n
Nepal also invaded Tibet in 1788 and 1791. Plundered Tashilhunpo monastery. China/the Qing dynasty retaliated. They almost took Kathmandu 4/n

Namdaar Joker
Even Gujarati Shahs may have Muslim roots. Shahs are from Iran. Did they convert to Jainism for business/political reasons? @Prof_Saab

Direct Messages between MonaLisha and HH Gorakh:


Sorry. I was on a call.

Oh okay.

You busy?

No. Please give details.

What do you do?

Apart from Go-raksha.

I wear different hats.

(grin) How many?

And what’s with HH? Are you former royalty? Is a crown one of your many hats ;p

You had something to report?

You are a certified Go-rakshak?

I am on the IT side. But yes, I’m official.

Gotta ask, ykwim?


You know what I mean?


Never mind. I had to look up things in the urban dictionary once.

Great resource.

But the dictionary doesn’t have all the acronyms.


Like I simply can’t use FTW in the right context. My friends will ping me to say, that sounds weird. Like when I said FTW after Gunjan’s debut show. I should have just said ‘yay!’

I like that they’ve done away with character limits for DM. It used to be so irritating. Private conversations, you don’t want to edit yourself.

Of course, one can also just pick up the phone and make an actual call 🙂

About NH58?

There’s a cow trapped down there.

Could you note the vehicle number?


Oh! I see. She’s not in a vehicle.

Where then?

Off NH58.

NH58 extends from the national capital region almost up to the China border.


I’m just googling NH58 again. FML!

So I just drove a thousand kilometres in a week! That’s the diameter of small country in Europe.

Can you send a location pin?

But I am back in the city now.

Prof Saab
Gorkhas fought Sikhs in 1809. Raja Sansar Chand of Kangra, under seige, sought Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s help. Sikh army won but only just 5/n
Brit East India Co set up the Gorkha regiment. Used them in 1846 and 1849 wars which finished the Sikh empire. Also against the Afghans 6/n

Namdaar Joker
Nepali kings’ names like Babar Shamsher Jang Bahadur. Beef was once eaten. After Gorakhnath’s influence, cow slaughter stopped. @Prof Saab

Stop saying sht about Hindu kingdom, momfukcer. Who r you? The khukhri blade has taught many lessons in history @I.namdaar @Prof_Saab

Gorkha soldiers were key in the suppressing of the 1857 Uprising/Mutiny/1st war of Indian Independence. Also served in both World Wars 7/n
After 1947, agreement b/w Britain, India, Nepal. Gorkha regiments were divided. They fought many wars including 1971 war with Pakistan 8/n

@Proudnloud I’m a military historian. And you? What drives you to peep inside other people’s moms’ knickers? #curious

Spurious historian + Joker spreading lies! Nepal a Hindu nation, never had beef @proudynational @harshgorakh @monalishah @I.namdaar @Prof_Saab

Shah is no Muslim name. It comes from Sah. Mis-pronounced as Sha. Stop false propaganda @I.namdaar @Prof_Saab

Namdaar Joker
Shah was a title. Used in Iran. @Prof_Saab Correct me if I’m wrong, but   Gurkha regiment was earlier called Nasiri Gurkha regiment. Why?

In Kathmandu, Kashmiri Muslims were early settlers. 1400s. Some Kashmiris use Shah surname @I.namdaar @Prof_Saab @Shalin

Prof Saab
True. Gorkha regiment was initially called Nasiri. It means friendly in the local language @I.namdaar @Shalin

Namdaar Joker
And what’s your source for info? A five-second dip into the holy waters of Google? @Prof_Saab @Shalin

HH Gorakh
Nasiri is the name of a tribe. The regiment was named after the tribe since they were strong fighters @Prof_Saab @Shalin @I.namdaar

Namdaar Joker
Indeed Nasiri were a tribe. From Persia. References to them in the history of Afghanistan. @Prof_Saab @Shalin @harshgorakh

‘Nasiri’ not in the database of any online dictionary @I.namdaar @Prof_Saab @Shalin @harshgorakh

Direct Messages between MonaLisha and HH Gorakh:

So, what’s the process after I report to the Go-raksha department?

I am the central online co-ordinator. I’m in touch with all groups in all districts.

I send a team nearest to the point where smuggling is going on.

No smuggling is going on.

Or slaughter

No slaughter is going on.

You wanted to report an incident…

Accident, not incident. I wanted to report a cow in trouble.


In the khadi.


There’s a cow in Khadi Bhandar?


Khaadi. As in, the place where you can fall off. Like in a valley?

I see.

It might be a calf. From the size, also from the sound, it did not seem like an adult cow. Baby calves sound quite different. Have you noticed? I can’t tell the difference between a boy calf and a girl calf though.

Do you know if they call cow children by different gender words, up in the hills? Like cow and bull for grown-ups?

No idea.

Don’t they teach you guys about cattle before they give out Go-raksha certificates?

I’m a Shah. My family keeps ancestral records. For 500 years, we’ve been Jain @I.namdaar @Prof_Saab

Namdaar Joker
Muslims have been in India 1000+ years. If some Hindus converted to Islam, maybe some Muslims converted to Jainism? @monalishah @Prof_Saab

Prof Saab
Speculation, but not beyond the realm of possibility. Religion in South Asia was a porous, elastic affair. A spectrum, not silos. MonaLisha @I.namdaar

Hiten Sadhu
Ha! What a bad joke! Change your name to Badnaam Joker @I.namdaar @Prof_Saab @monalishah

Direct Messages between Hiten Sadhu and Monali Shah:


So? You are proudy? :p

Proudy about the nation.

Why? You are not proud?

Everyone is.

Some people are not proud of their own nation and culture.


You had a matter to report? I am the district convenor.

Convenor of- ?

Go-raksha, Sinkul. All village and town units report to me.


I just reported to your boss.


HH Gorkha?

You Go-raksha guys hang out? Like, just to chill on weekends?

I don’t report to anyone. We are all autonomous volunteers. HH might be a person hired by the central digital unit.

But you just said that all local units report to you.

I co-ordinate.

So, you go-rakshaks don’t know each other IRL?


In real life.


Badnaam Joker
Done! I am now Badnaam Joker (grin) Happy? @proudynational

I don’t believe caste, but Shah caste is not Brahmin or warrior. They are Vaishya @I.namdaar @Prof_Saab @Shalin @monalishah @harshgorakh

i.e. Shopkeepers. For peeps unfamiliar with our wunnerful caste system @proudnloud @Shalin @I.namdaar @Prof_Saab @monalishah @harshgorakh

Hitesh Sadhu
Why insult a caste? Can I also insult, starting with your cut-off parts? @gymwalla @proudnloud @Shalin @badnaamjoker @Prof_Saab @harshgorakh

It’s called the foreskin & I have mine @proudynational You seem quite at home with caste and v familiar with ‘cut-off parts’ 😉
Also, why is ‘shopkeeper’ insulting but ‘Merchant’ flattering? Trader is Bania. Common parlance. Gandhi’s caste. Mine too @proudynational

Direct Messages between MonaLisha and HH Gorakh:

I looked it up. The place where the cow fell is a ravine, it is not a valley.

Please share location pin.

I said! I am not at the location. We’d stopped the car and stood there for 20-30 minutes. I had binoculars so I looked down into the ravine. I could see her head.

I think her legs have broken in the fall. You should have heard that poor thing mooing.

It got me all tensed. Nobody can walk down.

Very sharp fall.

I see.

You have to send proper equipment. Maybe a crane. She must be at least 60 kilos? How much does a 3 month old calf weigh?

The villagers had ropes but the fall is steep. No sturdy tree trunk on the edge, no proper safety gear.

They can tie a man around the waist and lower him.

For what purpose? Just to look at the cow and pat her on the head?


They have to bring her up. They need a crane and a platform that can be lowered.

One of guys in the crowd was from the village Go-raksha unit. But he’s too young to take a decision. He said he sent word to the head of the Go-raksha committee.


The local guy. I asked him to call someone higher up.

He may have called the district convenor.

Who is that?

Is he @proudynational?

Direct Messages between Hiten Sadhu and MonaLisha:

Sinkul is a tricky area, Mona. In this season, there are a lot of landslides.

Such incidents do happen.

No landslides. I drove up and back a day ago. All clear.

If stray animals fall, nobody notices.

She had a bell around her neck. And oh my God! That piteous mooing and the tinkling of that bell! The wind picked it up and carried the sound. I feel like I still hear it, hundreds of kilometres away.


So, you going to rescue her?

The local unit will spare no effort.

You have to intervene personally.

The cow cried all night. The villagers thought a leopard or panther had caught her. Nobody dared to go out to check. There are no steps going down into the ravine. No lights. Even men would not go.

Your Go-rakshaks should have gone. They have funds, even guns. No?

They could have gathered at dawn and tried to rescue that innocent cow.

They are trying.

They wasted time calling a meeting. All families had to do a count of cattle.

Is it more important to find the owner or to rescue the animal?

Finally it turned out that a cow was missing from the household of an old couple. Their son is not in the village these days. The old lady had gone out to graze her own cows, plus three others. This calf strayed and could not be found. The sun was setting. So the old lady went home. She did not have the strength to search at night.

That is a proper explanation!

But there is no explanation for why your Go-rakshaks did not swing into action. The old lady sent word to the unit chief’s house through her husband.

So then?

What happens if a Go-rakshak is found to be guilty of derelection of duty?


Prof Saab
Uncertain if ‘Gorkhas’ were a homogenous fighting unit before 18th century or later. All armies would’ve hired across tribe/ethnicity 9/n
Gorkha is a district, 1 of 75-odd in present-day Nepal. We can only assume that the region sends more men out to join the royal army 10/n

Mughals never attacked Nepal coz very tough terrain + not much loot @I.namdaar @Prof_Saab @Shalin @monalishah @harshgorakh @proudynational

Prof Saab
A Muslim ruler sacked Kathmandu. But he wasn’t Mughal. Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah, founder, Sultanate of Bengal. Found loot, took it to Bengal 11/n

Ooh! Another ‘Shah’ discovered! Could it be that the Nepali Hindu Shahs intermarried with Bengali Shahs? @Prof_Saab

HH Gorakh
Nepali Shahs descend from Rajasthani Rajputs. They went to Kathmandu and took over from Malla kings @gunjan @Prof_Saab @monalishah

Nepali royals always come to India to find Rajput brides. Why can’t they marry Gorkha girls? (eyeroll) @harshgorakh @gunjan @Prof_Saab

Direct Messages between MonaLisha and HH Gorakh:

Hello? Is someone covering up something? Looks like it, TBH.

I made contact with the Sinkul unit.

@proudynational is not coming clean.

What do you mean?


You are an IT guy, right?


You can trace when someone had made a call? When someone disconnected a call?


So I saw this with my own eyes. A young Go-rakshak made a call to senior Go-rakshaks in Sinkul. He climbed up a hill to find phone network and he made the calls. Initially, his call was received. Then they just stopped taking his calls.

They may have been busy.

Or trying to organise help. Talking on the phone does not help save cattle.


The first question they asked was: whose cow is it?

Next question was: who took it?

Well. Nobody took it. The cow fell accidentally. Then?

Radio silence.

So I can draw my conclusions.

What conclusions?

If the person who lost the calf had a Muslim name, 20 men would have been there in 20 minutes. If the owner was a Muslim lady, she would have been thrown down the ravine too without ceremony.

They’d have recorded it of course.

Please do not spread such rumours.

The cow is in the ravine, dude! She is not a rumour.

Is it true @Prof_Saab that the word Gorkha is a corruption of Garkha which is a corruption of Kharkha? Wiki says it means grass or meadow.

Badnaam Joker
Dude! Do you only wiki? Ever touched a book? Stepped into a library? Try that. @gymwalla @Prof_Saab

Prof Saab
I honestly don’t know. My subject is war, armies etc. But why not? Kharkha, Garkha. Sounds plausible @gymwalla

Hiten Sadhu
Mughals were no good at mountain warfare. For Hindus from this region, mountains n rivers r sacred. So Nepal was safe @Prof Saab @monalishah

Badnaam Joker
Mughals CAME down thru the mountains, you stupid individual! They beat everyone along the way! @proudynational @Prof Saab @monalishah

Mughals couldn’t rule coz Gorkha are not servile. Even now Nepal can’t be controlled @I.namdaar @Prof_Saab @proudynational @monalishah

Nepal is the cradle of Buddhism. Some parts of Nepal are 95% Buddhist.   @proudnloud @I.namdaar @proudynational @Prof_Saab @monalishah

I am also Buddhist Shah @Gunjan (kissy face) @proudnloud @I.namdaar @proudynational @Prof_Saab


Buddhists = half Hindu. Buddha was Hindu king. He was a preacher against caste @Gunjan @monalishah @I.namdaar @proudynational @Prof_Saab

Hiten Sadhu
#fact Mughals wanted to control India. Nepal was not in India. So they never tried to capture it @I.namdaar @Prof_Saab @proudnloud @monalishah

Badnaam Joker
ROFL SH KMP N! @proudynational @Prof_Saab @proudnloud @monalishah

Direct Messages between MonaLisha and Badnaam Joker:



Rolling on the floor laughing. Somebody help. Kill me please. Now!




Ain’t I badass? I love this game!

We have an understanding, it seems.

Dude! You’re like a soul-mate!

Please don’t feel bad about my ‘Shah’ comments.

Anything is historically probable. How do we know for sure whether Shah comes from Sah or Sah comes from Shah? Why the fook does it matter?

Aryans came via Iran. Muslims came via Iran. Zoroastrians came from Iran. Buddhists went to Iran. They probably mated.

What the fook is wrong with people nowadays?

I’m Zen 🙂

Buddhists went from India to Sri Lanka, Tibet, China, Japan.

No problem if we go out and convert others. But Christians, Mozis can’t do it.

Thousand of years and everyone’s splitting hairs about Sah and Shah. It drives me nuts. Like, dude! Go think about trigonometry or something. Find another ‘zero’. Make solar airplanes.

At the very least, serve in the army instead of gloating about Gurkhas and the blade of their khukhris!

You know, so many people cannot say ‘s’. All s words become sh words.

Shaab-ji, lishten! Don’t shit in the shun.

That’s the Gurkha of the movies.

Caricature, yes. Stereotypes do hold a bit of truth though. I should know.

Are you a stereotype?

Or a Gurkha?

Oh wait! You are a Shah too?

Or Sah. Are you Saha?

Let’s just say, where I’m from, we can’t say our ‘s’ sounds.



Is that your own picture?

(raises eyebrows)

Gotta ask.

Why? Because of my film star good looks?

You think I’ve stolen someone else’s DP?

We suspect people of doing the things we ourselves do 🙂

Aha! So, whose face did you steal?

Although that’s not a face.

Some random girl. I liked her butterfly tattoo.

I know. I’m such a cliche.

You’re not a cliche. I’ve been following you.

Born Jain. But why would you turn to Buddhism when Jainism is so similar?

They’re not similar.

Only about as similar as Judaism and Islam. But short answer?

I stopped being vegetarian.

My family! They don’t even eat aloo-poori at the railway station.

I felt that Buddhism is more flexible. More chilled out. Tibetan Buddhists eat everything. Yet ahimsa is not alien to them.

And what I like most is the idea of The Middle Path. I follow the middle path.

In love, in grief, in political opinion and in faith. 🙂

You’re giving me mini heart attacks here.

Is this how you kill folk? With shock and awe?

No. I kill them with (kissy face) (kissy face) (kissy face)

Joke. That’s a joke.

I don’t kiss people randomly.


So, how do you kiss people if not randomly?

Or did you mean, you don’t kiss random people?

Define random.

I hope I’m not coming across as offensive?


Direct Messages between Hiten Sadhu and MonaLisha:

We have initiated rescue efforts. I thought to update you.


Are you in the capital region?


I come down very often. At least twice a month.

Am based in Sinkul for a state engineering project. I volunteer for positive activities in my free time. I have been with Go-raksha committees since childhood. My uncle heads a committee in NCR. So I really appreciated your initiative.

I am not Jain but I feel there is a lot to learn from your lifestyle. I am on a Sattvic diet for the last two years.

In this area, life is not easy. A lot of the locals eat meat. Thankfully, only sheep and goats. Still. It’s not good. Some places they are doing blood sacrifice to the goddess. But we are also making efforts.

The only positive aspect is people are simple and God fearing. It is easy to make them listen.

The phone and internet connectivity has improved a lot. Last year, it was tough to keep track of what is going on in every village. Our organisation needs tighter binding.

What organisation?

Our organisation.

I am not attached to any organisation.

Have you sent a crane to lift the cow?

We are doing our utmost.

Have you found a vet?

Hiten Sadhu
British tried to control Nepal. Stopped by Gorkhas. Also, they feared a Russian attack across Hindu Kush @Prof_Saab @I.namdaar @monalishah

Badnaam Joker
My tummy hurts. Haven’t been exposed to such a strong dose of stupid in a while! @proudynational @Prof_Saab @monalishah

Direct Messages between Prof Saab and Badnaam Joker:

Please don’t feed the trolls.


Also, please don’t be a troll.



We were just getting to know each other (wave goodbye)

Badnaam Shah
Mughals didn’t attack Nepal coz Malla kings were pals. Peace, trade b/w Hindustan & Tibet served them. ‘Shah’ was a title bestowed by Mughals

Mughals were hot plains people. They couldn’t adjust to the mountain climate, so didn’t conquer Nepal @I.namdaar @proudynational @Prof_Saab

Hot people, yes 😉 Plains people? Doubtful. @proudnloud @I.namdaar @proudynational @Prof_Saab

Hiten Sadhu
This Joker is now trying to become a Shah? Beware @monalishah @I.namdaar @proudnloud @Prof_Saab

Direct Messages between Monali Shah and Badnaam Shah:

It’s cool. I get flirting 🙂

(phew face)

Did you actually think I’d stolen some film actor’s photo?

Does that mean you think I’m hot? (grin)


HH Gorakh has blocked me. I wonder why.

Maybe because I publicly said Mughals were hot? (giggle)

All Mughals weren’t hot. Some princes look quite dumpy in their miniatures. Probably had a little bit slant eyes. They came from Central Asia.

Maybe they did look a little bit Gurkha? ;p

I like slant eyes.

Mughals must be looking like Uzbeks.

Uzbek girls are pretty.

I told Gorakh off on DM. Maybe I should’ve kept my mouth shut?

He is the IT co-ordinator for all Go-rakshaks.

Not a man to be taken lightly. Why you telling him off?

There’s a calf stuck in a ravine near Sinkul.

It is actually a boy calf. A black male.

They don’t save the boys?

I just thought they’d move faster if I said cow.

The owner of the calf, she must be in her sixties. Her husband has cataract. Almost blind. Both these old people were just staring into the ravine. Sitting right at the edge. All these villagers hovering around. All that ghun-ghun bhun-bhun.


Ghun-ghun. Like a buzz in the air. People were talking of ‘sin’. One teenage Go-rakshak got talking to me. They think she did on purpose.

Holy cow!

The old lady had been trying to sell him off since his birth. But nowadays nobody buys male calves. These people have no land. A bull is deadweight. The old man cuts grass, takes a bundle for his own cows. The rest is sold to the guys who keep horses and ponies for tourists. The old lady has to clean the dung and take animals out for grazing. She’s been taking other people’s cattle out to graze. No other income.


Now this boy calf is 3 months old. He’ll live for about 20 years. Can you imagine the cost?

Forget fodder. Just the idea of being forced to keep an unwanted creature all your life.



She approached the local Go-rakshaks and asked them to take the calf. They said, this is a young animal. The cow shelter is only for old and sick animals. So she said, then let me set it free. Let nature decide. But the committee said, you have to pay a fine. And the fine is ten times the money she makes in one year.


You should have seen the woman’s eyes. Not crying. Her eyes were black whirlpools. Something in them that was blacker than pain.

Imagine. You help birth him. You can’t afford him. Your own knees are giving up. Your own eyes are going. This creature gets bigger and bigger. And you get attached, right? That’s just how it works. Anything you feed and touch, you love. So you keep it alive. You serve it. But it never serves you back. Not now, not ever.

How can anyone ask so much of a woman? To demand that you give and give and give and give. Love is not something that can be wrenched out, like coal out of a mine. It’s not collected. It’s not a tax. Not even maternal love.

Especially not maternal love. Although maternal love is the key that unlocks every other love. Maybe that’s why they keep trying to confiscate the key.

You should have called an animal ambulance.

What if the baby wasn’t crying at night? What if he just decided to quietly give up?

If they bring him up, his legs will stay broken. Cattle is not like a dog or kitten. How does one maintain an invalid? A heavy bull! When he’s 200 kilos, an old woman is supposed to pull and drag him, clean under him?

Prof Saab
Nasiri could be a place in Persia. Or an Afghan tribe. Tribes/clans/soldiers moved often between Afghanistan, Iran, India, Nepal @I.namdaar

Question: If the Brits were fighting the Gurkha army, how did they raise a regiment of Gurkha soldiers? Did some defect? @Prof_Saab

Prof Saab
Unfair to think of soldiers of the time as defectors. Many were mercenaries. World over, soldiers fought for the better paying king @gymwalla

I love the sound of the word. Nasiri. Makes me make think of apricot jam @Prof_Saab @I.namdaar

Direct Messages between Hiten Sadhu and MonaLisha:

You should not be doubting us.

I have no doubts now.

Our people are always on the move, on all highways, looking for cattle.

We are also saving cattle heritage. Maintaining the purity of breeds.

Is the calf out yet?

We made contact with a vet.

Direct Messages between Badnaam Shah and MonaLisha:

You were saying… About maternal love. Holds the key to all love?


Are you a mom?




Why make yourself so small, you can contain nothing but your bloated self? The universe has given you room to contain all universes.

Direct Messages between Hiten Sadhu and MonaLisha:

The matter is resolved.


The animal went silent. One of our boys went down on a rope. Some other animal had killed it.

Sad. Mother Nature includes wild animals. What to do?

Did the vet not show up?

The vet could not come in time.

So that’s that?

We are taking action. The local unit found the owners guilty of negligence. The sin of untimely cattle death must be cancelled. It’s a male calf, so the damage is less. We will do a penance ceremony. The owners will pay for it, and also a fine which will pay for the upkeep of seven aged cows for one year.

What about the animals?

Which animals?

Those who sinned by eating a calf?

Hyenas or jackals. Panther.

Are they sharing the costs of the prayer ceremony?

Please Monali-ji. Do not insult our systems. There is logic built into our traditions.

Time, bent out of shape, lurks in a ravine. See its panther skin, its hyena eyes. A fog has gripped a people with two billion cataract eyes.
Somewhere, someone weeps all night with the guilt of what she never did. Someone, somewhere, is choking on the scent of fresh-cut grass.

I love it when you get into this moody sort of mood. Free-fund-wala intoxication 🙂 @monalishah

Direct messages between HH Gorakh and MonaLisha:


I just wanted to say sorry. I didn’t block you.

It was a mistake. My finger pressed something on the phone.

I heard from Sinkul that the calf you had reported could not be saved. Sad. But it was not killed violently at least.

I’m relieved anyway that you didn’t block me.

The misunderstanding has been cleared up now 🙂

Fifteen people in fifteen towns say the same fifteen lines. Down to each pregnant pause. Down to the howl of rage. Down to the hush.

Direct messages between Badnaam Joker and MonaLisha:

Is your name actually Monali Shah? Or is that borrowed too?

Sorry. I’m…whatever. My name is Sid.

Siddharth. As in, the Buddha ;p

Are you being Zen or hating on me?

Monali Shah is my real name.

You are no longer Badnaam Shah, I notice.


I’m really sick. Talk to me??

Just need words.

Any words.

Tell me about your husband. Mother in law? How many kids?


I don’t want to talk about my kid.

I thought of you last night.


Tonight hasn’t ended.

Why were you thinking of me?

There was a herd of cows, on the road turning off the highway. Past midnight.

Can’t call it a herd, can I? A herd makes it sound organised.

Their eyes…man! Not my favourite experience, looking in their eyes at night.

I guess they were bulls? I didn’t look too closely. Felt like bulls somehow.

I was a bit drunk.

Oh God!

Nonono. I hit the brakes in time. Well in time. But then, they start to walk towards me. They’re thin, these guys. Ribs and all. Six, seven of them. I’m shining my headlights as they come up. Some on the right of my car, some on the left.

You here?


Then this cow, I know she was a cow because her body was pure glass. Filled with blood and milk and a green gob of grass and four stomachs. I saw four stomachs. Her teats were full of milk and blood.

You here?

This is not one of those stories where animals are metaphors?

Cows are cows in this story.

She’s walking up to my car. I’m behind the wheel. My hands are shaking. The bulls are there. Right of me, left of me. Their eyes green and yellow.

So weird. Just so weird.

I can’t leave. Can’t move an inch. I take my hands off the wheel. Take the key out of the ignition.

If the cow keeps coming at me, she’s going to break herself. She’s made of glass, right?

Are you still out on the highway?


Can you drive?


I don’t know

I’ll come get you. Send a location pin.

It’s three in the night.

I’m awake. Send the location pin.

I feel bad…

I’m picking up my car keys. I’m up already.


Seventeen minutes to your location. You’ll be okay?

I guess

Don’t panic. Keep your hands off the wheel.

Just stay put. Okay?


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