My Mother, The Cow, Loses Her Son


You call me your mother. Many of you know me but some don’t. I am a cow.

I was with you when you didn’t even know this world. I was with you even before you ate your first bite. I was with you just after “A” for apple and “B” for ball. I was with you in your breakfasts, lunches and dinners. I was with you in temples and offerings. And I assure that I will be with you till you leave for the next world.

You call me your mother. I am admired.

But why do you do so?

Just because you can use my milk! Or just because some good people said so in ancient past.

You always depict me with Lord Krishna in your New Year calendars, some people even feed me with their homemade food before having their meals on festive days; and some even have a festival in my name. So much obliged I am!


But, has someone mentioned a small calf of mine standing just beside me in those calendars? Has someone tried to interrogate me except on festive days?

I am injected twice a day before I am milked. My calf is tied just in front me trying hard to taste a drop of it everytime I am done so. They put a woven net in my calf’s mouth so that he can restrict himself from “wasting” his mother’s precious milk. I am afraid. I am thrilled. I am sorrowful.

This is my fourth calf or fourth “male calf.” Just because he can’t be milked in the future, will these people kill him, as they did to the previous two? Or will this one be left in the middle of the traffic to eat rotten garbage produced by my two legged kids, as they did with the last one? Or will he be sent to a butcher shop for slaughter?

Many of my known ones just live on those garbage dumps kept by the roadside. I have seen people spitting on their bodies while trespassing. Some just hit them with stones and rods to remove them away from the stiffening traffic. Many of them just died with the infected wounds given to them by moving cars and trucks.

One of them was my son. But others were sons of other mothers too.

I am a mother. A mother of many. Not mere a picture on the plastic bags of you milk packet. Neither merely a word starting with the alphabet of “c.” Nor merely a small essay in your primary schools.

I am proud to be your mother but please allow me to feel that motherhood with my own calves too.

Please call me your mother but don’t call me “only” your mother.

(This article is written in condolence with killing of the male calf of the cow, who considers herself my mother.)

Abhishek Kumar writes from Patna, Bihar, India, telling the stories of the people who live there and the things that affect their lives.