By Kamlesh Tripathi
Pained by human atrocities, some like minded animals who even happened to be old friends, prominent among them being cat, cow, dog, donkey, horse and monkey decided to meet somewhere, to discuss the burning issue and chalk out a way forward. As human lunacy was troubling animals big time. The king of the jungle however excused himself as his species was already under threat from human beings and he didn’t want to take an adverse position against them any further.
Scheming cat who happened to be a relative of the king of the jungle started the conversation by saying, ‘to us, all human beings look the same but they are divided by something called the religion, and unlike us, who don’t follow any religion but only follow our heart, human beings are guided by their religion. And if we could only exploit their religion we could divert their attention from us to save ourselves.’
‘But what is religion? Asked, the donkey.
‘Arrey yaar! You don’t know religion? No wonder you’re called a donkey. You must have often seen human beings going to differently looking buildings to pray. That is called religion.’ Clarified the cat.
‘But what is religion suppose to do?’ Enquired donkey again, exposing his ignorance further.
‘Well, it is supposed to divide human beings. And it is doing that quite efficiently. For human beings fight tooth and nail for anything and everything. And since I keep gallivanting most of the times. I see that with my own eyes. They might be our enemies but they are the biggest enemies of themselves’ Said the relaxing horse.
Thereafter, they decided to go for a long walk just to graze and relax since they were old friends and had met after a long-long time, to have a heart-to-heart conversation with each other. And they all were leisurely walking side by side, along the river, while the monkey was happily sitting atop on the donkey’s back is when the donkey asked the horse,
‘Boss the government is planning a lot for the employment of human beings but what about us? In the present scenario I neither have a job nor a peaceful place to stand nor even for an assured morsel of food. Every day I need to walk quite a distance and that too across the road to feed myself where you only get some dry grass and pesticides laden dry leaves to munch. About two years back I used to get the same food, in fact better, here only, where we are walking, but today because of these multi-storeyed buildings there is nothing left for us. The horse felt sad for the donkey, and while maintaining his pace he softly said,
‘I know it’s very sad, but yaar, you’re a donkey, at least you know the art of survival and no one expects wonders from you. But look at my plight. A bright talented horse that used to participate in derbies and equestrian shows. But with age catching up I was thrown out of my job. I was then bought by a tangewalla and he used me mercilessly in Chandini Chowk for some time, but as and when tongas went out of circulation, he kept me for a month thinking he’ll be able to sell me off, but when he couldn’t he just left me here one day and never came back. And today a skilled guy like me is not only unemployed but even harassed on the roads by moving vehicles and the traffic police.
‘My dear horse, that’s indeed sad. Such a skilled personality like you; meeting up with such a fate.’ Donkey consoled the horse.
‘My dear dog, how are things with you?’ asked the cow.
‘Not too good. These Indians could never get out of their colonial mindset. They still keep foreign breeds as their pets, and that leaves we—the Indian mongrels on the lurch, and it really takes some humongous efforts to fend for ourselves. And how about you?’ the dog asked the cat. The cat stretched itself while walking and said,
‘Well … well, somehow surviving, only because we cats are of no use to a man. Neither, they require our skin, nor bones, nor our flesh. And that makes things somewhat easier for us; otherwise you can see how they have massacred the tigers from our family. But I guess in today’s time cows are the real VIPs’
‘But why do you say so?’ asked the cow meekly.
‘Boss because, you are hitting the headlines every day.’ Replied the cat.
‘But for religious reasons,’ was the doleful moo of the cow.
‘So then, what should we do to survive, and improve our lives? Let’s ask the monkey who is very quiet.’ Suggested the dog.
Monkey, who was sitting merrily on donkey’s back, with his eyes closed, enjoying the winter sun was a bit amused at the melancholic conversation that was going around. He preferred to remain quiet even when the dog had asked a pertinent question. After a few moments when the monkey didn’t answer, cow repeated the question and requested monkey for an answer.
Clever monkey kept quiet for a while and then blinked his eyes and said,
‘Stop being useful to the man like cat and me.’