Mohanlal grinned wide like a yawning cow as he entered his office premises. The cow sheds behind his office building were already abuzz with activity. He could hear the cows mooing, the copious amounts of cow dung valuable hitting the floor, the litres and litres of holy gau mutra being splashed into special containers. He could hear the calves mooing for their mothers. And he smiled wider, all the sounded like soaring share prices to him.
He had come to love the smell of cow dung in the mornings, it smelt like quarterly profits to him. He bowed to the large statue of Lord Krishna that stood in front of his office and of course the cow that stood behind the lord. He would come back with a Pooja thali to offer a proper prayer in some time.
Mohanlal entered his office, switched on his computer and played the video that he played every day to start his day. It was a video of a reality show called shark tank from five years ago. It showed a naive Mohanlal, wearing the simple white dress of a farmer, pitching his idea of a start-up to a panel of venture capitalist judges. He had called his startup ‘Ghar Ghar Gau’. His idea was to supply cows to houses in urban areas. The customer would download an app and order a cow, the cow would visit the customer’s home and deliver milk, cow dung or the holy gau-mutra. There would be special packages for special occasions such as marriages and housewarmings where the cows could make a guest appearance. Oh, how the judges had laughed at him, how the hall had resounded with the audience’s’ laughter. Mohanlal also laughed with them now, as he watched the video. It had taken him five years but having the last laugh was indeed priceless.
Next Mohanlal checked his share prices…they were up by several points. He jumped out of his chair. In the last quarter, his company had finally become profitable after four years of operations. He was in talks to expand his operations to Nepal and Canada. Mohanlal truly felt he was on top of the world, and a huge pile of cow dung had gotten him there. He picked up the Pooja thali and walked out of his office to the Krishna idol. Cow dung was the first bestseller that his company had come up with. Who would have thought there would be so much demand for dried cow dung cakes in the cities. Well, he had. And when people ask for dried bull shit…well, cow shit you sell them dried cow shit. And bottled cow urine, no the actual product name was holy gau-mutra. Of course, he had sponsored a few studies in questionably reputable universities to show how gau-mutra could get rid of everything from bacterial infections, to obesity to cancer were a just good investment. Who would have thought gau-mutra flavoured bottled water would be the next health fad, we’ll he had! And the ideas for renting a cow for a few days because they were auspicious for your house was still a novelty but was definitely catching on. So was the bullock cart rides. That segment caught on after he introduced a sharing feature on the bullock cart rides. And why wouldn’t it catch on, bullock carts were environment-friendly and travelled as fast as any car in city traffic.
Mohanlal bowed to Lord Krishna and the cow in front of the Office. He was truly grateful for his success. He removed the old withered flower garland from the idol and replaced it with a new one. He lit the lamp and some camphor and began his Aarti. He was about to break open a coconut when he saw his partner Sudama running towards him. “Mohan, we are in deep shit…” Sudama said just as the coconut cracked and the water flowed down the feet of Lord Krishna.
“Well you most certainly are in shit my dear friend…you are just returning from the cowsheds.’ Mohanlal laughed.
Sudama looked down at his feet, they were indeed covered in cow dung. For a VP of a company he sure liked to get down into cow dung a lot.
“Not that…I just heard…” Sudama whispered in his ear, “someone has leaked a report that we have been using buffalo milk instead of cow’s milk. And even buffalo urine instead of cow urine. The report will be out in the newspapers tomorrow. What will we do Mohan…we will be ruined.”
Mohanlal gulped hard as he looked at the idol of Krishna. Guilt surged into his heart. Yes, he had done that, used both buffalo milk and buffalo urine instead of cow products. But what was he to do? Demand had increased so much and so suddenly, he had found it difficult to find enough cows to meet it. It had just started as a one-time thing and well it had just continued. If investors found out, it would be the end of his company.
“What do we do?” Mohanlal’s hand shivered as he cracked open the coconut and placed it at the Lord’s feet. He picked up a rag and began to wipe the idol desperately trying to think of a way out of the situation.
“What do I do, my lord.” He asked the Krishna idol. As he was running the cow statue, a small sliver of its white paint peeled off. He rubbed it further and more of the white paint peeled off to reveal the black stone beneath the white paint of the cow. Mohanlal smiled, “you have all the answers, my lord” he joined his hand before Lord Krishna.
He turned to Sudama with his grin like a yawning cow, “call for a press conference this evening, my friend, we have a new product to launch.”
That evening a large shamiana was set up before the cow sheds. Journalists from all the major newspapers sat in front of the stage, sipping on tetra packs of lassi and buttermilk, trying hard ignore the smell of cow dung wafting from the cow sheds. Mohanlal got on to the stage, “welcome everyone to our new product launch.” Mohanlal became solemn, “last year Lord Krishna visited me in a dream, he told me how proud he was of our company for making it possible for every Indian to have access to a cow. He also told me that his dream had always been to create a new variety of cow, one that would be close to his heart, one that would be the perfect embodiment of everything the cow was supposed to represent. And in his infinite wisdom, the Lord charged me with making his dream come true. I, being a humble servant, immediately set about the task of creating the perfect cow. And today, after a whole year of research and development, I am proud to announce that my company has managed to make the perfect cow. The cow of the gods, cow 2.0 if you will. Or as we have decided to name the product in honour of our lord the Krishna gai. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the black cow, the holy Krishna gai.’
Sudama walked onto the stage, he led a slender young calf. It was black as the night, with long slender horns, and large white eyes. It stood in the middle of the stage and stared at everyone.
Sudama and Mohanlal stood on either side of the calf and showed it off to the press.
There was silence in the crowd, a few coughs and mutters.
One meek journalist raised his hand, “isn’t that just a buffalo?” He asked in a meek voice.
“How dare you? How dare you say that to the holy cow?” Mohanlal shouted as Sudama covered the confused calf’s ears, “this cow was commissioned by Lord Krishna himself. How dare you question its authenticity? Its divinity? What kind of anti-Hindu anti-national company do you work for anyway?” The journalist looked flustered as he sat down. “Any other questions?” Mohanlal asked. The journalists looked at each other.
“All right then, all hail the Krishna gai.”
The crowd burst into applause.
Sudama smiled at Mohanlal as they got off the stage.
“Well played my friend…” Sudama said.
“What are you talking about….this is what the Lord wanted…” Mohanlal said solemnly.
“But of course, the Lord wanted it. And now several people do. We are already getting orders for the Krishna gai.” Sudama smiled.
“Now, who are we to stand in the way of God’s will and people’s wishes.” Mohanlal smiled as he led the Krishna gai away and patted its head.