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At the outset of the edition that you are flipping through right now we were greeted with these remarks: ‘An entire edition on the desi cow? How much can you write about it? What is there to explore about the gau mata?’ Our answer as always was, ‘Let’s discover’. So here we are celebrating the Indian cow. Now the three words that came up each time we began to ponder over the Indian cow were: Holy. Milk. Traffic Jams. So, we bring you tales on worshipping the cow, the milk products it offers and a piece on how cars came much later & how the roads belong to the cows foremost. And rightfully so.

THE TRUMPET BLOWERS EDITORIAL FIONA PATERSON KASHMIRA PATEL ART AVI GOEL KAMAINI MITTAL COMMUNICATION NAMRATA MANGHNANI

As we explored the world of bovines deeper we learnt that cows had mood swings and quirks. We mooed along. We also observed they were being illtreated (cattle trafficking) and forced to eat garbage. We realised the cow’s home turf had changed and it now lived beyond the boundaries of farms, cow shelters and villages. We wondered how the Indian cow felt about the Swiss cow. We engaged them in a ‘conversation’ and it left us amused. We spoke to men & women who are fighting for the humble animal. We learnt that the harmless cow sought nothing else but a little care. Yes, the Indian cow is not asking for us to worship it, it is just asking us to act human. Can we do that? And on a lighter note, we bring to you the charisma of the cow, on and off the ramp. We ride on the cow…err…bullock cart. We stop by to look at the cow dung cakes. And more. By the end of it, we felt 100 pages were too little to know the desi cow! Another edition, may be! Yes, the Indian cow is worth more than the image of it mooing on the greens, strumming a guitar on your tee-shirt and disrupting traffic on streets.

editor’s note

Come, discover with us! Rights: All rights reserved. The writing, artwork and photography contained herein may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of The Indian Trumpet. The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of The Indian Trumpet. All efforts have been made while compiling the content of the magazine but we assume no responsibility for the effects arising there from. We take no responsibility of the availability of the products mentioned in the various sections of the magazine. Reprints as a whole or in part can be done only with written permission from The Indian Trumpet quoting “The Indian Trumpet magazine” for texts and pictorial material. Signed articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editor. No responsibility can be taken for the loss of unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or artwork. Contacts: Purva Grover, founder & editor theindiantrumpet.com All queries to be addressed to theindiantrumpet@gmail.com The Indian Trumpet Magazine is released six times a year. It is available to the readers absolutely free of cost on the portal theindiantrumpet.com.

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Till we meet next, happy tooting.

Purva founder & editor editor@theindiantrumpet.com


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the ‘desi’ cow


Kudos to you for bringing back the Let’s fight RAPE edition. I was quite surprised to see it online on January 1. It is not everyday that one sees a magazine take a decision, which can badly affect its finances but do so much good to the society. I hope the pages reached and educated a few more minds. I am with all of you, just like every other Indian. Here’s to a safer India, where every girl and woman will feel protected and respected. Best Nitin Sharma, India ............................................................... To the editor, I recently came across your portal and I was intrigued not just by the individual pieces but also by the varied themes your magazine has covered. As a NRI, it warms my heart to see another NRI celebrating India in a such a big manner. Count me in as a supporter for all your future editions. Ramnik Australia ............................................................... I am a huge fan of all things Indian and I am writing in to say that I particularly enjoyed two of the Trumpet editions: Chai and Childhood Games. I loved the images used in both as they transported me to the times gone by! Keep up the good work. I look forward to reading as well as preserving the colourful editions of the Trumpet. I would also like to see more pieces in Hindi as well as poetry in the magazine. And perhaps, some day write for the magazine too! Soumya, India ...............................................................

trumpet followers

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The sacred one, Gau Mata. During the making of this edition, we learnt a lot about the Indian cow i.e. beyond its image as the milk-provider, the obstacle causing the traffic jam in cities, the strength behind the cart, the favourite dowry (sadly) item in the rural parts of the country... We learnt that the cow has its moods, it seeks not a ‘place of worship’ but just a healthy (sans plastic) meal... Join us to know the fun, interesting and quirky aspect of the good ol ‘desi cow!


Remember! The most easiest thing to do is : CRITICIZE!

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नाम तो सुना होगा?

All names are born equal. However some, yes some, are more equal than others. Think: Vijay and Rahul, followed by Raj, Chandni & Simran. Add to this list the Karans, Anthonys, Tinas, Poojas, Arjuns, Priyas, Kirans, Rohits and Sonias, and you’ll get Indian cinema’s most iconic names. 18

indian belly

OF MILK BOTTLES, MOUSTACHES & TREATS As Indians we begin to romance the good ol’ glass of milk at an early age. With time, we begin to relish and fall in love with the many, healthy cousins of milk too. Here’s why our milk tale will live forever.

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WORSHIPPED OR WASTED?

We explore the circumstances under which the holy cow, bereft of a clear economic or religious role, has been left to dwindle on the streets of India.

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THE WISH COW We explore the Kamadhenu or mother of all cows, who is worshipped as the divine wish-fulfilling

follow the noise

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cow goddess by Hindus. We speak about its iconography, mythological tales and religious connotations. 34

SAVE THE CATTLE India is the largest exporter of beef in the world. This beef comes from the inhuman & illegal act of cattle trafficking. An NGO, People For Cattle In India (PFCI), fights to save these cattle & more. In conversation with Arun Prasanna G, founder, PFCI.

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THE MOODY COW We explore the many ‘moo’ds of the gau mata and what efforts go into making a cow ‘comfortable’ until it exclaims ‘moo-yah!’

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‘HERD’ OF One must understand that cars and traffic came later; cows were here first.

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DID YOU KNOW? Fun & interesting nuggets about the Indian cow.

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FOR THE LOVE OF INDIAN COWS Meet Shoba Narayan, an author & columnist who spent some good time with the Indian cows.

bazaar

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Transform from a simpleton to showstopper with these buys

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Inspiration for every little corner of your home

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A few of our favourite things for your adorable angels

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tax free entertainment

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fashion fry

68

angry toot

70

our shabdkosh

THE COW CAKES Cow dung cakes, a traditional source of fuel in villages in India. COW CHARISMA Follow the fashion herd with bovine style to make a cow belle statement. The screaming headlines on gang rapes have got us fuming. Each issue, we bring to you our readers views on the topic of women’s safety, security & respect.

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THE SACRED ONE


The history and rituals of Hinduism that makes the cow the ‘Mother figure’, the venerated one. 72

over a cup of chai

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horn OK please

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the globe & the gully

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desi lit

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last word

AAJ KI GAURI Aaj Ki Gauri, (the cow of today) a threedimensional cardboard cow, who roamed the streets of New Delhi, India sought to spread the message: Don’t feed me plastic. THE BULLOCK CART Dependable, eco-friendly and humble. It paves way in the deepest of potholes. A friend of the villagers. A charmer for the city-dweller. SHADES OF SPAIN Come discover the many shades of Spain, as our writer describes her journey to the second largest country in western Europe. HOW MOW COW! When a Swiss cow meets an Indian cow: Excerpts from their conversation.

follow the noise

THE INDIAN COW An ode to cow

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t n e r e f f i D trokes ath S by Manoj N

Art | Graphics | Illustrations

manojnath4u@gmail.com | +91 9341042598 | facebook.com/DSbyMN


CHOTT

ARJUN

RAMU

RAJ ROHIT

KARAN

POOJA

RAHUL

CHANDINI

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SONIA

MOHINI

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PRIYA

TINA

SIMRAN

VIJAYA


KAKA

नाम तो सुना होगा?

ALL NAMES ARE BORN EQUAL. HOWEVER SOME, YES SOME, ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS. THINK: VIJAY AND RAHUL, FOLLOWED BY RAJ, CHANDNI & SIMRAN. ADD TO THIS LIST THE KARANS, ANTHONYS, TINAS, POOJAS, ARJUNS, PRIYAS, KIRANS, ROHITS AND SONIAS, AND YOU’LL GET INDIAN CINEMA’S MOST ICONIC NAMES. WE RECOLLECT A FEW OF THE LARGER THAN LIFE SCREEN NAMES. words ANEELA BABAR

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It’s the 1990s and we have started rethinking a couple of things. Amitabh Bachchan has set forth on his brand endorsement caravan and, for a while, the term BPL is not about poverty lines but in fact the burgeoning Indian electronics industry. Today, even though BPL may have been long forgotten (ironically, in his first commercial for them, Bachchan is listing names that have stayed with him—Don, Jai, Anthony, and yes, hold your horses, Vijay too and is struggling to recall BPL’s name), I do still remember how, at one point, Bachchan shrugged off his list of “Itne zyada naam (so many names)” with a “Khair choriye ab naam mein kiya rakha hai (what’s in a name)?” complaining about the small number of Indian names. Indian brand names that is, which is what Bachchan is carping about. How is it, he grumbles, that none have the gravitas of an international name? Sigh! Afsos (Alas). But wait. Yes, please do.

So Bachchan had his ‘Vijay’. Inspector Vijay Khanna in Zanjeer the first time we sat up and paid notice. Vijay returns in Roti, Kapda, Aur Makan. We had our favourites too - Vijay Varma in Deewar definitely. Trishul had Angsty Vijay Kumar, of course we had not had our fill of Angsty Vijay and he had another film outing in Shakti. In the meantime, there was also Hera Pheri, Do Aur Do Paanch, Aakhree Rasta, Dostana and they all had a Vijay. The Great Gambler marked the return of Inspector Vijay, only this one got up to more fun and a visa stamp on his passport! Inspector Vijay Verma also reported for duty in Akela. Shaan had Fun Vijay and Don the iconic Vijay. We will not forget Remorseful Vijay from Kaala Pathar. The “Rishte Mein Hum Tumhare Baap Lagte Hai” was the Shahenshah’s of Vijays. Senior Citizen Vijay and his Lolitaesque muse in Nishabd raised a couple of eyebrows though. And how can we ever forget Vijay Dinanath Chauhan from Agneepath; more precisely “Pura naam Vijay Dinanath Chauhan,

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But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks? Hallelujah, it is 1997 and with it Shahrukh Khan and his Brand ‘Rahul’ arrive on the scene and seventeen years later we can confidently say that Rahul has taken over the world! I am a firm believer that all names are born equal; however some, yes some, are more equal than others.

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Ek Rishta—the Bond of Love made sure Vijay continued to place his Copyright Incorporated ka chaap (imprint) on Bachchan’s career.

baap ka naam Dinanath Chauhan, maa ka naam Suhasini Chauhan, gaon Mandwa, umar chattis saal Vijay”.

Ek Rishta—the Bond of Love made sure Vijay continued to place his Copyright Incorporated ka chaap (imprint) on Bachchan’s career. Hence Vijay Singh Rajput from Aankhen and more recently Vijay Harshvardhan Malik in Rann was created. Vijay may be misunderstood, Vijay may be a riot, Vijay may be a chor (thief) and also police, but one thing is clear - Vijay definitely is India ki Shaan (pride). Shahrukh Khan’s ‘Rahul’ innings began with Stalker Rahul (a movie that has had all ‘Kirans’ being teased as “Kkkirann” or “Tu Hai Meri Kiran” at some time or the other), Rahul Mehra ushered in a new anti hero, he was no longer the Angry/Angsty Young Man but Obsessive too. Zamana Deewana had the ‘Also Was Rahul’, sorry I keep on forgetting about this movie. Yes Boss had the ‘Disease to Please Rahul Joshi’. However it was Dil Toh Paagal Hai that the (Indian) Brand Name with international gravitas that BPL Bachchan yearned for was in business. So we had ‘Love Once Again Rahul Khanna’ in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, ‘Friendly Appearance Rahul’ in Har Dil Jo Piyar Karega, ‘All About Loving His Family Rahul Raichand’ from Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, and more recently the ‘Rahul By Any Name Is As Sweet As Rahul Mithaiwala’ from


Chennai Express. Shahrukh has also had his ‘Rajs’. His first movie was actually playing a Raja Sahay in Deewana and his most iconic role will also be as Raj Malhotra in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. But somehow can you throw a self-depreciating “Rahul. Naam toh Suna Hoga?” with his Raj? Nah. Rahul and Vijay are a state of mind. And that is what Iconic Names do for us. Hindi film brand naming has extended to the work front too. If an international man of mystery had to be a Bond, ‘James Bond’, well our Man Friday had to be Kaka: Ramu Kaka. The kid working in a dhabha (highway eatery) is the Chottu who fetches tea for the sahab log (gentleman/master). ‘Basanti Tongewali’ should start checking on her LinkedIn profile any time soon. Meanwhile I hear that Virgin Atlantic announced discount tickets for the Karans, Simrans, Anthonys, Tinas, Vijays, Poojas, Arjuns, Priyas, Rahuls, Kirans, Rohits and Sonias out there. My first response: “WHAT! NO RAJ?” And by acknowledging Simran but not reciprocating with a head nod to Chandni was very, very cruel. Also Karan and Arjun eh? Mere Karan Arjun aayenge but flight 45

Hindi film brand naming has extended to the work front too. If an international man of mystery had to be a Bond, ‘James Bond’, well our Man Friday had to be Kaka: Ramu Kaka. The kid working in a dhabha (highway eatery) is the Chottu who fetches tea for the sahab log (gentleman/master). ‘Basanti Tongewali’ should start checking on her LinkedIn profile any time soon.

minutes delayed. That it is important that I bring up Chandni/Simran is that unlike the Priyas and Sonias, Poojas and Tina—there is a plethora of Poojas, Sonias, Kirans and, other than Dil Toh Paagal Hai’s Pooja, all of them are interchangeable, what with their sameness. However, there has only been one Chandni and Simran. See, unlike Vijay=Amitabh Bachchan and Rahul=Shahrukh Khan, many of the talented women who have graced the screen have tried their hat, sorry chunariya (scarf), being a Pooja without, pardon my urban lingo, “owning it”. Madhuri Dixit’s Pooja, I repeat, is an exception. Ditto when it comes to Tinas and Rani Mukherjee’s rendition being the

only one with instant brand recall. However, Chandni, ah Chandni could only have been Rekha before and Sri Devi later. Similarly there has only been one Simran (Kajol’s) that we remember even two decades later. And didn’t you miss the instant brand name that was Mohini? Like everything else with women and Indian cinema, this too needs paying attention to. Is it something in the name or is it how they are ‘drawn’ a particular way. Why so unremarkable I say? Meanwhile 1990s Bachchan from that BPL ad finally has an answer to his pessimistic Hum Mein Woh Baat Kahan. Hai ek Hindustani Naam Jis Mein Dum Hai, Wazn Hai, Baat Hai! Believe in Yourself? Oh Yes, Vijay!

Aneela Z Babar divides her time writing on gender, religion, militarism, popular culture and telling people her boy is toilet trained, sleeping through the night. She is in Delhi for the year with her husband and a boy who is toilet trained, sleeping through the night.

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indian belly

Of milk bottles, milk treats milk moustaches & more..

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s, .. AS INDIANS WE BEGIN TO ROMANCE THE GOOD OL’ GLASS OF MILK AT AN EARLY AGE. WITH TIME, WE BEGIN TO RELISH AND FALL IN LOVE WITH THE MANY, HEALTHY COUSINS OF MILK TOO. HERE’S WHY OUR MILK TALE WILL LIVE FOREVER. words PRACHI GROVER

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Milk continues to be the most loved products from the Indian cow. (Facing page) Paneer (cottage cheese) is another favourite with us.

indian belly

“Now be a good boy/girl and finish your glass of milk” is a statement most Indian kids are familiar with. From the time we are born our mothers, grandmothers, aunts and all the other elderly women in the family insist that we drink one glass of milk in the morning before we go to school and one in the evening before we go out to play. Such is the national obsession with “doodh” that the milk mooch (moustache) is worn with a lot of pride.

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Milk came in pretty glass bottles (read: what we now like to collect and term as vintage) my mother says reminiscing about her childhood. Two glass bottles were left outside the door each morning the contents of which my grandmother would empty in a big patila (large steel saucepan) and boil. She would let the milk come to boil and then leave it to simmer for a bit for it killed all the germs she would explain. Then she would wash the bottles, let them dry and at night leave them outside the door for the delivery boy to pick up the next morning. In return, he would leave two more bottles full of creamy white milk. These are my mother’s memories of milk. Before that there was the doodhwala bhaiya (milkman), she adds. He who would come home each morning carrying an aluminum container of gigantic proportion. My grandmother would tell him how many litres she required that day (the requirement changed if she expected guests) and he would measure the same with a smaller aluminum measuring jug of sorts and pour into the patila that my grandmum stood there with. Just looking at the milk being poured my grandmother would gauge if the doodhwala had mixed water into the milk (The milkmen would often add water to the milk and dupe people) and an argument would happen early morning. He insisting that he would never do that to her and my grandmum telling him off that the milk definitely looked thinner this


Dahi, malai, makhan or ghee... the milk’s cousins are loved as much!

morning and he wasn’t as smart as he thought he was. One generation later the rituals around buying milk changed a bit. My sister and I would often walk down with our dad to the Mother Dairy (a cooperative selling milk nationwide) which was at a walking distance from our home. In his hand would be a dol (steel jar with a handle to hold the milk). Upon giving the money to the dairywala bhaiya (the man in charge of the milk dairy) dad would get six tokens and hand three each to my sister and me. Now was the exciting bit. We would put the tokens into the slots of the vending machine and as soon as the token went in milk would gush out of the vending machine. It was like a gorgeous waterfall. Only this was of milk. We would wonder how this happened for it was simply magical till logic and age gave it away.

As a child I would like mine flavoured with Elachi (Cardamom) Horlicks and my sister with Chocolate Bournvita. Such was the consumption of these two brands that our mother never needed to buy a single bottle to store any of her spices, cereals and pickles. Horlicks bottles took over our home. During winters mum would make a seera (hot milk thickened with chickpea flour and sweetened with sugar and dryfruits). This concoction supposedly kept the body warm from inside. Whether it kept our bodies warm or not is irrelevant for it definitely kept our souls very happy and cosy. It was so good that we would wait for winters just to be able to drink glasses and glasses of this. In summers, it would be either fresh fruit shakes or cold milk often flavoured

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Then tokens got replaced by milk in plastic bags and then came the tetrapaks and plastic containers that are now a part of my little girl’s milk buying regimen. From getting the daily dose of milk directly from

milking the cows during my grandmum’s time to picking up your calcium from an aisle of a supermarket three generations later, the ceremonies have changed but one thing has remained constant. We Indians took our milk very seriously then and now.


The bride-to-be during her haldi ceremony surrounded by the women relatives and friends.

Dairy products Indian Name

In English

Description

Dahi

Curd

Made by curdling the milk and then allowing it to set overnight.

Ghee

Clarified Butter

Made by melting and cooking butter over low heat till the foamy butter becomes golden and clear.

Khoya

Dried whole milk

Made by thickening the milk over low heat for a very long duration.

Lassi

Buttermilk

Made by thinning the curd with water and with the addition of salt and spices.

Makhan

White Butter

Made by churning fresh cream

Malai

Cream

Indian clotted cream made by boiling the milk for and then allowing it to cool. The layer that comes on top is malai and can be removed and eaten.

Paneer

Cottage Cheese

Curdled fresh cheese made by curdling warm milk with lemon, vinegar or any other food acid and draining the liquid.

with Roohafza (Rose syrup) or Khus (Vetiver syrup).

indian belly

Milk helped you grow strong, grow taller, grow smarter and it even healed you (Read: turmeric milk). I and lot of us belong to that that era. The era before lactose intolerance became fashionable (With all due respect to people who genuinely suffer from it, there are several who like to believe that it is “cool� to have this on their resume). With milk taking care of our breakfasts and evening meals (milky chai included), the onus of lunches and dinner fell on its cousins; dahi, malai, makhan and ghee (Curd, clotted cream, butter and clarified butter). We love them to death. Plain curd or raitas (curd thinned with water to which spices or vegetables are added) are part of our meals complete with ghee laden paranthas or rotis (Indian flatbreads) or simply a dollop of it on our lentils and curries. But the ghee has to be homemade. Each time my mother made ghee at home, my sister and I would make faces and run out. The thing with ghee is you either loved the way it smelt when it was being made or hated it. We belonged to the latter. It was definitely a mesmerising process, the way the white butter melted and became foamy, the foam giving way to large and clear bubbles, the solids settling down and the foam returning which meant the ghee was ready and could be strained. A sight we loved but a smell we resented. But our

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emotions changed from dislike to those of immense love when the golden oil would sit on the top of saag and makki ki roti (cooked mustard and spinach leaves with cornmeal flour flatbread) or we saw halwa (Indian dessert made with different types of flour, sugar and nuts) slow cooked in ghee on the dining table. Like milk, the ghee too healed and still does. Dry skin in winters, mum would say apply some ghee instead of a store bought cream, my little girl crying because of tummy ache, her grandmum would mix ghee with some hing (asafoetida) and rub it on to her belly; it is was if the gau mata (Mother cow; Indians consider cow holy and give it a status of a mother) was passing on all the love and affection through doodh and ghee. The love doesn’t falter infact only gets stronger when it comes to dahi and makhan. We Indians like to make them from scratch by adding a little jaman/ khatta (a starter that helps make curd each time) to warm milk and leaving it to set overnight. The joy of this creamy well-set yoghurt was always a challenge during the winters for the temperature would be touching single digits. So mum would use a casserole and wrap it in her old shawl (warm stole) so that we got fresh curd each morning. Curd making is an art and depends on the starter you use, how much you use, the temperature both of the milk and the surroundings. No store bought plastic tubs then and even now for


(Facing Page) A dollop of butter can spark up any dish! (Below) A glass of lassi /buttermilk. (Right, top) Cheese (Right, bottom) Ghee/clarified butter

How to make Ghee at home: Ingredients

500 grams White butter or yellow unsalted butter

Instructions

many Indian households.

1. Melt the butter in a heavy, medium-sized pan on medium heat. 2. Lower the heat until the butter just boils and continue to cook. The butter will start to become foamy. Do not cover the pot. 3. Soon light brown milk solids will begin to form on the bottom of the pot. Keep scraping it with a spatula so that they don’t burn. 4. After a while the foam will go away and you will see bubbles. These bubbles will become larger and clearer and the liquid will begin to look golden. 5. Take a clean, dry spoon to move away some of the foam on top in order to see if the Ghee is clear all the way through to the bottom. When it is clear and has stopped sputtering take it off the heat. 6. Let it cool until just warm. 7. Strain it into a clean, dry glass container with a tight lid. Discard the deposits at the bottom of the pan. Note: 450-500 grams of butter will take about 15 minutes to turn into Ghee. Ghee can be stored outside the refrigerator at all time.

If dahi asks us to leave it alone to set, makhan begs for interaction. Each night mum would patiently collect the malai that would set over the boiled milk. Several nights later when she had a substantial amount to work with the malai would be churned and churned till it became lumpy, thick and glossy white makhan. Pure butter with no salt, no preservatives and no additives. These and more come to my mind when I think of the memories associated with milk and its partners. I haven’t even started talking about lassi, khoya and paneer (buttermilk, dried whole milk and cottage cheese) yet. Perhaps we will leave those for another time.

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Prachi Grover is a food maniac (read: food blogger and consultant). On days she’s not able to cook a lavish meal large enough to feed friends and family she suffers a migraine. Design is her other obsession: her home turns a new leaf every few days making you want to re-visit for inspiration. She can be found at orangekitchens.blogspot.com and purplehomes.blogspot.com.


trumpet lead Image: Tapas Kundu

WE EXPLORE THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH THE HOLY COW, BEREFT OF A CLEAR ECONOMIC OR RELIGIOUS ROLE, HAS BEEN LEFT TO DWINDLE ON THE STREETS OF INDIA words MEHAK SHARMA image TAPAS KUNDU

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worshipped or wasted? .25


I have a faint reminiscence of my grandfather narrating his childhood memories, when he had cows as pets. Milking cows and spending the entire day with the household cattle was his all-time favourite pastime, and cows were treated as a vital part of the family. From a source of milk and butter to a provider of labour and religious inspiration, cows have always played a central role in Indian society. However, nowadays the sacred animal can often be found abandoned on the streets of India. The religious history suggests the cow is a holy animal. However, a point to note here is that the Vedas do not suggest that the cow is superior to the human form of life or that it should be worshipped, rather it states that the cow should be protected since she has proven to be of practical help to human society. Majority of the Indian population continues to worship the cow irrespective of the fact that the flesh of this innocent animal has been savoured in the Indian soil from yesteryears. A veteran in history of ancient India, D N Jha presented the real picture of that time in his book, The Myth of The Holy Cow, “The subsequent Brahmanical texts (e.g. Grhyasutras and Dharmasutras) provide ample evidence of the eating of flesh including beef. Domestic rites and rituals associated with agricultural and other activities involved the killing of cattle. The ceremonial welcome of guests (sometimes known as Arghya but generally as Madhuparka) consisted not only of a meal of a mixture of curds and honey but also of the flesh of a cow or bull.” However, even after providing voluminous evidence to support his tiring research, he was opposed vehemently and was forced to publish his book outside India.

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The kind of reaction Jha’s book received was not out of love for the animal or respect for the holy scriptures: it seemed like a desperate attempt by a few attention seekers playing politics in the name of religion. One of the eminent historians in Delhi University and the author of “The ‘Early Medieval’ in South India”, Prof. Kesavan Veluthat, believed that “The value attached with the cow is not out of sympathy for animals or reverence or sacredness of cow; it is due to the fact that it can politically encash upon the sentiments of people. Certain elements of society have interpreted religion to suit their political interests. There are diverse customs relating to cows in different states of India.” Apart from playing a religious, emotional and political role, the cow in India has also shouldered the responsibility of being the backbone of our plundering economy since ages. Though we are living in the industrial age, approximately 60% of India’s total population is still dependent on agriculture. Unlike tractors, cattle with gentle gait plough the surface without much harm. As they plough the land, they defecate and urinate, thereby fertilising the land. Dung from one cow is adequate to fertilise five acres of land and their urine can protect ten acres of crop from pest attacks. Fifteen to twenty kg of bio-fertilisers can be produced from one kg of cow dung by mixing it with biomass. In 1998, India was a milk-deficient nation but it managed to surpass the United States of America as the highest milk-producing nation, thus attaining selfsufficiency: a position it holds till date.

We have endless stories that give us an idea that India is a land where cows are revered and given a status equivalent to our mothers. Yet the evidence of cruelties inflicted on them can neither be ignored nor kept hidden for a very long time.

Mahatma Gandhi once remarked, “One can measure the greatness of a nation Tapas Kundu is an IT professional by occupation and a photographer by passion. He believes that each & every moment of life can be made immortal when captured in the lens. Travel, food and music are his other loves. He currently resides in Kolkata where he gathers emotions in his frames.

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(Top to bottom) Prof. Kesavan Veluthat, author, The ‘Early Medieval’ in South India. D.N. Jha, author, The Myth of The Holy Cow. Book Cover: The Political Structure of Early Medieval South India. Book Cover: The Myth of The Holy Cow.

and its moral progress by the way it treats its animals. Cow protection to me is not mere protection of the cow. It means protection of all that lives and is helpless and weak in the world. The cow means the entire subhuman world.” Born with the fruits of obedience, we have grown up listening to the stories of the cow as a symbol of selflessness. From a glass of milk to that of butter on our bread, the contribution of the cow seems interwoven into our daily lives. However, the ominous fact remains that this mammal is not being treated the way it ought to be. “Cattle trafficking is one of the most organised crimes that has gripped our country. On an average, there are approximately 45 to 50 trucks that transport cattle from one place to another. The harassment continues throughout the journey when they are tied miserably and are often beaten up mercilessly. The most gruesome of the cruelties is applying chili in the eyes of the cattle to ensure that the cow doesn’t sleep on the way which often results in causalities,” reveals Arun Prasanna G, Founder, People for Cattle in India (PFCI), a Chennai-based animal rescue group. Every year, they are forced to produce more calves between the age of two to five years in order to replace the cows that are slaughtered and to meet the increase in demand: a process which is known as artificial insemination. Eigthy per cent of the male baby calves are slaughtered by the time they complete six months in the veal industry or within three years in the beef industry. To maximise milk production, cows are fed hormones. Modern dairy cows produce three times more milk than their natural capacity to produce milk and hence their body breaks down within five years affecting their yield significantly. They are then sent to a slaughter house or left unattended on the streets, where they roam around and gulp the filthy leftovers from the garbage box. It is horrific to note that India is the world’s second largest beef exporter after Brazil. What is more ironic is the fact that prohibition of cow slaughter is enlisted in our Directive Principle of State Policy under Article 48 of the Indian Constitution. While we are initiating a couple of steps to conserve the dwindling population of exotic species, we have failed to pay attention to the animal which demands very less in return yet provides us with our basic necessities. Perhaps, we have not lost all hope and there are some who diligently contribute as saviours. SAFAR (Sawali’s Animal First Aid and Rehabilitation), a NGO in Maharashtra, ensures the well-being of those animals that are found injured. “Unknowingly, we ignore the fact that Indian cow breeds produce the best quality milk, when compared to other breeds worldwide. We at SAFAR, don’t just provide them medical help but, after their recovery, cows are given to the farmers free of cost,” says Ganraj Jain, spokesperson of SAFAR. We have endless stories that give us an idea that India is a land where cows are revered and given a status equivalent to our mothers. Yet the evidence of cruelties inflicted on them can neither be ignored nor kept hidden for a very long time. The need of the situation therefore calls for an intervention by the animal welfare groups, NGOs, community, and other stakeholders who can provide the long sought lifeline to the priceless resource that is presently at the verge of extinction. (The views expressed by the writer are hers/his & don’t reflect that of the editor or the publication. We regret factual errors, if any.)

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Mehak Sharma is an aspiring journalist. She is currently working for a leading publishing group, India Today. As part of her job she writes on education & entertainment but she has a keen interest in politics too. She believes her creative intelligence and out-of-box thinking will help her grow as a writer.


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the WISH COW WE EXPLORE THE KAMADHENU OR MOTHER OF ALL COWS, WHO IS WORSHIPPED AS THE DIVINE WISH-FULFILLING COW GODDESS BY HINDUS: WE SPEAK ABOUT ITS ICONOGRAPHY, MYTHOLOGICAL TALES AND RELIGIOUS CONNOTATIONS. words & artwork RITU DUA

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Namo Devyai Maha Devyai Surabhyai Cha Namo Namah Gavam Bheeja Swaroopaaya Namaste Jagad Ambike THE ABOVE STOTRA IS BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN INDRA’S (THE GOD OF RAIN) PRAYER TO THE SACRED KAMADHENU (MOTHER OF ALL COWS). TRANSLATED IN ENGLISH, IT MEANS:

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The One who fulfills devotees’ wishes The One who lived as a seed in all cows, Salutations to Her, the Mother of the Universe

Ritu Dua, a banker and teacher, now focusses on what she enjoys most: art. Self-taught, her forte is mixed media. Besides her charity exhibitions, she’s worked with an NGO, shown underprivileged children how to turn recyclables into art, and volunteers at Dubai’s Al Noor School. She also celebrates all things delicious at beneathmyheartart.blogspot.

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Kamadhenu was a divine cow who was believed to be the mother of all cows and could grant any wish of a true seeker.

As per Hindu mythology, Kamadhenu was a divine cow who was believed to be the mother of all cows and could grant any wish of a true seeker. In the Vedas, cows represent wealth and a joyous earthly life. From the Rig Veda, we read “The cows have come and have brought us good fortune. In our stalls, contented, may they stay! May they bring forth calves for us, many-coloured, giving milk for Indra each day. You make, O cows, the thin man sleek; to the unlovely you bring beauty. Rejoice our homestead with pleasant lowing. In our assemblies we laud your vigour.” [Source: wikipedia] This miraculous cow of plenty, also known as a “wish cow” lives in swargalok (heaven) and is said to have emerged from ksheerasagar (ocean of milk) at the time of samudramanthan (the great churning of the ocean by the gods). It was presented to the seven sages by the gods, and came into the possession of Sage Vasishta in the course of time.

A cow is said to be the abode of all the gods, wherein every atom in her body serves as a dwelling for the 33 crore gods in Hinduism. The 14 mythical worlds are said to exist in the limbs of a cow. The spiritual significance of the cow is apparent in the use of milk, butter, and ghee in ritual ceremonies. Kamadhenu is regarded by Hindus as the source of prosperity and abundance; as a devi herself. She is also related to Prithvi (Mother Earth), who too is sometimes described as the serene, allenduring cow. To Hindus, the cow also represents purity, fertility, the ability to sustain human life and a selfless, sacrificing nature. Kamadhenu’s complexion can be described as that of white clouds – clear and soft. Every part of her body bears a religious significance her four legs embody the four Vedas and are considered to be as strong and enduring as the Himalayas; its teats represent the four Purusharthas (blueprint for human fulfillment); her horns symbolise the Divine Trinity of Brahma at the tip, Vishnu on the middle part and Shiva at the base of the horn; while the sun and moon gods reside in her eyes, Agni (god of fire) and Vayu (god of wind) reside in her shoulders. Therefore, it is strongly

believed that all the major deities exist in Kamadhenu, and hence represented such in portraits. Kamadhenu has never been venerated as an independent deity, nor does she have any temple exclusively dedicated to her. Hindus believe that the most effective way to worship Kamadhenu is to worship and respect all cows in general. Hence, cows are revered by being fed outside temples, especially on Fridays as well as on all special occasions and festivals. The panchagavya (five products) of the cow — milk, curd, ghee, butter, urine and dung — are all used in a puja (worship) as well as in rites of extreme penance. The milk of the family cow nourishes children as they grow up, and gobar (cow dung) serves as a major source of energy for households throughout India. Cow dung is sometimes used as an ingredient while preparing the tilak (a ritual mark) on the forehead. So, do you wish to have a blissful life? Then, go ahead and worship the “wish cow” !

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Lord Krishna in BhagavadGita states: “dhenunam asmi kamadhuk dhenunam”, which translates “Among cows, I am the wish-fulfilling cow”. Kamadhenu is usually portrayed as a cow with a female head and breasts. Sometimes, she is also shown as a spotlessly white cow, containing several deities within her physical structure. Kamadhenu, the “cow

of desires,” has a bovine body, a female head, polychromatic wings like a tropical bird, and a peacock’s tail.


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INDIA IS THE LARGEST EXPORTER OF BEEF IN THE WORLD. THIS BEEF COMES FROM THE INHUMAN & ILLEGAL ACT OF CATTLE TRAFFICKING. AN NGO, PEOPLE FOR CATTLE IN INDIA (PFCI), FIGHTS TO SAVE THESE CATTLE & MORE. IN CONVERSATION WITH ARUN PRASANNA G, FOUNDER, PFCI.

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words SIDDHANT SADANGI images ANIS SHAIKH


Inception...

Approach... Our focus is to approach animal welfare through legal means by taking it up with the respective government bodies. Compared to a lot of other countries, India has a set of laws governing regulations pertaining to animal cruelty as PC Act 1960. Challenges... We face immense pressure from the cattle

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I volunteered with various animal organisations in the past two decades. During one such act, I took part in a sting operation on cattle traffickers. We were a small group who used to assemble at midnight on Saturdays to take videos and observe the modus operandi of the cattle traffickers. There used to be 45 to 50 trucks per night carrying about 40 to 45 heads of cattle in each truck. The drivers and the helpers used to harass the cattle during the journey by tying them together in adverse conditions. The cattle were made to stand throughout the entire journey tightly packed. Even calves were not spared. Unable to bear the long journey that lasted up to ten hours, many of them would fall down and die. Apart from not providing enough food and shelter, the cattle were also subjected to other cruelties like being whipped, walked over, etc. I couldn’t

be a silent spectator to such cruelty and decided to stop the truck and fight against the cattle mafia with the help of a few like-minded people. Also, I strongly believe that cattle is our nation’s wealth and I was shocked to discover that India surpassed Brazil and New Zealand in beef exports! As India is a country which practices cow worship, this news came as a shocker to me and this was one of the primary reasons behind the inception of PFCI.


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A 20 year old lad from India, currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Electrical engineering, Siddhant believes in the Gandhian philosophy of being the change you want to see. A vegetarian due to ethical reasons, he is very passionate about Mother Earth and writes mostly on topics related to the environment. Although an introvert, he loves interviewing people, whom he thinks are role models for the youth, and tries to bring their story out to the world. Apart from writing, he also loves quizzing. He also writes for an official UNESCO magazine.

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mafia, and huge amounts of money and political influence play a role here. There have been many instances where we have faced threats too. Other than that, poor law enforcement and lack of support from police officials are the roadblocks. Also, since most of the rescue operations happen in outskirts and rural areas, the police are unaware of the animal laws and take a long time to register an FIR. We have gone without food and water for as long as 18 hours simply to get a FIR registered. Motivation... Each time we save 100s of cattle from the cruel guillotine, we see gratitude and love in their eyes. When we see the rescued cattle grazing green in the gaushalas (cow shelter), our morale boosts up. Sneak peek into the PFCI activities... (I) Rescue operations against cattle trafficking where a team of 10-15 volunteers gather at midnight to catch the cattle trucks and take legal action on the traffickers. (II) Legally battling out against the owner of cattle in the Indian courts and ensuring the cattle doesn’t return to them. (III) Working with government bodies like State Human Rights Commission and National Green Tribunal, and get new judgements to strengthen animal law. (IV) To intercept and shutdown operations of illegal slaughterhouses and rescue the live animals present there. Cattle vs. other animals... Agriculture is India’s back bone and cattle are a very crucial part of Indian agriculture. Cows largely contribute to the human community in our everyday

life by giving us milk. Their dung and urine are said to have environmental & medicinal properties. Apart from logical reasoning, cows are child-like animals that don’t even scream while being killed but simply break into silent tears when death is just about to engulf them. To date we feel it’s one of the most abused animals and that is why we have dedicated our organisation to these humble and noble species. Future… Our short term goals include making a movie to create awareness, conducting focused campaigns on illegal trafficking, vegetarianism, ban of illegal slaughter, etc. Long term goals include setting up a state of the art animal shelter for cattle with a hospital with all facilities and an ambulance. Message… The young generation is the only hope of eradication of animal cruelty in the world. Little things matter: We can all make a difference by contributing in terms of knowledge-sharing & volunteering to create awareness.

People for Cattle in India was founded in October 2012 and became a professional body in February 2013. The organisation focuses on curbing illegal cattle trafficking that has been happening in different parts of India. It seeks to promote animal welfare and prevent animal cruelty, especially focusing on, but not limited to cattle. It aspires to create a social climate where animals live peacefully without exploitation. To know more write to them at peopleforcattleinindia@gmail.com or follow them here: facebook.com/Peopleforcattleinindia

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Anis Shaikh loves travelling in rural areas where life is hard and earning a crust is a challenge. His ‘IN PURSUIT’ series, including the image used here, was shot during 6 years of roaming by bike nearly 2 lac kms. He’s mastered post processing and editing, and has 3 lac views on his 500px portfolio. An avid biker, Auto-Journalist for a well known media house, an instrumentation engineer by profession and he’ll be completing his post graduation in Design. Find him at: 500px.com/annishaikh1990, fb.me/annishaikh1990, annishaikh1990.500px.com and weddingreels.in


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MOO C WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THAT BENEATH THAT CALM, BLACK AND WHITE SILKY EXTERIOR, THERE IS A BOILING MASS OF EMOTIONS? WE EXPLORE THE MANY ‘MOO’DS OF THE GAU MATA AND WHAT EFFORTS GO INTO MAKING A COW ‘COMFORTABLE’ UNTIL IT EXCLAIMS ‘MOO-YAH!’

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words NAMRATA MANGHNANI


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ODY COW


India’s love affair with the humble Indian cow is well known. It considers the cow as a sacred animal and worships it as Gau Mata (holy cow). Serving as an eco-system for rural India, the cow is best described by Ogden Nash as “of bovine ilk, one end is moo and the other milk”. But there are other indigenous uses of a cow as well – cow dung is used as a cooking fuel and for waterproofing walls and floors of rural houses, cow urine is considered an elixir of life and is used as a natural remedy for liver and heart conditions, etc.

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There are many ‘moo’ds of a cow – ranging from happy to agitated. And why won’t there be, after all, cows have feelings too – especially for grass! Most people assume that cows have five senses, but they are mistaken. Similar to humans, cows have six senses – they can feel pain and form relationships. The only difference is that they cannot speak like us. Emotions in animals were first described by Charles Darwin in 1872. In 2009, researchers at Newcastle University in UK interviewed 516 farmers, only to discover that farmers who named their cows, and hence treated them as individuals, got more milk from the animal than those who didn’t. In 2011, a researcher at The University of Northampton in UK suggested that cows have complex social and emotional lives. The research indicated that

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their heart rates go up when they are separated from the herd and they also form strong bonds with certain animals. Cows, in general, don’t like to be prodded. This is the reason why Taurus, the sign associated with the bull, is concomitant with being stubborn. A cow prefers to walk at its own pace, grazing lazily in grassy meadows. Cows are also known to be selfsufficient animals. Once farmers raise them, they will wander around the neighbourhood and come back only for water or to sleep. The average Indian cow gives ten litres of milk per day, but a ‘happy’ cow is guaranteed to give more milk and consecutively, fresher paneer (cottage cheese)! If you see a cow wagging its tail, it means it’s in the ‘relaxed’ mood. And once a cow reaches its ‘comfortable’ state, farmers breathe a sigh of relief as they are certain they will get tasty milk in return. A post-pregnancy Indian cow is a huge moody animal, similar to humans. It also seems to be attached to its calves and might develop a fever and withhold milk throughout the lactating cycle (approximately 300 days) when it’s sad that its child has been taken away (which is usually the case for a male calf). Given that most milch animals live for only 15 lactation cycles, a significant chunk of income might hence be lost. However, the emotional memory of cows is for a shorter time span than humans. Calves that are separated from their mothers are said to quickly forge new connections with other cows. And their mothers will only miss the calf for some time, but will adjust rather quickly as compared to a human mother who has been separated from her baby. An ‘angry’ cow is one to be avoided at all times – woe betide if anyone gets in the way of a protective mother and its calf, it will toss them for a six! It may kick when it’s angry while one is squatting and massaging its teats, thus making the entire process difficult and time-consuming. Subsequently, it might just produce phata hua (sour) milk! Murrah buffaloes from Haryana, prized for their high-fat milk, are harder to milk because

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they are moodier animals. Many dairy farmers get the calves to suckle the cow for a couple of minutes first and then continue milking it. Or they tie the calf in front so that the mother can lick and fondle the calf during the milking process. There are an estimated 123 million milch cattle in India and dairy farmers are acutely aware of, and palliate, a cow’s mood. Taking care of a cow’s moods is both an economic necessity and a spiritual calling for these farmers. The cow is plied with goodies, such as watermelon rinds, pineapple peels, mango seeds, fresh greens, grains, jaggery water – all of which do for bovines, what pizzas do for children nowadays! Cows are said to possess a keen sense of smell, wherein they can smell things from miles apart. Hence, farmers try to scent the air around cows in gaushalas (protective cow shelter) with eucalyptus oil. It’s said that at the Dakshineswar Adyapith Temple in Kolkata, cows are prepped with bhajans (devotional songs) before they are milked. This act aims to soothe the cow, and be ready for milking. It begins with the bhajan ‘Jaago Mohan Pyaare’and believe it or not, the cows let out a happy ‘moo’ as the flute starts playing! The ‘komal re’ and the ‘komal ma’ in the sargam (music), is said to have a therapeutic effect on humans but one has to see it to believe the effect it has on ‘Krishna’s wards’ in the gaushala. They close their eyes and stand completely still, as if mesmerised by the soulful music. Brahmachari Mural Bhai, chief monk of Adyapith, once commented, “It is wrong to think of cows as mere milking animals. Hindus consider cows to be sacred and worship cow as Gau Mata. We try to keep them as happy as we can.” After an hour of music therapy, when the milkman milks them, the cows happily submit. “It will be difficult to quantify the increase of milk production as the result of the music, but I can tell you that there has been substantial growth.”

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In addition, ceiling and pedestal fans are placed all over the cow shed to keep the cows comfortable and free from flies and insects. The cows also go through a regular regimen of massage and bath to keep them fresh all day long. Now that we have an insight on the many moods of the ‘sensitive’ Indian cow, and what one can do to enhance it, we need to be more empathetic towards the treatment of cows. And the next time you use a cow’s tail to ward off nazar (evil eye) on your child, make sure the cow is in a good mood – otherwise your kid may be prone to ‘moo’diness. Do not complain that you hadn’t been warned then!

Namrata Manghnani believes she’s a permanent tourist: she loves to explore the world and gets fascinated by the little things in life. Born and brought up in Dubai, she graduated in Finance from Manchester, and changed career paths, recently. She enjoys writing about emotions, dances for inspiration, and aspires to be an author. She possesses an eye for detail: would never miss a fluttering butterfly or a grammatical error. She is now freelancing for magazines and newspapers, and growing as a writer with each word she pens down.

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, A I D N I LIKE Y R T N OU

IN A C

CATTLE DISRUPTING

TRAFFIC IS TOTALLY

H E RD

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ONE MUST UNDERSTAND THAT CARS AND TRAFFIC CAME LATER; COWS WERE HERE FIRST. THEY HAVE FULL DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS TO SIT, SLEEP AND SAUNTER ON AND OFF THE ROAD. IT’S THEIR HOME TURF. words NASRIN MODAK images DAVID TURNER & MM

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Image courtesy: flic.kr/p/gCMRyh

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We coexist. These blessed bovine beings live along with us mere mortals in the cities, as part of the whole. Just like one observes beautiful cows grazing serenely in picturesque meadows of Europe and Australia; spotting a cow in rush hour traffic is the postcard perfect Indian street. They have full democratic rights to sit, sleep and saunter on and off the road. It’s their home turf.

forever. Again, it’s a mark of respect. At a red signal, we may stop inches after the zebra crossing but if a cow crosses, we’d give it half a mile space to do so. One would chase away stray dogs but never cows - just one of the few examples of our complicated relationship with religious inspirations. In India, you don’t mess with ‘Godly’ things.

And we have zero qualms about it. Indians worship cows - they are the revered lot for thousands of years now. It’s a common sight to see people touch it and then their forehead and then touch their lips in quick succession, as a sign of respect. They may have total disregard for fellow humans, but cows they love. One must understand that cars and traffic came later; cows were here first. Which is why it makes perfect sense to let them roam unharmed, grazing or chewing their cud unmindfully from the roadside grass brinks (if any) or on stale vegetables thrown out by street sellers. Plastic, though harmful is sadly on their menu too. Total hazards of urban living, but then, where do you get them ghaas poos from no?

There is even an Android game called Traffic Cow where a cow is stuck in traffic and you need to help the cow navigate through to reach its baby – we totally relate with it you see. It’s business as usual on everyday streets.

Nonetheless, they still are heeded by one and all. While everyone would grumble and honk hard if a poor punctured car disrupts traffic for a mere five minutes, we are totally cool to stay in an hour-long jam caused by some humble cow on the lam. Like all rightful residents, they are pretty used to the traffic and the rhythm of the city, so it is upon the drivers to brake suddenly, and wait for them to cross first - even if it takes

Now since India is home to 30 per cent of the world’s cattle with 26 distinctive breeds, it is little wonder then that some of our boulevards be filled with half-dozen hump-backed creatures of all shades and sizes (some with fancy ribbons on their dainty horns…totally the ‘in’ thing in cow fashion for centuries now and others with small cowbells around their necks). It’s a metaphor in the movies to show that a person has landed in India. Cows and calves merrily eating the contents of an overflowing garbage can, while you accidently step on their neatly dropped cow pies is the only time you secretly feel they should live in villages but you wouldn’t dare say so. They are an integral part of our chalta hai culture. If its homeland, you wouldn’t notice, if you are a good tourist, you’d click pictures and continue to stay amazed because this my friend, happens only in India! Image courtesy: flic.kr/p/7iV3VG

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Nasrin Modak-Siddiqi is a writer, foodie, traveller and movie-buff. She has many stories, some real, others figments of her imagination. On sabbatical from full-time scribing, her current motivators are good trips, meals, books or movies. She writes fiction, clicks photographs and edits old ones to add drama. Find her at continuumera.blogspot.com.


At Orange Kitchens we believe that children who are more involved in preparing food are more likely to try out new flavours on their plates, respect their food, respect where the food that they eat comes from and in the process wipe their plates clean. When we teach them “real� cooking we talk about where that dish came from (history & geography & learning about different food habits), we follow a certain method (science and following instructions), we are measuring (maths), we are trying to choose the right ingredients (lessons on nutrition and using fresh produce), we share how our elders would always make it or how each Diwali/Christmas/Eid our parents would eat this as a kid (getting to know their family and their traditions better) and of course each time we cook we encourage them to add their special little touch to it... replace that chive with basil, chocolate chips instead of vanilla, serve it differently (getting creative and adventurous)... now that is quite a lot of learning while putting together just one simple dish. While the kids think we are just here in for some fun! For all this and more, send your kidlets to become a part of the food lessons at Orange Kitchens.

Call +971554193522, drop a line at orangekitchens.blogspot@gmail.com, or visit us at orangekitchens.blogspot.ae


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WHILE KIDS VALUE THE COW FOR HELPING TO CREATE THEIR FAVOURITE ICE CREAM THE ADULTS WORSHIP THE ‘GAU MATA’ (HOLY COW/COW MOTHER) AS THE SYMBOL OF LIFE. HOWEVER, THERE ARE MANY QUIRKY AND INTERESTING ASPECTS THAT WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT THE INDIAN COW. words NAMRATA MANGHNANI “Cows are excellent recyclers,” states Dr. Mark Alley, DVM, a professor of bovine health at North Carolina State University. “A lot of by-products in the manufacturing of things like beer, candy bars and potato chips, which would otherwise end up in landfills, are actually an excellent feed source for cattle.” Quite interesting, isn’t it? We have gathered ten fun & informative nuggets about the Indian cow. Read through.

There are more cows in India, than there are cars in the United States India has more cows than any other country, with the total standing at 280 million (281,700,000) cows. That’s more than a quarter of the entire world population of cows in just one count (28.29% to be precise).  The Indian cow population is higher than the USA car population, which stood at 246 million cars at the end of 2009.

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There are 26 distinctive breeds of cow in India, but most are not dairy breeds An Indian cow can be distinguished by its hump, broad snout with flared nostrils, long ears and bushy tail but they usually are not dairy breeds. In most regions, when an Indian farmer needs a steady, high-quality source of milk he usually invests in a female water buffalo. In India, the water buffalo acts as the specialised dairy breed because its milk has high butterfat content than zebu milk.

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Cows are social creatures These extremely social creatures don’t like to stay alone, and are often seen in groups or herds. If you see a cow isolated, she’s either not feeling well or she’s about to give birth. Cattle are colour blind but possess a panoramic vision In the sport of bull fighting, a bull’s attention is caught by the fluttering of the cape, rather than the colour of the crimson flag waved by the matadors in the rodeo ring. Cows are said to have a panoramic, 360-degree vision, which allows them to guard themselves against predators or humans from all angles. So be careful, if you’re trying to sneak up on them!

The Gau Mata (holy cow) can help ward off evil eye Mothers in rural villages often take their children to cowshelters, to ward off any evil eye that may be cast on their child (usually when the child is sick). The tail of a black cow is considered as a sacred body part, and the child is literally smacked on the head with it to remove any kind of buri nazar (evil eye). Also, Gau mutra (cow’s urine) is mixed with distilled sea water and sprinkled all over the house if a family member is suffering from any kind of chronic illness. This method is said to burn the evil eye and its resulting illness. In some places, a pregnant woman is confined in a room that is smeared with cow-dung and small wet cowdung cakes are stuck on the wall of the entrance to the room in order to avert any evil spirits and prevent harm to the mother and baby.


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Gifting a cow as dowry is the norm in rural India Of all gifts, the cow is still considered the highest in rural India. The Puranas, ancient Hindu scriptures, state that nothing is more pious than the gift of cows: “There is no gift that produces more blessed merit.” Lord Rama apparently accepted a dowry of thousands of cows and bullocks when he married Sita.

Indian cows enjoy chewing Cattle are herbivores that eat vegetation such as grass, plants & corn. Since they don’t have upper front teeth, they press their sharp bottom teeth against the top hard palate of their mouth to cut efficiently through blades of grass. An Indian cow spends 6-7 hours a day eating cud and around 8 hours on chewing it. Due to a high metabolism rate, the average cow consumes more than 100 pounds of food per day and drinks up to 35 gallons of water every day; their stomachs have four chambers which help break down what they eat.

Cows can run faster than horses in deep mud and can walk up the stairs

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In deep mud, cows are said to run faster than horses at 35 miles per hour. Their feet do not sink or get stuck as their cloven hooves and toes are spread out evenly, unlike the solid-foot horses. Cows can also walk up the stairs, but they have difficulty coming down as their knees cannot bend properly.

Cow’s milk serves as an antibiotic

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It’s interesting to note that cows do not produce milk until after they have given birth to a calf. After delivery, they produce milk which is often referred to as amrit (nectar). This is because ancient scriptures mention that when the sun’s radiation falls on a ‘Suryaketu’ nerve on a cow’s back, it absorbs the harmful radiations and produces milk that is slightly yellow in colour, which in turn acts as an antibiotic and heals all ailments in a human’s body.

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Cows are revered at various festivals In the Hindu tradition, the cow is honoured, garlanded and given special feedings at festivals all over India, most importantly the annual Gopashtami festival (festival of cows) and Mattu Pongal. Colourful cow jewellery and clothing is sold at fairs all over the Indian countryside, thus demonstrating how dearly Hindus love their cows. All cows are adorned with kum kum (red pigment) and their horns are gilded. Hindu children are taught to adorn the cow with garlands, paint and ornaments from a young age.

(Complied using various sources from the Internet)

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Namrata Manghnani believes she’s a permanent tourist: she loves to explore the world and gets fascinated by the little things in life. Born and brought up in Dubai, she graduated in Finance from Manchester, and changed career paths, recently. She enjoys writing about emotions, dances for inspiration, and aspires to be an author. She possesses an eye for detail: would never miss a fluttering butterfly or a grammatical error. She is now freelancing for magazines and newspapers, and growing as a writer with each word she pens down.


for the

INDIAN

MEET SHOBA NARAYAN, AN AUTHOR & COLUMNIST WHO SPENT SOME GOOD TIME WITH T OF COW SHELTERS IN INDIA & MORE...BUT MOSTLY ON HOW SHE

trumpet lead

words VISHAL BHEERO •

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love of

N COWS

THE INDIAN COWS. SHE TALKS TO US ON HOW TO JUDGE A COW’S MOOD, THE CONDITION FEELS THAT THE COWS ARE VERY PEACEFUL & LOVING ANIMALS.

• image AYANDRALI DUTTA Captured by the photographer on her trip to Churu, a city in the desert region of Rajasthan, India

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A sneak peek into the time Shoba spent in the world of moody bovines & quirky dairy farmers How does one introduce Shoba Narayan? Author and columnist, she has an unflinching passion for cows and her heart beats for them. The first words she weaves to describe her love for the mammal: “I didn’t plan to like cows. I would’ve preferred to fall in love with a tiger or elephant but unfortunately, they are not accessible in urban India.” The winner of the Pulitzer Travelling Fellowship at her Alumni at Columbia Journalism School, Shoba describes herself as a ‘trapeze artist or standup comedienne’. She has been a columnist for publications such as New York Times, Wall Street and Washington Post and is an author with two memoirs to her credit, Monsoon Diary: A Memoir with Recipes and Return to India: An immigrant memoir.

trumpet lead

Shoba related her experience of buying an Indian cow in ‘The Cow Chronicles’ at Livemint.com. Here, she shares anecodtes from the time she spent with the cows. At the gaushala (hostel for cows) in Bengaluru, she was greeted by 400 moody calves, quirky dairy farmers and a mix of Holstein-Friesian cows, desi breeds & bulls. During her interaction with the secretary of the gaushala society, Kishenlalji Kothari, Shoba learnt that “As Indians, we (the caretakers of the gaushala) consider the cow as a sacred animal and try to save it from butchers every single day. There is not a

single person who hasn’t used a cow product.” When asked about the need for more gaushalas to provide a proper shelter for the cows, Shoba quips, “Gaushalas aren’t the perfect solution, but they are all India has at the moment.” Shoba insists that one should speak to the caretaker of the cows before jumping to conclusions on the treatment of cows. She agrees that space is tight in gaushalas. “The solution would be to migrate some of them to rural settings, but again, who pays for this? I’m not sure that high authorities are involved in the running of gaushalas,” she opines. Upon enquiring about how to judge a cow, Shoba affably says, “I am not an expert at judging cows.” But she gives us a quick peek on how to assess a good cow. “From what I saw, you have to open their mouth and check the teeth cum & see if the tail is wagging,” she says. In one of her chronicles, she talks about how there is no space for the new born calf named Alfie in the cowshed owned by the milk lady, Sarala. They debate at length on whether Shoba should take Alfie in her building or send her to the gaushala. At first, Shoba refuses to bulge and takes Alfie’s side as she is disheartened because the newborn is being separated from its mother. Her main argument: The male calf Alfie, doesn’t offer a future return on

Vishal Bheeroo worked as a journalist for three years in an English newspaper based out of Mauritius. He holds a bachelor degree in Economics. He loves to write & blog about all things related to India. He loves Indian cinema and dreams of making a short film, someday. He is currently working on a rom-com novel and a script for a short film. He is a huge Amitabh Bachchan fan. He loves poetry, travelling and reading. He is currently based out of Mauritius but has plans of returning home, someday soon.

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COW CHRONICLES

On her preferences for nutritional versus organic milk, she states, “I am not an expert on the

The Cow Chronicles by Shoba Narayan (right) is an interesting account of her adventures as she enters a world of moody bovines and quirky dairy farmers. It gives readers a glimpse of the animals and farmers that live just under India’s teeming metropolises. It is a light read.

nutritional value of cow milk. But, I know people

Read them here: goo.gl/fS8EnA

another of her chronicles, she recalls meeting Sarala

who are lactose intolerant and have switched to soymilk instead. Organic milk is certainly an option that everyone should consider, given the amount of hormones injected into these cows.” Shoba has nurtured a strong bond with the milk-lady Sarala ever since she first moved to Bengaluru. In every single day and buying milk from her. She also recollects how Sarala asked her for a loan to buy a cow. “I can afford to give Sarala 40,000 INR loan but

investment, unlike a new born female calf who falls at the bottom of the hierarchy and is tolerated on account of providing future return on investment. When asked, how easy it is to bond with the cow, she goes on to describe cows as, “by and large peaceful and non-violent animals. One gets attuned to a cow by spending time with it. Most milkmen and milk women know about cows and can talk about each personality!” She mentions that the cost of maintaining a cow depends on rural or urban set up. “I would guess that it would cost 5,000 to 10,000 INR approximately a month in a city set up.” She is against the idea of having imported and cross-bred, Holstein-Friesian (HF) cows on Indian streets. Making a strong pitch, she explains, “HF breeds can’t stand the heat and dust of Indian roads. As with food, local is better. Desi (local) cows have been bred in India for centuries and are in sync to the climate and environment here. The only hitch is that they give less milk than Holstein cows.” She insists, “In the long term, local cows are better for dairy farmers. But, given that these cows live pretty much from hand-to-mouth, they are unable to see the long-term value of desi cows.”

I don’t want her to think that ‘I can’. I don’t want her to view me as her sugar daddy, or mummy in this case. So I exaggerate existing alibis: home loans, defaulting payments, ageing relatives.“ You have your jewels with the pawnbroker. I have a home loan that is hanging like a noose around my head,” I say, to which Sarala replies, “You have bungalow-sized problems. I have hut-sized problems.” Sarala is just one of India’s countless urban dairy farmers: people who own herds of cows in the middle of large cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru. Shoba mentions, “I share a wonderful chemistry with Sarala. She is happy, optimistic and often a humorous person. It is very relaxing to spend time with her.” Farmers are not too keen to learn new methods or be flexible when tending to cows, according to her. This is something she attributes to the busy life they lead. “Their energies are taken up from dawn to midnight, running the show of caring for cows and stuck in the daily business routine.” She believes that a farmer who has cows or livestock will find ‘getting a Sunday off’ a luxury. “For most urban dairy farmers, there is no time to take education lessons,” she signs off.

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Ayandrali Dutta is a fanatic when it comes to travelling. On days when she doesn’t answer our phone calls we know that she is on board a bus, train or plane! She loves being a journalist for it allows her to meet new people. Her other big love is food. Join her on a voyage at ayandrali. wordpress.com


bazaar

This tailored black velvet jacket is part of the Jack Reid Marylebone range and perfect for the festive season. Wear it with a black velvet bow tie and wool black trousers from the same brand for the dapper look. Available at bhs.co.uk

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Make this silver plated bracelet from M&S part of your core accessories collection. Time to shimmer, we say. Available at marksandspencer.com


Keeping true to Twisted Soul’s pursuit of accessible menswear the latest addition to the TS stable, Twisted Soul Heritage draws inspiration from vintage design elements with a modern twist. Available at blueinc.co.uk

What could be lovelier than a beautiful splash of colour in an exciting Oriental peacock print? With deep panels of lace at the angel sleeves and V-neckline, this exclusive nightdress from House of Bath is a dreamy delight in easy-care polyester satin. Available at houseofbath.co.uk

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{ { the COW cakes

THE COW DUNG CAKES (TRADITIONALLY MADE FROM COW/BUFFALO DUNG) ARE MOULDED BY BARE HANDS (A CURVATURE THAT ALLOWS STICKING TO WALLS) AND ARE USED AS A FUEL IN OUR COUNTRY FOR COOKING MEALS IN A DOMESTIC HEARTH, CHOOLAH. ONCE DRIED, THEY ARE PUT IN A PILE AND COVERED WITH A THATCH, A COMMON SIGHT IN NORTH INDIA (MOSTLY: UP, PUNJAB AND HARYANA). IT’S AN EASY WAY TO DISPOSE COW DUNG, IN ADDITION TO BEING A CHEAP FORM OF FUEL. ONE CAKE ON AN AVERAGE GIVES 2,100 KJ WORTH OF ENERGY: THE CAKES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FOR TRADE & SELL LIKE HOT CAKES (PUN INTENDED)! words & artwork SANKET B JACK

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​ anket B. Jack is an engineer by degree, MBA by profession and cartoonist by passion, S portraying society’s idiosyncrasies and ignorance through his images. He believes as much in the power of a smile as he does in satire: ‘it takes 43 muscles to frown and 17 to smile but only one to criticise’. Find him at facebook.com/Jackartoons


Today, I call Sydney home. Before this, Mumbai was my home for two and a half decades. At times I do miss the chaos, colour and noise of Mumbai but all I need to do to travel back is close my eyes then I can feel the rain on my face while standing at Marine Drive and can recollect the moments of eating a warm and buttery butha with my friends. Today, I feel fortunate to be able to take in the best of both cultures. I have taken some parts of my Indian upbringing that have served me well and still do and let go off others. I have adopted some exciting parts of the local culture of Sydney too. That is the good part of experiencing two different cultures.

home away from home INDIAN MOMS CONNECT HAS A SIMPLE DREAM: TO CREATE AN OPEN SPACE FOR MOMS TO SHARE THEIR ADVENTURES, CHEERS & COLLAPSES IN MOMMYDOM. THEIR COO AARTI IYER, A YOUNG MOM HERSELF, INVITES ALL MOMS TO JOIN HER IN THIS JOURNEY. READ ON.

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As an NRI, I have realised that I do not have to give up one culture for the other. I realise that lots of people crave for this uniqueness - the unique experience of living and loving two very different cultures and being able to use the strengths from both. As Pandit Nehru once said: “Culture is the widening of the mind and of the spirit”. For instance, when I was studying at the University in Sydney I aced the closed book exams, given my background of textbook and rote learning. So all the years of cramming for exams and the important value of “focus” that the Indian system imbibed in me worked in my favour. Writing long assignments was a paradigm shift and so was sifting through academic journals. After initial apprehension and paranoia I found myself navigating and making thrilling choices. I make an effort to enjoy the best of both worlds. At work, people from the Indian culture are perceived as hardworking and industrious. This expectation always gave me a boost to work harder but like the local culture in my new home I too have learnt to prioritise personal life. Currently, I am enjoying the ‘work from home’ culture, which my sister back in India tells me is just about taking off there. And it goes without saying but one of my favourite current projects is sharing my perspectives at Indian Moms Connect (IMC), a virtual global community that brings together Indian mothers. So, if you are a mom come join me. I am sure you will love what we do and the tales we tell! Image courtesy: FaceMePLS (flickr.com/photos/faceme/5326356611/)

Aarti Iyer, the author of this piece is a mom to a five-year-old girl. She credits her daughter for the daily lessons on wonder, adventure and excitement. When not playing the COO Aarti can be found relishing food, indulging in music, studying French, collecting trinkets and reading books. To know more about her & the venture drop by at indianmomsconnect.com.


fashion fry

Heidi Embroidered Cow is made with hand embroidered leather combinations. She is life size. (carolavandyke.co.uk)

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cow charisma

FOLLOW THE FASHION HERD WITH BOVINE STYLE TO MAKE A COW BELLE STATEMENT words NASRIN MODAK

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(Clockwise) Cow plush cushion (George at ASDA), Emerald Studded Cow Women’s Watch (indiacircus.com) & Wilko Confetti Cow Canvas Pink (wilko.com)

fashion fry

Tap into your animalistic style with an alternative to the usual leopard, zebra, or snake design styles make room for cow prints. These minimalistic black and white or brown and white patterns look fun, flirty and stylish. They have that real Holstein look that can’t be missed nor can be mistaken with a Dalmatian one with enlarged dots. Whole-cow motifs seem to be au courant and designers are not limiting them to night wear with cows strumming the guitar or mooing in the lawns. Homegrown designer Masaba Gupta has used the motif on saris, jackets and tunics, which have been worn by style conscious celebrities like Sonam Kapoor, Neha Dhupia and Tisca Chopra. It’s a classic Masaba. Globally too, fashionistas are sprucing their wardrobes with this burgeoning print trend. Pieces from designer Whit Pozgay’s Fall 2014 collection at the New York Fashion Week featuring the cow print were the toniest in the show. Pozgay thinks the bovine beauty has a Rorschach-esque feel to it and it will be at the top of everyone’s wish list this year. The cow motif nappa leather dress from Moschino and cow print shorts and skirt from Zara are an eclectic mix of quirk and high street. “The most important rule here

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is to wear the right size of the print for your body type so that it compliments it. Team with contrasting colours to break the monochrome monotony of the print,” says independent fashion stylist Nirali Mehta. Designer Farah Sanjana adds, “Rock the cow print with a pair of pop coloured strappy sandals and an oversized clutch and you’ve got a fab look.”

Mooing stuff

When it comes to fashion accessories, dogs maybe a little more popular but the cow isn’t left behind either. A tiny dose of the print can spruce up a drab outfit and add a unique spark to any wardrobe. Think cow print shoes from Shelly London or a pair of blackand-white cowhide boots. A cow-shaped clutch is an instant icebreaker at a trendy soiree. “If you are still not sure about wearing print, try a printed accessory. A great clutch or a fabulous shoe for women and a tie or socks for the men can add that quirky touch to an otherwise understated look,” adds Nirali. Krsna Mehta’s India Circus supplies emerald-studded cow men’s watch, cow hand-block printed Mal stole and mystic cow ties. A wide assortment of cattle-inspired accessories is available at Claire’s, including earrings of black and white cowbells as well as entire miniature


(Clockwise) Holy Cow Flat Cow Festival Wellies Knee High Rain Boots in Blue (spylovebuy. com), Jalebi Emerald Studded Cows Iphone Case (indiacircus. com), Bone China Beef Mug (afarmersdaughter.co.uk) & Amara - Cow Skin Mixed Rugs - Normandy Multicolour (amara.com)

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Design by Marcantonio Raimondi Malerba, by Seletti: Cow Sending Animals Wooden Furniture. This cow-shaped cabinet offers all the aesthetics of a traditional shipping container from the natural wood panels to the wood board frame.(yliving.com)

cows. A leather bracelet in soft cowhide leather can look equally elegant on both sexes. From horn bangles and chic rings to eye-catching necklaces and earrings, Zanaa, a Ugandan company creates some startling cow horn jewelry. Cow slippers with horns are popular too. The Disney fictional character Clarabelle cow, one of Minnie Mouse’s best friends, makes for a good charm for your bracelet.

fashion fry

‘Udder’ stuff

Bovine images are everywhere. From earrings and boxers to aprons and furniture - cows are the ‘in’ thing nowadays! ‘Sending Animals wooden furniture’ by Seletti provides a cow shaped cupboard designed by Marcantonio Raimondi Malerla that can be used to hold a range of items in the dining room or office

and is guaranteed to draw attention from guests. Play Clan makes iPad sleeves and diaries with Gau mata (holy cow) on it to be used for a kitschy office day. A Canadian ice-cream company ‘Cows’ (cows.ca) is so obsessed with the bovine that they even make t-shirts, oven mittens, whisks, egg timers, pot holders, kitchen aprons, shopping bags, magnets, playing cards, calendars, golf balls tumblers, key chains and toe socks…all with cow motifs! There are plenty of ways to go bovine, especially since the appeal of the cow is wide and enduring. It’s easier for us to relate to the cow either in a loud or an understated way. May be it has got to do with our agrarian roots, because deep inside, we know this is a cow’s country!

Nasrin Modak-Siddiqi is a writer, foodie, traveller and movie-buff. She has many stories, some real, others figments of her imagination. On sabbatical from full-time scribing, her current motivators are good trips, meals, books or movies. She writes fiction, clicks photographs and edits old ones to add drama. Find her at continuumera.blogspot.com.

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How many times have you looked at the world and wished to change it for the better? Because this can’t be the world you leave behind as a legacy for the generations to come, right? It’s time to stop wondering and start doing. And yowoto.com is the tool that helps parents build the world they’ve always dreamt of.

build a better world YOWOTO, A PLATFORM DEDICATED TOWARDS RAISING & NURTURING CHILDREN, BELIEVES THAT ‘THE CHILDREN OF TODAY ARE THE WORLD OF TOMORROW’

When founders Nikhil Mathur and Nikalank Jain decided they wanted to do something to change the world for a better tomorrow, one very simple thought struck them—the children of today are the world of tomorrow. And so they set out to create an online and offline eco-system that brings together parents, caregivers, educators, doctors, experts and anyone else involved in the raising of a child, and encourages them to communicate, connect and exchange thoughts and ideas on child rearing. To make raising kids easier, because there is strength in numbers and raising the leaders, thinkers and architects of tomorrow’s world is not a mean task...Thankfully, while the road may be long, the supporters are many! One year into this mammoth community-building project, yowoto.com has already garnered over half a million page views and a quarter million visitors. With India’s top parenting bloggers like Kiran Manral, Shantanu Bhattacharya, The Mad Momma, etc. top lining their contributors pool, world-class educators like Swati Popat Vats lending their unequivocal support to their CSA awareness initiatives and personal, heart-rending essays pouring in from moms and dads from across the country, it is no surprise that yowoto is already being recognised as a thought leader and a platform that creates cutting-edge and formidable content in the parenting space. Several yowoto articles have been republished by international publishing networks like Huffington Post and iVillage. And in November 2014, yowoto.com was amongst the 1,200 startups from 94 countries to be selected for Alpha, the early stage startup track at the Web Summit, one of the world’s biggest annual tech and investor summits. And the most beautiful part is, they’re uniquely and proudly Indian. With three crore Indian parents online, yowoto.com is a mouthpiece for all those Indian voices that have been floating around the West for a long, long time, fragmented and without anyone paying much notice. It is an attempt to unite these voices to bring about an actual, measurable change in the way kids are raised. Because, like they say, there is strength in numbers.

To know more: yowoto.com

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angry toot

WE’RE ANGRY AND WE DON’T WANT THIS ANGER TO DIE. WRITE TO US AT THEINDIANTRUMPET@GMAIL.COM. WE PLEDGE THAT WE WILL KEEP THE ANGER ALIVE IN EACH AND EVERY ISSUE OF THE INDIAN TRUMPET MAGAZINE.

angry toot

as told to MEGHA SABHARWAL There are seasons. Natureholics note the differences between summer, autumn, spring and winter. Fashionholics fixate on Winter, Spring/Summer and Fall/PreFall collections. And Indians have come to expect the scam season, the rape season, the bomb season and the murder season… these seasons, too, shall pass? Unresolved? Once upon a time everyone in India was obsessed about kids falling into pits. The whole nation prayed for a child stuck in a pit as troops tried to save his life. Did no one fall in a pit after that? Were all the manholes covered over? Who knows? We all moved on. The obsession moved to incest victims. The newspapers splashed gruesome tales. Did hands cease straying where they shouldn’t, after that? We don’t remember. We all moved on. A 23-yearold was gang raped. The rape continued: a 6-year-old, then a 45-year-old, and now a 22-year-old. Soon we won’t remember them, either. We’ll just move on. But now should be the season of anger, and action. LET’S NOT MOVE ON. DON’T LET THIS SEASON PASS.

Aditi Sidana

The patriarchal system prevalent in India is disturbing to say the least. At work, it exhibits a deeply misogynistic behavioural pattern which is troubling and highly unnerving. The notion that women are weak is damaging enough for the female psyche. Add to that the nasty sentiment that women folk are not good enough to handle the same workload as men or are not worthy enough to command equal levels of salary, and the picture gets very bleak. It is commonplace to treat female coworkers with a certain cavalier attitude that would never be tolerated if the genders were switched. Everyday sexism is a very real thing, and needs to be checked right away!

Megha Khandelwal Violence against women is an essential issue that needs to be defied in societal norms. Violence in any form – be it physical, sexual or psychological - strikes women across every religion, ethnicity, social and economic class. We think that education can prevent violence against women in our nation but there are some educated people posted at reputed positions who practice violence on women in their homes. Women need to know about their rights and be aware of government customs concerning violence against women in order to protect themselves.

Anil Jatika

In recent times, our girls don’t have the freedom to live the way they want to and roam around without any fear. I am not concerned which government comes to power and who becomes the PM; my only concern is that our girls get freedom and they don’t have to fear anyone. For this, education plays a key role. It is very important that we educate our girls and boys so that they can be enlightened with positive thoughts and build a great future for themselves.

(Please note: The views expressed by readers in this section are solely theirs and don’t reflect that of the editor or the publication. These are original pieces/words sent by the readers, and are being ‘printed’ as ‘submitted’. We don’t edit these pieces to confirm to our views, writing styles, grammar rules & more.)

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Indian the

a bi-monthly e-magazine for NRIs

theindiantrumpet.com

A SPACE WHERE WE MAKE NOISE ABOUT ALL THINGS INDIAN

AN E-MAGAZINE THAT CAPTURES THE COLOUR, CULTURE AND CHAOS OF INDIA THAT NRIs CRAVE AND MISS, ONCE EVERY TWO MONTHS

JUST CLICK AND READ FOR FREE Blow the trumpet with us!! To advertise, mail us at

theindiantrumpet@gmail.com 70 MM. INDIAN BELLY. TRUMPET LEAD. FASHION FRY. DIARY OF AN INDIAN. DESI LIT. TAX-FREE ENTERTAINMENT. TRUMPET BAZAAR. THE GLOBE & THE GULLY. HORN OK PLEASE. OVER A CUP OF CHAI. TRUMPET TELLER. ANGRY TOOT. OUR SHABDKOSH. IDHAR UDHAR. LOUD TOOT. LAST WORD. TRUMPET TASTES.

Website: theindiantrumpet.com Blog: theindiantrumpet.blogspot.com Facebook: facebook.com/TheIndianTrumpet|Twitter: twitter.com/happytooting E-mail: theindiantrumpet@gmail.com


holy cow,

the sacred one THE HISTORY AND RITUALS OF HINDUISM THAT MAKES THE COW THE ‘MOTHER FIGURE’, THE VENERATED ONE words BINDIYA FARSWANI image HENDRIK TERBECK (Image courtesy: Hendrik Terbeck: flic.kr/p/chmHud)

our shabdkosh

India is known for its veneration for cows: Cow is to Hinduism what sheep is to Christianity. India is home to approximately 30% of the world’s cattle; amongst the 26 distinctive breeds of cows, the hump, bushy tail & long ears distinguish the Indian cow. The term for cow in Sanskrit is gau and all knowledge in Vedic culture begins with the word Ga. Hindus worship cows because by nature and action they’re perceived to be sattvic (pure) - one of the main tenets of Hinduism. This argument is bolstered by the fact that besides milk, curd and butter, cow’s urine and dung is also believed to purify the soul and cleanse the body. Even the dust from the footprints of cows bears religious significance. The milk from cows is believed to promote sattvic qualities; the ghee is used in ceremonies and in preparing religious food. Cow dung is used as fuel, fertilizer, a disinfectant in homes & its urine is used during religious rituals as well as for medicinal purposes. This sacred creature symbolises strength, wealth and selfless giving. These virtues can be traced back to Vedic times. In fact, Hindus believe each cow is home to around 330 million gods and goddesses. Moreover,

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Lord Krishna, the divine charioteer, was also a cowherd in his childhood. Together, the cow and bull are strong symbols of dharma (the eternal law of the cosmos). Cows were venerated as Mother Goddess in the early Mediterranean civilizations as well. Since Hinduism is based on the concept of omnipresence of the divine and the presence of soul in all creatures, there’s no greater sin for a Hindu than killing a cow. Consuming beef or veal is sacrilegious for Hindus. Various images of cows painted on the walls of caves during the Stone Age have been discovered in Central India. Besides Hinduism, cattle are considered

sacred in religions such as Jainism and Zoroastrianism too. Gifting cows is still a tradition in rural India, with the cow being adorned like a bride. India is also home to more than 3,000 institutions known as gaushalas, which shelter old and infirm cows. This treasured creature of India gives various products and, in return, receives love. Mahatma Gandhi venerated cows so much that he once said: “I worship it and I shall defend its worship against the whole world. The central fact of Hinduism is cow protection.” He baptised them, “The mother to millions of Indian mankind.”

...yet, the prey Approximately 75% of Indian leather from cows comes from illegal sources. Thousands of cows are transported to West Bengal and Kerala for slaughtering, where basic animal protection laws are ignored. An increasing number of cows are milked by machines to extract more milk from them than they would yield naturally, with the workers leaving the machines running even after milk has been extracted and causing the animals pain. Cows are also forced into yearly pregnancies: after giving birth she is milked for 10 months but is artificially inseminated during her third month so that she is milked even when she is pregnant. (Various sources on the internet)

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Bindiya Farswani is driven by wanderlust and ‘Carpe Diem’ (‘Seize the day’). Of Indian origin, but raised in Dubai, she’s optimistic, philosophical, creative and adventurous. Having cerebral palsy, she attended Dubai Center for Special Needs School, pursuing further education to match her excelling capabilities via a home schooling program from Keystone National High School, USA. She believes words can’t express the magnificence of her charismatic persona and unique, kaleidoscopic life.


over a cup of chai

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THE HABITAT OF THE INDIAN COW HAS CHANGED: THE COW NOW LIVES ON OUR STREETS AND FEEDS ON THE GARBAGE THAT WE THROW. AAJ KI GAURI, (THE COW OF TODAY) A THREE-DIMENSIONAL CARDBOARD COW, WHO ROAMED THE STREETS OF NEW DELHI, INDIA SOUGHT TO SPREAD THE MESSAGE: DON’T FEED ME PLASTIC. words VISHAL BHEERO


Logo of the project: Aaj Ki Gauri

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over a cup of chai

Meet the three-dimensional cardboard cow Aaj Ki Gauri, who roamed the streets of the Indian capital in July 2014 to concoct a tale of love and sprinkling affection in return. What she asks is not worship, but respect, good treatment and abundance of love. Aaj Ki Gauri is the brainchild of New York based Sunjam Kaur and her New Delhi based sister Sehaj Kaur. They launched the project intending to change the mindset of people who ill-treat cows. We get talking to Sunjam to know more. Explaining the origin of the concept Sunjam says, “It all started when I visited India in May 2014. What I saw on the streets completely changed my vision. On one hand Indians claim to worship this magnificent creature, and the very same people let the Gau Mata (Cow, our mother) feed on garbage?” She says most of us who live abroad take pride in our country, but the reality is quite disturbing, “It becomes difficult as Indian citizens to represent our nation globally with an unbiased perspective when we witness such painful and filthy sights.” She adds that everyone in India wraps their (compostable) waste in plastic bags. Neglected cows forage for food, and end up eating plastic bags in hopes of getting to what’s inside them. And of course the result of this is fatal – they choke to death. And if they don’t die right away, their milk gets toxic and ends up killing their calves or the humans drinking it. Speaking about her life in New York, she shares, “I was intrigued by the concept of segregating waste and recycling during my first

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Aaj Ki Gauri roaming the streets of New Delhi

Sehaj Kaur, Founder, Public Relations and Communication Head & Blogger for the project

Both children and adults were shocked to know that the cows feed on garbage.


Sunjam Kaur, Founder, Concept and Logo designer for the project & Installation artist

year in college. Sadly, this culture is nowhere to be seen at the household level collection units in India. Here, even the industrial sector does not properly dispose the disturbing amounts of plastic used and this completely messes up natural balance at more than one level.” And this is why Sunjam decided to become a crusader for the ironic issue of the most sacred animal in India. “What better way to do it than do it through art?” she asks. Speaking about the creative process of Aaj Ki Gauri, Sunjam describes how the skeletal frame of the sculpture was fabricated using double and triple corrugated cardboard. It was then bulked with newspapers and plastic bags entirely collected from Indian households, thus symbolising the current situation in hand. You can “see” how all the poor cow gets to eat is garbage (paper and plastic). The poster for the project reads: I am Gauri, “Gau Mata. Your worshipped me. But, now you don’t. You feed me plastic. It kills me inside. I want to show you what it’s like...” She blames ignorance as the main culprit, “One thing I’ve learned is that most people look the other way when it comes to public responsibility, but a great number of people are astounded when told about the harsh consequences of their actions as irresponsible citizens. People are keen to learn. We just need to give them a chance.” Gauri roamed New Delhi, stopping at major roundabouts to make people aware of the situation she is facing, making her debut at Nehru Park in July 2014. So far she has visited many other spots in New Delhi like Khan Market, Punjabi Bagh and Hauz Khaus Village. “When people heard the name ‘Aaj Ki Gauri’ they instantly connected it to the divinity of the cow,” she says. People felt sympathy and expressed guilt when told that dozens of kilos of plastic is dissected out of the corpses of these innocent animals. Gauri had the best time in November 2014 at Connaught Place. “The artists and art enthusiasts gathered and it led to the idea of ‘on the spot sketch the cow in charcoal’ which was pretty successful,” she recalls.

‘Aaj Ki Gauri’ not only touched the hearts of mature adults, but also of young street kids. “The minds of kids are malleable and they can be easily influenced with an intriguing thought.” Has she faced the ‘I-couldn’t-care-less’ attitudes? “We don’t expect anyone to start worshipping cows all over again, that would be silly. We just want to make them understand that neglect has led to cows flocking the streets. The cows’ habitat has changed and they need to look for food in public spaces. They scavenge for food in dumpsters. It really is a matter of survival,” she says. Apart from showcasing the plight of cows in the country, Gauri is also about promoting art and making it accessible to the common man. For Sunjam, Aaj Ki Gauri has become more of a symbol. They are not just plastic cows to her. “Aaj ki Gauri symbolises our actions, the results of our acts as citizens of this country, and everything in between. Aaj ki Gauri is the mistreated animal, the suppressed woman in this patriarchal society, the morality exhausted in the corruption,” she adds.

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Vishal Bheeroo worked as a journalist for three years in an English newspaper based out of Mauritius. He holds a bachelor degree in Economics. He loves to write & blog about all things related to India. He loves Indian cinema and dreams of making a short film, someday. He is currently working on a rom-com novel and a script for a short film. He is a huge Amitabh Bachchan fan. He loves poetry, travelling and reading. He is currently based out of Mauritius but has plans of returning home, someday soon.


INSPIRATION FOR EVERY LITTLE CORNER OF YOUR HOME

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Get your hands on this stylish set featuring four hand wash tumblers with real platinum detail that will give your home a metropolitan look. Available at next.co.uk

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Light up your space with this striking mirror from Village Home. Designed to reflect light into the room it’s tailor-made for giving off a feeling of extra space and brightness. Its highly decorative nature means that this mirror will become a focal point to any living space. Available at furniturevillage.co.uk


Add a modern touch to your home interiors with this Haig side table by Andrew Martin. Featuring an unusual step design, this lacquer side table has a glossy finish and sports a double ‘S’ shape, making it a great contemporary addition to any room. Available at amara.com

Collage style, multi photo frame with fifteen frames abstractly put together to create a stunning centre piece to the room. The Rubix frames can be joined together to create a larger multi frame, giving you the freedom to create the shape and size you like. Simply fit the frames together and hang in position. Available at oliverbonas.com

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B


THE BULLOCK CART: DEPENDABLE, ECOFRIENDLY AND HUMBLE. IT PAVES WAY IN THE DEEPEST OF POTHOLES. A DRIVE ON THE RURAL HIGHWAY IS INCOMPLETE WITHOUT ITS SIGHTING. A FRIEND OF THE VILLAGERS. A CHARMER FOR THE CITY-DWELLER. words CHHAVI BHATIA

What does the letter ‘B’ stand for? Those among us who wanted to be a bit different, and wanted to try something other than ‘Ball’ for the letter ‘B’ usually came up with ‘Bullock’. That of course led to the bullock cart - the humble mode of transport of a simple farmer- ubiquitous and always dependable. Thinking of bullock carts always reminds me of our beloved Malgudi Days, with Swami and his friends, sitting on a brow-beaten cart, legs dangling, plotting some new mischief, unmindful of the cruelties of an adult life. India is a land of farmers, where agriculture is the main source of income for a sizeable population that still lives in villages, and these carts and bullocks play a vital role in contributing to the prosperity of the land. While we do see cars running through narrow alleys of villages as signs of modernity, bullock carts still remain the most dependable mode of transport. Bullock carts pave way in the deepest of potholes, a fixed character of our roads. And the strong bulls pull

ullock cart

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B

Mention the word ‘village’ to an Indian and he is likely to visualise lush green fields and a bullock cart ambling along on the unpaved dirt road leading up to them. Let your imagination run wild and add the sound of gently tinkling bells to the scene. Even those of us who have never actually visited a village will think along these lines, thanks to stories from our grandparents and more so to Bollywood where scores of movies have been shot in this exact setting. The bullock cart is a given where there is an Indian village concerned.


ELSEWHERE IN THE WORLD

horn OK please

the cart and its occupants through the most stubborn of slush. In villages where roads still remain kacha (unpaved), these carts are the villagers’ best friends. Sometimes, the carts also serve the dual purpose of being a mobile house with thatched or bamboo roofs. I have a vague recollection of visiting my maternal uncles’ home in rural Gujarat, and seeing folks travelling to and from nearby villages or even to some distant cities in their carts. These have eventually given way to tractors and jeeps, but we still see the occasional bullock cart every once in a while. In fact, no drive on a rural highway is complete without a sighting or two of a gaon ka chhora (village boy) and gaon ki gori (village girl) reining in the bull as they gallop away in their carts. Bollywood has celebrated bullock carts in old movies, usually with the hero romancing the heroine with a ride in his cart. The heroine’s doli (palanquin) leaving

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In Costa Rica, it was an important means of transport from1850 to 1935. In 1988, the traditional ox cart was declared as National Symbol of Work by the Costa Rican government. In 2005, the “Oxherding and Oxcart Traditions in Costa Rica” were included in UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The traditional ox cart parade is an important feature of Costa Rican parades and traditional celebrations.

RURAL TOURISM

Riding on the uniqueness of this mode of transport, especially in the light of fast life, some state governments are also cashing on it by making it a significant part of rural tourism. In Jharkhand, tourists are taken around in a decorated bullock cart at Amadubi, an art village in Ghatsila sub-division of East Singhbhum district, to make them experience rural life in the state.

CART LIBRARY

Primarily used as a means of commuting, bullock carts have also been used to house libraries! South Asia’s first mobile library was started in a bullock cart around 82 years ago by S.R. Ranganathan (SRR), President of Madras Library Association (MALA).


The oldest, most reliable and ecofriendly vehicle has still not ridden into oblivion in a bullock cart was also a permanent fixture in many old Bollywood flicks. The classic Mother India, apart from Nargis’ iconic scene of tilling the land using a hal (plough), had quite a few romantic scenes of Raj Kumar and Nargis on the cart, before the hero succumbs to Lala’s (Kanhaiyya Lal) evil designs. Manoj ‘Bharat’ Kumar also made good use of bullock carts in movies like Upkaar and Purab Aur Paschim. While Bollywood has graduated to BMWs, Audis and choppers, bullock carts still find a place of pride in many regional movies with village fields as the backdrop. Made of wood and iron wheels, villagers generally keep their bullock carts rustic and earthy looking. However, during celebrations of the festival Onam when Kalayottom (bullock racing) takes place in Kerala, the animals are beautifully decorated. Their

horns are painted with a rainbow of colours, and the cart, including the wheels, is also painted with great care. Farmers worship the tools of their trade during Onam, and displaying beautifully decorated carts is part of the ritual. Flowers and embroidered cloths are also used to add some zing to the wooden carts. They swell with pride as their prized possession draws ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from fellow villagers. A popular means of recreation, the Supreme Court has recently imposed a ban on bullock races citing cruelty towards the hapless animals as the main reason. However, these races have been held almost religiously in rural parts of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, and residents of Punjab have also hosted such races during Kila Raipur games. Such is the popularity of the race that thousands of rupees are placed on bet every year. Farming tools and technology have developed just like everything else, slowly replacing bullock carts with tractors and other tilling machines. Yet, the oldest and most eco-friendly vehicle has still not ridden into oblivion. It still makes its presence felt across the country with much aplomb. Today, they are used in smaller towns though, and are referred to as tongas (buggies). In the streets of Mumbai, Victorias of Mumbai (horse carriages) are still used for tourist purposes and while cars worth lakhs zoom by, this mode of transport makes heads turn as it moves at its own pace, not wee bit competing with the fast city life, both the owner and the vehicle happy with an unhurried, tranquil existence. So while all of us may zoom around in Audis or feel uber rich and classy in a Mercedes, the romance of a slow, leisurely bullock cart ride cannot be replaced with something that goes 120kph. These vehicles have an old world charm to them, one that invites us to stop and smell the flowers, to see life pass by, at least once.

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Chhavi Bhatia ventured into journalism early on life; after many years working on leading English dailies, she realised the profession is more about the proverbial nose for news than being creative. She now indulges in poetry, some serious blogging, music, cooking and buying books, which gives her a far better high than the yellow metal.


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sha


Abundant sunshine, crystal-clear waters & stunning scenery: The Balearic Islands are an archipelago of Spain, a haven for wildlife fans, party goers and foodies.

ades of spain

DISCOVER THE MANY SHADES OF SPAIN AS OUR WRITER DESCRIBES HER JOURNEY TO THE SECOND LARGEST COUNTRY IN WESTERN EUROPE - A BEAUTIFUL, INTERESTING AND DYNAMIC COUNTRY. WHILE MADRID AND BARCELONA ARE HIP AND ENERGETIC CITIES, GRANADA LENDS A MOORISH TOUCH. VALENCIA IS A GREAT PORT TOWN THAT HEAVES WITH CROWDS DURING THE ‘LA TOMATINA’ FESTIVAL IN BUNOL, AND ONE CAN TAKE A QUICK EXCURSION TO THE CANARY ISLANDS OR IBIZA TO PARTY IT UP IN STYLE!

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words DELNA PRAKSHAN


the globe & the gully

Street Style: Discover the charm of Madrid by walking its street. Have a coffee, shop or just sit back to admire.

If you’d mention Spain to any Indian after 2011, they’d talk to you about the country with much familiarity. This wasn’t due to the heavy discounts on holiday packages to Spain that year; in fact, its popularity grew thanks to the Bollywood release, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.

next two years. I was there to attend university, unable to understand a single word of Spanish - nada - and very little idea of what the future may hold. But using Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara as a reference point, I reckoned I’d have plenty to look forward to: faces, landscapes, drinks and festivals.

Shot in various Spanish cities, the film was a blockbuster hit, and according to CNN travel it hiked visits from India alone by 32%, especially to its more scenic locations. Coming from Madrid and experiencing total immersion into the Spanish culture for two years, I can assure you there’s more to the country’s culture than flamenco dancers.

Wine & dine like the Spanish

As I stood with my suitcases staring up towards my second floor apartment on Calle de Lagasca 117, a little street in the Salamanca district, I couldn’t help but think how Madrid would change my life over the

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This is a country that really treasures its food. One of the first things I noticed was that every outing had to revolve around authentic Spanish cuisine and great wine. The Spaniards are famed for their skills at making wine: grapes are grown in some of the world’s finest vineyards which are dotted all around the country. Wherever you are in Spain, you’ll find great local vino which is very reasonably priced. Even nonwine drinkers find it hard to resist ordering a glass,


(Clockwise) A building in Granada, one of Spain’s most spectacular historical World Heritage cities. The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia. The Plaza de Espaùa (Spain Square) in Seville, a landmark example of the Renaissance Revival style in Spanish architecture.

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With its laid back attitude, plentiful sunshine, plush parks, fascinating neighbourhoods, bustling marketplaces and great dining: Spain has a lot to offer.


especially since they have seen the Spanish swirl, sniff and slurp their favourite potions, and savouring familiar bursts of regional and vintage flavours. Tapas are the next best finds in Spain. Typically speaking, they’re bite-sized appetisers that the Spanish enjoy over a couple of drinks in pubs and restaurants. Aceitunas (olives stuffed with bell peppers), queso manchego (cheese from the La Mancha region, drizzled with olive oil), calamares (fried or sautéed calamari), chorizo (spicy sausage cooked in wine), croquetas (potato-filled, breadcrumbed fried rolls), patatas bravas (fried potatoes served with spicy tomato brava sauce) and gambas (prawns sautéed with garlic) are among the most popular.

the globe & the gully

Churros is a speciality the Spanish love for breakfast. These deep-fried dough pastries dipped in thick hot chocolate are a must-try, perhaps as a late night snack at the very famous (since 1894) San Gines in Puerta del Sol, the plaza at the very heart of Madrid.

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Spain’s most famous dish is paella, a rice preparation with mixed seafood that originated from Valencia. Served in a traditional flat pan, its distinctive saffron, olive oil and garlic flavours are enjoyed all over the world.

The road less travelled All around Madrid, Spain’s capital and its largest city, are little towns and provinces that are easily accessible by road. Each area is highly distinctive in terms of landscape, culture and even dialect. After Madrid, Barcelona is the next most famous tourist stop, known for its sandy beaches and famous Gaudi architecture. Join walking tours, shop in Las Ramblas or simply bask in the sun. Next in line are cities such as Seville, Toledo, Malaga, San Sebastien and, of course, Costa Brava, where Abhay Deol (character name Kabir) chose to scuba dive. No prizes for guessing what I did here! Taking a scuba diving course may have been clichéd, but the


open water divers’ license was well worth the effort.

up the entire town with splendour.

Living it up like the Spaniards

The land of crazy festivals Spain’s festivals and events are embedded in history and folklore. Awareness about the La Tomatina (tomato throwing) festival hit the ceiling with the flick: one of the songs was shot with the festival as a backdrop. The week-long over-ripe tomato fight takes place in a small town called Bunõl. The festival of San Fermin (the running of the bulls) in Pamplona is a truly dangerous way to score an adrenaline rush, but one that sees over a million fiesta-goers scrambling through the streets every year. Las Fallas, which literally translates as ‘The Fires’, is a Valencian festival to celebrate the feast day of St. Joseph, patron saint of carpenters. People build huge puppets made of cardboard, paper, wood and fireworks, which are set on fire after five days, lighting

The Spanish people sure know how to party! While interacting with the Spanish, you sense that life is a fiesta for them, apart from their mid-day siestas (those legendary afternoon naps), socialising with friends after work over wine and tapas is a common sight. Family life is a very important aspect of the social fabric though; Spanish families celebrate togetherness by having at least one meal around the same table every day, or gathering for big dinners at weekends. With its laid back attitude, plentiful sunshine, plush parks, fascinating neighbourhoods, bustling marketplaces and great dining, it’s not difficult to see that Spain is radically different from its European neighbours. Viva la Vida amigos!

The Aqueduct of Segovia (the aqueduct bridge) is one of the most significant and best-preserved ancient monuments. It is also one of the most photographed spots of the destination.

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Spain’s most famous dish is paella, a rice preparation with mixed seafood that originated from Valencia. Served in a traditional flat pan, its distinctive saffron, olive oil and garlic flavours are enjoyed all over the world.

HOW TO REACH

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• There are direct flights from all major cities in the world offered by many airlines a few being Jet Airways, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Turkish Airlines. The major airports that receive international flights in Spain include Madrid & Barcelona.

WHERE TO STAY • From the enchanting Basque country in northern Spain to the cultural melting-pot of Andalucia: the accommodation options are plenty, with homestays, hostels and hotels galore.

BEST TIME TO VISIT • The months of April, May, June, September, and October are very good for travel. Summer is quite hot, especially in inland cities like Seville, Cordoba, and Madrid. The months of July and August are very crowded in resorts along the

Mediterranean, so early reservations for hotels are required for these areas. May and October are the best months, in terms of both weather and crowds. If one wants to visit cities in northern Spain, such as San Sebastian, Oviedo, and Santiago de Compostela and the rest of Galicia, the months of July and August are the best. Barcelona, the Costa Brava, Valencia, and the Balearic Islands are best from May to September. The Costa del Sol and Almeria are the best places to visit during winter.

QUICK TIP • Most restaurants have a cheap ‘menu of the day’ during lunch around $8-10 USD. They are a good way to save money on food and taste delicious Spanish food. Also, get city passes if you plan to do a lot of sightseeing: they are a good investment. All the major cities have multiple museums, attractions, and activities. Getting a city pass can save you up to 20% on these activities and get you free transport.

Indian in origin, Delna was born and raised in Dubai. A true vagabond by nature she loves experiencing world cultures through food and travel. She is a World Food Travel Association (USA) Certified Culinary Travel Professional (CCTP). Visiting Antarctica and publishing her own book are both on her bucket list. “My life isn’t perfect – but I’m grateful!” is her mantra. Meet Delna as she blogs at discoverspice.net and thenomadthinks.wordpress.com.

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The

Indian Trumpet Loud, louder, loudest... Let's make some noise! We'd love to hear from you. Write in to us with your suggestions at

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A FEW OF OUR FAVOURITE THINGS FOR YOUR ADORABLE ANGELS

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The Meadow Stripe Duvet Cover Set in a lovely palette of pink is perfect for your girl’s room. It features flowers, butterflies and birds. It is made from soft 100% cotton percale and is available in two sizes. Available at marquisanddawe.co.uk


Make sure her feet sparkle with these glitter brogues featuring sequin glitter uppers and matching silver ribbon fastenings. The brogues are a fun update for autumn. Available at f-f.com

We all need a good start to the day and who better to start it with than the man himself, Mr Homer Jay Simpson. The officially licensed egg cup and toast cutter are a fun way to enjoy breakfast. Remove the top of his head to reveal a large empty space, which is what we would expect to find in Homer’s head. Use the toast stamp and cutter to create delicious bite size dunkable pieces of toast with some of Homer’s infamous quotes printed on them. Available at red5.co.uk

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A Swiss cow came to India to visit the famous Taj Mahal in Agra. She woke up, took a bath and wore a beautiful bell on her neck and left for her destination. While walking towards the Taj Mahal she found an Indian cow wandering on the streets, she was lovely to look at but wasn’t well decorated, nor clean. So the Swiss cow walked up to her and struck a conversation about her lifestyle in India.

words AMIT GUPTA theindiantrumpet.com

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Swiss Cow: “Hey, what’s your name?”

saw a mark of dung on Gauri’s back .

Indian Cow: “My name is Gauri. What’s yours and where are you from?”

“Gauri, my dear, did you not take a bath today? Why do you look so unkempt and dirty? That’s not hygienic! Look at me, so neat and clean. And see my beautiful bell, I got this from the airport. They even gave me a special price. Isn’t that wonderful!” Rosy exclaimed.

Swiss Cow: “Mine is Rosy. Stylish name, isn’t it!” Gauri: “Very.” Rosy: “And yes, I am from Switzerland.” Gauri didn’t ask whether her name was stylish or not! She knew hers was beautiful. So she just smiled at Rosy.

desi lit

Rosy was charmed by Gauri’s simplicity and shy nature. Rosy surprisingly said, “Gauri, don’t you have a home? Why are you wandering in the streets?” “Oh I do have a home, but I like to wander from dawn till dusk. I hear you are not allowed to walk freely on the streets in your country. That’s a shame. If we the milk givers are not allowed to roam freely and eat grass from whichever field we like, what’s the point of being a cow. I pity you my dear.” Gauri winked. Rosy started looking for an answer and just then she

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Gauri nodded her head and replied, “Rosy, here the villagers buy me lovely bells during festivals, I have quite a few at home. During festivals they walk me to the Ganges or the Yamuna, give me a nice bath in the holy water. And you know they worship me too as their Mother. I so love it. Would you like to see my bells? My house is not very far.” Rosy started wondering, how come the dirty Gauri gets so much love and care while she doesn’t even when she is prettier and cleaner than her. She knew that people in India use cow-dung to make dungcakes. So she thought to throw that as a shame. “Gauri, why are the roads full of your dung everywhere we go? You shouldn’t paint the streets dirty with your shit!”


Swiss Cow: “Hey, what ’s your name?” Indian Cow: “My name is Gauri. What ’s yours and where are you from?” Swiss Cow: “Gauri, don’t you have a home? Why are you wandering in the streets?” With this remark Rosy thought that she has now put a full stop to Gauri’s greatness, as she wasn’t able to take it anymore. “Oh dear girl, I don’t like to shit in one place. It’s so boring. I don’t know how you guys do it, or even the humans for that matter. I like to roam around and do it anywhere I like. Plus you know my dung is used for making dung-cakes, which is used as fuel. So it’s my duty to do it at different places so that more people have access to it. I call this freedom. Hahahaha.” Rosy was turning red due to the excessive heat and also due to her conversation with Gauri, which she was losing. “Gauri, do you give chocolates too or only dung?” “Of course I do. You see that chocolate-looking boy there. He has grown-up by drinking my milk. He is my master’s son. Girls adore him for his chocolate-boy looks. Just sometime back he was roaming around with some Swiss girls. So you see even girls from your country like him.” “And if you mean other kinds of chocolates, I give them too, and I sell them at cheap rates. I hear your chocolates are very expensive.”

Rosy started laughing and kissed Gauri, “You are too sweet and funny Gauri. I want to see your house and exchange my lovely bell with one of yours. Would you take me to your place?” “I would love that dear. You know we are the same species but in different parts of the world. And one day I would love to come to your country and roam around freely with you. I do have a passport, but guess I would need a visa for that. I so wish the world was one big lush green field or a never ending street, and we could have walked anywhere we liked without any passport or visa.” Gauri kissed her back and said. “I shall send you an invitation letter. It will be easier for you to get a visa then.” [winks] And this time when the people who collected her dung would cook food, it would result in Swiss cowcakes.

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Amit Gupta plays the quintessential corporate guy, but at heart he’s a poet, writing secretly for a decade and longing for places where all horizons meet. At the moment he’s busy penning lyrics for a friend who’s putting them to music, and donning the hat of an auteur, with three plays under his belt. He loves freezing time with his camera and dabbles with the piano too. He dreams of the day when he can take recitals of his work on tour around the globe.


last word

xkSekrk

words ANJANEYA SARANGI image SUBODH PATHAK

Anjaneya Sarangi started writing poetry at the age of ten. Other than poetry he is fascinated by piles of books, smell of rain and charm of journeys. Currently pursuing his further studies this 20-year-old from Sambalpur (Odisha) continues to write poems, read books and make travel plans.

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Subodh Pathak is a software engineer by profession, and a photographer and travel enthusiast by passion. He believes that beautiful memories can be preserved in good clicks. He loves the drama created by the lens and light. For him photography is a great stress buster. His works can be found here: facebook.com/subodhPx


To order your personal & bulk print copies of �e Indian Trumpet magazine write to us at

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March-April 2015  

Celebrating the Indian cow. We bring you tales on worshipping the cow, the milk products it offers and of course, a piece on how the cars ca...

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