The cow looked up coyly at me through her false eyelashes. Her golden horns glinted with the light of Surya on her forehead. The various gods and sages on her flanks looked stonily at me — Brahma, Hanuman, Saraswati, Agni, Ganesha, Krishna, Shiva, Vishnu, Lakshmi… Only the sage Narada had a cheerful smile for me.
The fact that she was boxed in a transparent cage and leg deep in money did not seem to affect the cow at all. And as for me, I stared at the cow with a touch of disbelief. You would have done the same if you saw a cow like this.
I ‘met’ or rather saw this cow last week at a highway restaurant near Sikar where I stopped for tea on my way to Nawalgarh from Jaipur. I didn’t notice the cow at first as she was kept in a dark corner and noticed her only when I heard the clink of coins being deposited in the box as I paid my bill at the counter.
After recovering from my initial surprise, I asked the people at the restaurant who said that this was a way to collect donations for a goshala or a cow shelter and such donation boxes were quite common in the area. This collection in this particular donation box went to the Govind Gopal Goshala in a nearby village.
During my recent travels in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan and in Jaipur, I saw many such donation boxes. Though I have travelled in this state before, this was the first time I had seen something like this leaving me wondering if such goshala donation boxes were specific to the region.
I spent last week travelling through the various towns of Shekhawati and exploring its unique culture, art and history. The cow in the box was just the beginning of an interesting, memorable and unique trip. 🙂
Have you seen cows (or other animals for that matter) like this?