Rahul da Cunha: Lock, Livestock & Barrel

Apr 30, 2017, 06:01 IST | Rahul da Cunha

Illustration/Uday MohiteIllustration/Uday Mohite

So, I was talking to my gang of cattle chums the other day. These are a bunch of cows, bulls, oxen and calves I've known for a while. We hang out mostly at milk bars or watering holes like TGIF (Thank God It's Falooda).

My pal Buddy Guy mooed, "Doodhs, this new diktat of the government, to give us all an IUD to avoid smuggling, is weird... What's the story?"

His mate, Cow Sway retorted, 'Accha Mr Dyslexia, first of all it's not IUD... IUD is an anti-pregnancy coil. This is UID — a Unique Identification code for us."

The eldest in the group, Bo Vine, said to Cow Sway, "Yeah, yeah, stop being anal, bro. We know what it is, and, if you're being specific, actually, it's UIN... Unique Identification Number."

The youngest, Jack in The Ox, panicked. He said, "All our vital information will be stored and available to see — age, breed, sex, height, body colour, horn type, special marks... Hell, they'll know my lack of educational qualifications, criminal record, countries last visited, PAN card number, passport details etc!!!" Buddy Guy stopped him, "You have a criminal record?"

Ox was sheepish. "Well, not criminal, exactly, but I bought the Geography and Biology ICSE papers. Also, I was in a police chowki for one night for skinny dipping off Chowpatty beach."

The Big Moose of the group, Bos Taurus, said, "I'm nervous. What if they put all of us through a full body check-up — lipid profile, my cholesterol levels are quite high. I have been eating too much red meat, not enough intake of fodder for roughage."

Chelsea Cowasji, the philosopher of the group, muttered quietly, "What I'd like to know is how will the average 'gau rakshak' be able to check if we're being trafficked or not? So, he stops a truck that's transporting us. Where will this UIN be located — on our hoof? On our tail? Will they be armed with the kind of sensor type thing they have at airports?"

The only female in the group, Bullbul Sen, chirped up, "Oh no! What if they put us through those checks at airports. I hope they will have a special women's queue!"

Salman Cow-n, a good looking muscular bull, actor by profession, stood up to his full height and said, "Boss, I'm having a serious problem. Bollywood has announced that it doesn't want any bovines in its films. This is terrible because I had been cast in several movies due for release - Mera Gau Mera Desh, Bajrangi Bail-jaan, and Ek Tha Cow. What'll happen now? All my scenes will be chopped out?"

Another guy, Uday Ungulate complained, "Doesn't the government have anything better to do with its time than give us an Aadhaar card type thing. Citizens are fighting it on rights to privacy, don't us cattle have rights to privacy, too?"

The ad guy in the group, Jersey Jha, exclaimed, "I have a great name for this new initiative.

I'd like to rename it from Aadhaar card to Udder card."

Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at rahuldacunha62@gmail.com

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