Nandi, Gomatha and little Kafka were walking in the middle of a busy road near Hamilton Court, Phase-IV, Gurgaon, when suddenly they saw cars and bikes screeching to a halt near them. Some avoided them and managed to meander past like race-track drivers taking sharp bends. The trio swished their tails and mooed angrily in reply to this near-death experience. They looked around to see if their other mates were safe, and heaved a sigh of relief when they found them shaken but unharmed. Little Kafka started crying and said between hiccups, “I am so scared of crossing this road everyday. Why can’t our owner take us in another direction where there is no traffic?”
Gomatha gathered Kafka close to her side, and replied, “Don’t worry Kafka, we will slowly cross the road.” As they were crossing, suddenly Nandi shouted, ‘Look out! There is a car coming to your left!’ Brakes squealed and the driver shouted rudely, ‘Bloody cows, why don’t you go and live in the fields instead of killing us on the roads.”
‘But, but….” sputtered Gomatha, “It was your mistake! You came on the wrong side of the road, don’t you know that this is a one-way?’
“Pah! Who cares about one-way in Gurgaon? I will drive on any road that I want to. Anyway, there is no police patrolling here. And let me tell you something else, when the traffic police do come out, it ends up in a traffic jam, heh heh heh,” chortled the rude driver and drove away, blaring his horn.
By now Kafka, already jolted by the screeching horns and squealing tyres, was petrified and refused to move another inch. No amount of cajoling from Nandi and Gomatha had any impact on her. She sat down in the middle of the road and said, “I am going on a strike, mom and dad, I cannot take this anymore, nobody cares for us, our owner leaves us on the busy roads to find our way home, and there is no use complaining to the police.” The rest of the cows also followed suit and sat down on the busy thoroughfare, which resulted in a massive traffic jam.
Soon a delegation of government officials came to negotiate with the congregation of bovine infidels (so christened by the angry public). Kafka and her tribe had a bevy of complaints and refused to heed the officials until their demands were met. The officials had no other alternative, they feared the PETA. Kafka boldly donned the role of the leader and rattled off a list of cow woes.
“We are not respected, even though we are considered ‘holy’ by many people. Our owner makes us take this same perilous route every day, causing harm to motorists and ourselves.
“We want the government to build a cow zone which will enable us to walk without fear.
“We want dedicated traffic police who don’t stand on the roadside with cellphones glued to their ears.
“We want to live in cleaner and more hygienic surroundings. Recently, we had a family dinner in MacDonalds in Sector 29. A stink assailed us when we came out. We turned around and saw an open drain with pigs wallowing in it. Yuck! And you call us dirty cows!”
Kafka breathed a long sigh, once she finished and said, “We will not budge till you assure us that our demands will be fulfilled.” After a heated discussion, the officials decided to fulfil the demands of the bovines. The congregation then methodically and slowly moved in a line and cleared the road. Nandi and Gomatha proudly patted Kafka and said, “You have indeed brought about a revolution. Only time will tell how successful we have been with our flash hartal. We know how crafty these officials are, so let’s be prepared to lead another andolan.” Kafka laughed delightedly and marched along with her parents, mooing this song:
“We are the speedbreakers of Gurgaon,
Drive rashly and you will be gone,
We will come back on the roads to keep a check,
Double-cross us and we will create a bottleneck.”