29th Book of 2020!
There are times when you want to read a short book in between of your long reads for refreshment and you just expect a short good story from this book and not some kind of “Moral of the Story” as generally, authors write short books just for telling the story without any mission behind it. But the one I picked up last evening surprised me with its content- The book is named “The Hungry Cow” and is written by Sandeep Kumar Rana. Sandeep has written this book based on the Haryana Police’s initiative called “Mission Stray Cattle”. The book can be a very great influencer as it talks about how we, as human beings, treat animals with no empathy and just to ensure that we get as much benefits out of them without worrying about their emotional and health conditions.
The book is of around 1.5-2 hours read which is written in a very simple language with an equally easy narration. The great part about the book is that it can be read even by an eight years old kid or someone who is aged as well - as it speaks about the concern that has resonated all of us once in our life – how badly we treat animals. When I was a kid, I had no empathy towards animal until I saw a kid loving and caressing a puppy after it got hurt by some vehicle. It changed my mindset completely towards animal and since then I have never thrown stones towards them or kicked them out of frustration. In fact, I have started thinking as to how I shouldn’t end up causing them any kind of trouble. This book just brings the same emotions to you right from its first chapter.
I was amazed as to how even in such a small story, author has been able to add multiple characters such as the protagonist – 11-year-old Raju, his father – Gopal, Qasim – Raju’s friend, Rehman – Qasim’s father and the veterinary doctor along with many other policemen and people with authority. The USP of the book is the character of Gaura Maan – who is a cow domesticated by Gopal with a unique quality of talking like us. This makes us understand how a Cow sees human beings and why they are being referred as “Mother” by Hindus. She is capable of telling stories and discussing life with Raju as he loves her like a real mother unlike his father who just wants milk from her for selling and doing business without even worrying about how she will eat and have proper diet required for an animal.
The book portrays how human being has classified itself as a superior creature and all the other beings into a classification of “Animals” who are only supposed to provide human beings comfort without human beings doing anything for them. How we let cows and other animals eat stray and garbage which leads into hurting them as they end up eating sharp items like blades etc. and we don’t even blink an eye towards them. How important a Cow is for the religious people following Hinduism is also portrayed in one of the chapters. How cow vigilantes are only behind creating ruckus but aren’t actually caring for the cows is also portrayed in one of the chapters which discusses the current scenario of cow lynching. How a Muslim family supports a Hindu family in ensuring the cow can be saved tells us that at the end we are brethren and there is nothing to fight about it. The book makes you emotional at many occurrences and through cow, it lets you understand the plight of all the animals around us.
Now, talking about the drawbacks – the only complaint I have is that the book is very short which is actually good as many children will end up reading it and getting influenced for good but this story had potential for more considering the cow being a character who can talk which could have conveyed a lot many things about religion, spirituality and human’s attitude towards cows and how they think about us in any scenario. I wish if this could have been a full-fledged novel.
Overall, this is a great book for kids and youngsters and gives a strong and essential message. I give the book 4 stars out of 5.
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