Gaura Maan is everything for young Raju. In his father Gopal’s words, Gaura almost replaced the vacuum created by the demise of Raju’s mother.
Gaura, the cow, is the only income source for their family, and selling her milk twice daily brought money into their household. Gopal, unfortunately, is not able to provide her with fodder and prefers that she feeds on the leftovers found around town. Gaura thus wanders on the roads the entire day, failing to find anything to eat as people hardly feed stray animals in current times.
Unlike other cows that compromised and ate from garbage bins and plastic bags, Gaura refused to do that. She couldn’t feed Raju the low-quality milk that came from feeding on crap.
As Gaura went hungry day after day, the quantity of milk and hence the income kept decreasing. On the other hand, the municipal authorities are particular about towing away stray animals that are feeding on road plants and public property.
The only hope for Raju is his wealthy classmate Qasim, who could adopt Gaura, send her to a rescue center, and sponsor Gaura’s maintenance. Qasim’s father Rehman is reluctant to help Raju transport Gaura to a rescue center due to the misunderstanding from Gau Rakshaks about any cow being transported, especially by people from a particular community.
Will Gaura remain a hungry cow, or will Raju be able to find a better home for Gaura, forms the rest of the story.
As the author mentions at the end of the book, there was a nationwide uproar about the cruelty meted to a pregnant elephant a few months ago. The story highlights this selective reaction from society using Gaura’s plight as a metaphor. By giving Gaura a voice, the author narrates her side of the story; while we humans make our own assumptions and make decisions on behalf of these animals, Gaura is showcased as wiser than the humans around her.
The story also highlights how there is activism around beef-eating, but the same individuals might scare and hurt a hungry cow looking for food.
The relationship shared by Gaura and Raju is heartwarming. There are some engaging illustrations to add another dimension to the story, and though the book is primarily for kids, it is equally recommended for adults.
With such an important message about our lack of empathy towards stray animals, this book makes for an essential read as it sensibly conveys the message.
Book Name: The Hungry Cow
Author: Sandeep Kumar Rana
Publisher: Authors Upfront
Book Type: Paperback
Disclaimer: This honest review is based on a complimentary copy of the book sent by the author.