Of cows, Indian cities and a story that’s yet to be told


This is a children’s story that I wrote a very long time ago. I have been trying to find a publisher, ideally in India, who’d be willing to publish it as a stand alone. It’s not very long and I’m sure that with the right illustrator it would be a delightful read for children all around the globe. It’s not a traditional folk tale but has been narrated as if it were.

Here are the opening paragraphs… Tell me what you think. What’s more, ask your children or grandchildren what they think. Would they want to know more about this story?


As anyone who has been to India may have noticed, even in large cities like Bombay or Mumbai as they now call it, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata in fact all over India, in cities and towns there are cows in the streets.

The cows are everywhere: on the roads, standing on pavements, nuzzling their heads in garbage heaps, lying on the side of the road, chewing cud. Sometimes they just stand and blink at the passing traffic. Sometimes they walk across the road. And, when they do that all the traffic comes to a respectful stop. And sometimes they just stand and stare at passersby with a look to remind them of something that happened a very long time ago.

Now, as every boy and girl, man and woman, has sometimes wondered, you too might ask, ‘why are there so many cows in big cities in India?’ And you might think, shouldn’t they all be in the villages and out in the fields? And shouldn’t they eat something other than scraps and straw and old paper? They should. But Indian cows are very clever and adaptable.

What’s more, many years ago they did only stay in and around the villages and never even so much as wanted to go to the cities. But, those were the days when there was only one cowherd for all the cows and buffaloes in India. His name was Govinda.

Govinda was a young man with a merry twinkle in his eye and a ready song at his lips. Sometimes he played a flute, and it was the most beautiful sound as it danced lightly like a butterfly over the cows and buffaloes as they ate grass, or sat and chewed the cud or slept. All the cows and buffaloes loved Govinda and he loved them.

The cows and buffaloes spoke to Govinda in a language quite different from ours. Whenever they needed him they would lower their heads and call out, “Gooooovinnnnndaaaa!” And he would come running as fast as he could, hopping, skipping and jumping over the backs of the cows if necessary. He could run very fast, there were some who said he could run almost as fast as the wind.

Govinda and his cows wandered wherever their fancy took them. If the cows wanted juicy green grass, Govinda would run ahead, pluck out a stalk, chew it from the roots to test if it was juicy enough and then he’d call the cows to follow him. When they moved in the direction they were called, the enormous herds looked like a great monsoon storm that was changing direction.



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