After much deliberation and rumination she spoke weighing each word with her thick-fat tongue.

“What is the point of this meeting… anyone?” This was just after John Marrow had been officially declared a vegetable. “I come in pieces,” Cowshellya Rani was trying hard to impress, finding recourse to flowery language. But flowery language too had its limitations. Between her never-stopping teeth language had also been reduced to a cud that she threw around, like her weight, every time she called a meeting.

“Peace is what you probably mean,’ said Grass Kumar, quivering at the sight of the Cowshellya Rani’s never-stopping teeth. “Is there a plural of peace?” asked Cowshellya Rani, parting her lips a tad sideways to smile. This time no one spoke for the plural of anything meant many. And being many was simply an invitation to be eaten. And no one wanted that. Even Grass Kumar was called just Grass and not Grasses even though he was many.

“You know it’s not like the old times now,” said Cowshellya Rani sighing, “I have changed”. As a sign of this change she gave the vegetable Marrow a lick on the cheek. A gasp was heard running through the hall. Unsaid words fell to the ground like melted ice-cream forming puddles of unsaid words and flowed in different directions causing much unsaid confusion.

“Can I be allowed to speak?” Baigun Khan came forward. “I think we’re getting too coloured by history. And we can’t let that happen. Can we?” A round of applause followed Baigun Khan’s suggestion and all present started hugging each other. But no one dared go near Cowshellya Rani, even though she smiled more than usual.

That hurt her much. When she couldn’t bear the pinch of not getting a hug any longer Cowshellya Rani mooed out so loud that everyone shook and shivered. “Will I never get a damn hug?” Hearing this everyone stopped hugging, waiting for Cowshellya Rani’s need for attention and intimacy to pass.

They had suffered heavily under her reign. Even the memory of those horrible times was enough to send chills down their spines. They were, after all creatures of the soil. And Cowshellya Rani had in the twinkling of an eye polished off many a green pasture. Therefore Cowshellya Rani’s change of heart felt awkward and incredible and those present were not about to err on the side of caution by hugging her.

“You know, another reason why I called this meeting…” Cowshellya Rani spoke seeing that none among those present had shown any interest in hugging her. “…is to tell you that from now on I have vowed to turn humanitarian. Meaning I will only feast on the two-legged kind.” Everyone heaved a sigh of relief. And gradually they all started moving towards Cowshellya Rani so that they could hug her.


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