Saturday, March 7, 2015

Nation Gets to Know

For those who do not know PunyakoTi, one of the folklore of Karnataka, here is the story

“PunyakoTi was one of the many cows which were returning home after grazing in the idle pastures close by a dense forest. The poor cow got lost and strayed deep into the jungle. Suddenly she found herself at an eating distance from the evil tiger that lived in the forest. Smacking its lips and swishing its tail, the tiger looked hungry and ready to pounce when all of a sudden the mortified cow found her tongue. "I have a small calf waiting for me back home. He would be hungry by now and I need to feed him. Will you please let me go home and feed him? I promise to come back after he is fed." The great cat was bemused. Would any prey really come back to be eaten? But PunyakoTi persisted. "I believe Truth to be my close family. The gods will not be pleased if I go back on my promise. So, no matter what, I shall come back. Please let me go now." Well, the tiger relented and let PunyakoTi go her way.
              Lore has it that PunyakoTi does come back to the tiger. Standing before his den she calls out to him-"Here I am evil one. Come, partake me." The tiger, Arbudha,  was touched by her honesty and moved to tears. In great remorse and realization, the tiger asks for forgiveness and jumps off the cliff to death. PunyakoTi returned to the cowshed happily “

The moral of this was that truth and honesty is always rewarded..he parting of the cow and the calf, the sacrifice of the tiger always brought tears in my eyes as a kid.

But today, many years later Arbudha Cowswamy got a question: What exactly happened that day. The only account he had was from the cows. Had he uncovered all facts?
Unable to control his curiosity, he went into the middle of Dharani Mandala , to Karnata, where it all happened and invited everyone he met ,to his show “Frankly squeaking with Arbudha Cowswamy”

After all even the Nation wanted to know.

Arbudha Cowswamy :  Thank you all very much for joining us. I looked forward to meeting you and talking to you for a very long time. I wanted to talk to you when all the cows were making merry. And now have found you. Without wasting much time, let me start away with the interview.So miss Kekda Kapoor, what do you have to say about this short story?

Kekda Kapoor : We did not had the concept of mega serials then. Once a person dies in our story, he stays dead. No rebirth and all that bullshit. Why we killed it in the story? Well, people like tragedy. And good over evil things has good market value.

Arbudha Cowswamy : Excuse me miss Kekda, I specifically asked for the comments on the moral and not on the length of the story. The question for the day is : Was the tiger justified in jumping off the cliff. Why did it do so? Our animal activist CraneAkka Gandhi would like to pour her thoughts.

CraneAkka Gandhi : I seriously felt that tiger should have been saved. Already we have such less tiger count in India, and if tigers die for all such reasons, how can we even save them !!

Arbudha Cowswamy: Very good point miss CraneAkka, the question stays the same though.

Dinku Donkey : Well , the problem is this , It was a carnivorous animal. Now that it could not eat the cow, it would anyways die of hunger as it could not eat grass. So it jumped.

Arbudha Cowswamy: Your point is not making sense Mr. Dinku. If it did not want to eat the cow, it could just leave the place. Eat some other animal who was not so truthful. The ones in politics for example. Kaalia the crow, you would like to add?

Kaalia : How can you say that the tiger jumped. Did anyone see it jumping? I seriously feel that it was the cow which tricked it to go to the hill top and then pushed it. Motherly love for the calf you see!

Arbudha Cowswamy : Now that’s some serious allegation Mr.Kaalia .Do you agree with Kaalia?
JumboJaani : That is rubbish. Cows are gentle animals and non-violent ones. My guess is , just as I do, it saw the food being delivered at doorstep and jumped in joy. But instead of in joy there was a deep valley behind it. Foolish tiger.

Arbudha Cowswamy : Different people different thoughts. Some say our hero : PunyakoTi is a murderer and some the tiger foolish. Was PunyakoTi really a hero? Cheeku –Meeku , your views?

Cheeku : If PunyakoTi was a hero , why did she not save the dying tiger .How could she  return “Happily”? These cows are so selfish .

Meeku : Oh yeah, How come the tiger is the villain in the story when he did not touch the cow, trusted the cow, did not eat it and sacrificed its life. Same as Raavan case. He should be the hero.

Cheeku : Yaa, which means it should be as famous as PunyakoTi. But this media focused only on this issue. Does anyone even remember that tiger name?

Arbudha Cowswamy : Its name is Arbudha. Not so famous though.

GulluJackal : I still stand by what Kaalia said.  PunyakoTi  was Aryan and the tiger was Dravidian. Aryans wanted to kill Dravidians and establish supremacy .

Arbudha Cowswamy : Oh,  Oh,  Oh.

SillySom : Oh now I get it .That’s why Sandalwood SRK , the Dravidian did a movie called Aryan and made it to flop as revenge!!

GulluJackal:  Oye , Bollywood SRK has named his son Aryan  too. Co-incidence?

Arbudha Cowswamy : Guys please don’t divert the topic.

OneDana : No, as per media reports the cow tried to convince it seems. Tiger did not listen.

GulluJackal  : Who is your source? Some wretched cow-worshipping evil Hindu right? Go and check with liberals. They will tell the truth

OneDana : The tiger felt guilty and it died. Case closed.

Psychologist Paaro : So , it looks like the tiger was under depression and had suicidal tendencies.

GulluJackal  : What tendencies?? How did it decide that it was wrong? For it eating non-veg was not an option. It was a natural requirement.

KaaTaal Naagraj : ItihAsavannu tiruchalAgide! History has been twisted.
Maravind Kej : Sab mile hue hai ji
Sakth Yadav : Blame the tiger. Cows will be Cows

Arbudha Cowswamy : Khamosh…. Psychologist Paaro, you were telling something.

Psychologist Paaro : Yes, Cow is right does not make tiger wrong. Dying just because someone is right sends a wrong message. We need to change the story. Change it to say that suicide is not the solution for guilt.

Arbudha Cowswam: Well Everyone you have been very frank, you were polite but without doubt, those watching this interview will have one thing to say that you have diverse views, each correct from their angle. For going through what you did, for putting out what you did at that point of time I think the country owes you a debt of gratitude. It was  my honour to speak to you all today. Thank you.

Within 2 days the story ending was changed.

“"You are great!"he exclaimed. "I cannot eat such a truthful and noble animal as you. You are my own sister. Go, PunyakoTi – go back to your child!"And he turned and walked away without a backward glance. Arbudha and PunyakoTi were equally blessed.

(Thanks to those special friends who gave inputs to this :)


  1. Now the story makes sense !! :P Never thot of this poor tiger earlier .. :D

  2. Interesting! I've never thought about why the tiger did that. Liked the ending :)