Khaire — The Goat

Khabarhub

May 8, 2020

7 MIN READ

Khaire — The Goat

The nationwide lockdown has affected normal life. (Image for Representation)

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Since the lockdown, Madhav has been unable to graze the trip of goats. He is in constant fear of being caught by the authorities. Without permission, nobody can graze their livestock.

Because of the violation from both sides, policemen are patrolling everywhere inside the jungle, and near the border. They are searching for the intruders who violate the protocol. Madhav is worried about his goats—especially about ‘Khaire’—a huge African Boer which is ready to go for the market.

Khaire weighs around 110 kilos, costing over seventy-five thousand instant cash. Madhav is worried about it because its daily food supplement is half due to the lockdown. He is unable to arrange hay and seeds for the goat. Nor can he arrange proper nutritious grass from the jungle.

The very next day, he goes to the district forest office and asks for an inquiry to find out whether they could allow a special permit to graze the goats inside the jungle.

The feelings about his goat haunt him daily, and as he gazed over it, his mind dwelled through numerous thoughts. “He [Khaire] and the other goats are becoming thinner and thinner day by day, I must arrange something to eat for these poor animals, otherwise I would bear huge loss…Shristi also needs treatment…… anemia is troubling her, I must arrange money for the treatment by selling him [Khaire].” The thoughts were troubling him until a goat ‘maaed’ with intense hunger.

Later that day, while walking towards a local wine shop Madhav encounters a local drunkard, he stammers and says something. “Y-you s-sit here buying wine, Suresh has got a permit to graze his cattle from the DFO.”
“Hey, how do you know about Suresh’s permit?” Madhav asks him instantly.

“I heard it in the wine shop,” the drunkard replies in a harsh voice and walks away. After the encounter, he marches towards home buying nothing. Madhav lies in bed thinking about getting a permit tomorrow. “I must go tomorrow to ask about a permit…Ah, finally my goats will cherish themselves inside the jungle…” Thoughts paddled inside his mind until he fell asleep.

The very next day, he goes to the district forest office and asks for an inquiry to find out whether they could allow a special permit to graze the goats inside the jungle.

The authorities agreed to give him a permit for a month. Madhav feels happy and returns home. Hurriedly, he calls Shristi- his wife, who is long gone for her mother’s home to seek treatment.

He speaks “Siru…I have got a special permit to graze them, now Khaire will not get thinner, I will sell it next month and we will have a lot of money for your treatment.” Suddenly, the phone goes off as its battery drowns. After this, he sleeps.

The first cock-a-doodle-doo of a rooster in aurora disrupts Madhav’s sleep. Being dizzy, he wakes up to prepare a meal for his goats. After handling the dizziness, he lights tinder bundles with firesticks and prepares a combination of crushed corn and yesterday’s leftovers in a gigantic cauldron mixing water and rock salt.

While preparing, thoughts play inside his mind. “Should I take them now…or should I take them in the afternoon? No…not now Madhav…you should take them in the afternoon because Suresh takes his cattle in the morning…” As soon as he smells cooked maize, like the intense smoke of a dwindling fire without firestick, his thoughts fade away.

It’s afternoon, after eating Dhindo and curry, Madhav walks toward the barn to prepare his goats for grazing. He arranges a small bag for breakfast, it is full of boiled potatoes, dry roasted maize, and soybean. Counting nine goats – three males and six females, he picks up a lathi and takes the trip of goats into the jungle.

Khaire jumps as he had never been to the jungle in ages. The other eight goats remain passive. After one hour, he is walking towards the dense part of the jungle.

Panting heavily, he decides to rest for a while near the field. “Maa maa…my goats graze in the pair…eat the grass and lay down there.” Madhav imitates an English song to guide his goats near the big field. And then, he takes out some boiled potatoes and begins to sing something.

“I am not Irish
But I eat potatoes
Mutton is beyond my luck
Chicken is beyond my life
I am poor with my woes
But I eat potatoes
but I am not an Irish”

Suddenly, he stops singing when he notices something wrong. He counts only eight goats. Being far from the field, he is unable to see which one is missing. When he goes near, he finds Khaire missing. He panics and searches everywhere but he does not find any trails of the goat.

He collects all the other remaining goats and searches for the lost one. After walking for an hour, some glimpses of the goat become visible from very far away. As he approaches near Khaire, a policeman comes and says “Idiot, you moron, don’t you know the border is closed?

They can shoot you for trespassing to the other side,” Madhav becomes stunned when he hears this. He replies with tears “I just want my goat, while grazing he crossed the border please help me to return him.”

His tears did not work for the policeman as Madhav watched his favorite goat grazing from the other side of the border. Khaire keeps on grazing in the field until it disappears away towards the dense jungle.

(The writer of this piece is Sandeep Jnawali)

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