I walk into the swanky corridors of the Junagadh Agricultural University and am seated in front of a receptionist, who is busy reading perhaps for the umpteenth time, the featured article ‘Modi’s golden magic around the world’ on ‘Maro Bharat.’ There is a festive spirit all around. An office boy appears with a kettle and pours tea to the inattentive lady. He has gone a full fifty feet and I hear a yell beckoning the boy, who hurries back. “You have not filled the cup,” admonishes the lady, whereupon the boy continues to pour tea overflowing the brim and fills the saucer as well. I have landed in Gujarat, the golden state.
The lady lifts her hand gesturing me to proceed to the right. ‘Everything in Gujarat seems to be only right,’ I proceed thinking. The scientists are busy with test tubes containing yellow liquids of various hues. The distillation, the mass spectrometry, the TL Chromatography all seem to be busy digging into the new found El Dorado, gold in cow-urine.
“We are very busy now on a research of national importance. PMO is directly supervising our work,” with a whisper of urgency the director confides into me a state secret that should not have been shared. I wait holding my breath. These scientists, not politicians they are, eventually are a happy lot sharing anything under the sky, only to end with do not write anything about it.
“We found gold in our Gai,” the old scientist is exuberant. Only Hindu Gais and not the Holstein cows. Our rishis and saints were true. Hindu cows are indeed holy.” He gets up from the chair and goes to the wall hanging of a ‘Kamadenu,’ a Hindu religious cow, widely worshipped in India, folding his hands in Namaste to return back.
He beckons the boy with a bell a hold, a kind that we use during our prayers. The tea and a demand for a full cup filling the saucer is reenacted here too. “Right now about 300 scientists are on the job, confides the old man.” “Is the gold find any substantive quantity?” I ask nervously, apprehensive of all cows being confiscated for non-declaration of hidden assets under the new black money declaration scheme, looking at my long needed replacement of my worn-out leather shoes.
“It is around 30 mg of pure gold in dissolved state. I have requested for another 1000 more scientists on deputation to help assess the source of the precious metal. They will be biologists, aquatic engineers who will now start testing many plants and water for the metal. After all gold cannot occur magically, you see. We are all serious scientists, “ he tries to reason with me.
“Could milk possess too gold?” my question is not without reason, as I love drinking milk. ‘Indeed yes,” the answer is quick as his tone becomes a barely audible whisper. “We all know it has to be, but have been instructed from Delhi to concentrate only on the cow urine and stay clear of milk. After all it is only our Vedas, which have spoken highly about this millenniums ago.”
With a minimum one-litre milk consumed by a person each day, for an average adult who has consumed 20000 litres in 60 years, this means storing nearly 600 gms. of gold in each person. The population of Junagadh is 168515 according to 2011 census, translating into 101109 kgs. of gold valued at Rs.3 lakh crores assets in Junagadh! I am about to faint.
The tea boy arrives with the kettle. I meekly ask, “Can you give me only the tea liquor, and pack a bit of milk in this small bottle.” The director exhorts with his better alternative, “ You should try tasting our pure cow urine.”
I walk out with mixed feelings to see the receptionist yet again begun reading afresh the featured article, ‘Modi’s golden magic around the world’ on ‘Maro Bharat’ slurping yet again the ‘golden’ tea!