Shehenshah, Rishtey Mein Toh Hum Tumhare Baap Lagte Hai

Animals

Shehenshah, Rishtey Mein Toh Hum Tumhare Baap Lagte Hai

Illustration: Akshita Monga

O

n most nights after dinner, the 9th Earl of Emsworth stood at the pigsty of his beloved pig, Empress of Blandings, hearing her breathing, drinking as absorbedly as if it were something from the Queen’s Hall. The image of the dotty Earl sighing over this noble animal is one that is familiar to every PG Wodehouse reader, but Narendra Singh Poonia, a dairy farm owner from Panipat, has never heard of the Earl or his obsession with his amiable sow, popular winner in the Fat Pigs Class at the Shropshire Agricultural Show. But something tells me, if Poonia was into Wodehouse, he would think of the old Earl as a brother from another mother.

I meet Poonia at his house in Didwadi village. He is busy massaging his own noble animal – the star attraction at the three-day Agri Leadership Summit, 2017, and winner of Uttar Pradesh’s beauty contest in 2016 – with large dollops of desi milk and ghee. Shehenshah is not a pig but a spectacular 1,500-kg prize Murrah bull with immensely curved horns and jet-black hide that shines in the sunlight. He stands at 5’10” inches, and spans an astonishing 15’5″ inches from head to tail.

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