VELLORE: A three-month-old calf has become the centre of attraction in Veerankuppam village near Ambur. ‘Velan’, as it is fondly called, seems to present a contrasting picture to the common person’s idea of a cow’s behaviour. Dairy farmer Ananthan, his wife Amutha and their children consider Velan as a member of the family. Instead of staying in the cowshed, the animal loves to stay inside the house, and rarely steps out except when it is hungry for mother’s milk.
“The calf behaves as if it is a human being. It eats whatever we eat like biscuits, dosas and rice,” says Amutha, adding that it takes grass occasionally. Delivered by a cow which Ananthan bought a few months ago, Velan freely moves around the hall, kitchen and bedroom of the house. The family members say Velan has an ear for music and interest towards watching TV.
Ananthan’s daughter Krithika, who just finished Class XII, is Velan’s favourite among the family members. “The calf is always with us. If we switch on the TV, it joins us to watch programmes. It also listens to music,” the girl says adding “Velan never disturbs us at night when it sleeps in the bedroom.”
Velan excites the family as it can oblige if anyone of them ask it to give a “kiss” like the pet dogs do. It is also able to sense the movement of Ananthan’s family members.
“If we get ready to go out for any functions, Velan will come and touch us with his nose to show that it does not want to get out of the house. What we do then is to leave it inside the house and lock until we come back,” Amutha says. The young boys in the neighbourhood too enjoy playing with Velan.“It looks like a stranger among calves. I haven’t seen a calf doing like this,” states ‘Mitalam’ Manoharan, an animal rights activist.