Note: Please read my previous post titled “Black Beauty” before reading this autobiography
I was born and brought up in a sub-urban Mumbai stable named “A1 Ghodawala” owned by my master named Digambar. My master is a very disciplined person and is in the business of renting horses to marriages, functions etc. but is more famous for renting horses for shooting in Bollywood movies and serials. I come from a very strong Bollywood family. My uncle witnessed the famous kissing scene between Anil Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia in the movie Janbaaz with the song “Jab Jab Teri Surat Dekhu…Jaane Jaana Oh Jaane Jaana” playing in background. Vinod Khanna used to love riding on my maternal uncle and even took him in the Cinthol advertisement.
My dad died the day I was born so my mom thinks that his soul exists within me and hence named me Atmaram. However all my friends call me Ram. As a kid, I was the laziest foal in the stable. I used to love sitting in the hay for hours doing nothing. One day Baburao (Digambar’s servant and my caretaker) noticed this and thought that I am not well and took me to a vet. I was crying out loud and trying to tell Baburao that I am alright when I realized that the vet was going to give me a 50ml injection. Baburao was fooled by the vet. That night I learnt the first lesson of my life “We horses are not supposed to sit”.
Digambar’s 5 year old daughter, Pinky, used to love riding on me when I was a kid. Digambar used to shout on Baburao “Aapla 3 foot ghoda aan mhanje Pinky la tyachya var chadtha yeil”. Pinky was as amused as I was and asked Digambar “Baba Baba ghoda aan mhanje nakki kay” to which Digambar replied “Aga pori stool la sudha ghoda mhantat”.
As I matured I understood that just like human beings even we horses are inherently racist by nature. The only difference being black is supposed to be the most beautiful color. I was fortunate to be a jet black stallion. At the age of 7 I fell in love with Sakhubai. She was 1 year younger to me and both shared the same stable. She was a beautiful mare with white mane on her dark brown skin. She used to love when I fondled with her tail. Sakhubai blushed whenever I called her Sakhu. She looked so sweet and would respond by calling me Chetak. She knew that even I loved it.
I took Sakhu to a Sanjay Dutt starrer movie on our first date. Sakhu rested her neck on my head. My tail was wagging against her tail. Suddenly Sanjay Dutt shouted on the 70mm screen “Maa! Main usko ghode se idharich tapka deta hun“. The guy sitting in front of me was trying to impress his would-be girlfriend and said “Chailaa..itka motha ghoda zala tari ajunhi aaila vicharto”. She was impressed on this stupid joke and this really shocked me. I was angry as the guy had violated copyrights as lay by our Council of Horses as he was using our name to impress her but I was more confused as to what exactly does the word “ghoda” mean.
In my personal life things seemed great but my professional life took a new twist. A serial on some legendary king was being produced and the Production house rented me. It was the toughest phase of my life. I was missing Sakhu a lot and was very insecure. I feared that Digambar would arrange for another horse for Sakhu in my absence. My worst nightmare was Digambar arranging for a donkey if he required a mule. I returned back to my stable after 6 months. Sakhu was sitting on the hay. I remembered my childhood lesson. I knew she was ill. I ran with a galloping pace towards her. Just the sound of my hoof made her stand up. I licked her mane hoping my nightmare has not turned to be true. She understood what I want to say and just nodded her head answering my insecurity. I finally heaved a sigh of relief.
Today I am an old useless horse left to die. Gone are the days when the prettiest Bollywood actresses would ride on me leaving Sakhu jealous. Rarely some Production house rents me for a B-Grade Bollywood movie starring never before heard actors like Ramdev, Jasmine etc. Seldom Baburao feeds me with jaggery and Pinky pats me. I am leading a helpless and hopeless life. I want to die as my tired body can no more carry my weight. I want to die…for I want to meet Sakhu again.