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Meet UP ka Raja near Old Delhi’s Jama Masjid: The goat who refuses to step down

Ahead of Eid-ul-Zuha, a goat named Raja, from Uttar Pradesh, has become the star of the make-shift market that’s set-up in front of Old Delhi’s Jama Masjid every year.

delhi Updated: Aug 26, 2017 16:52 IST
Ruchika Garg
Ruchika Garg
Hindustan Times
Jama Masjid,Old Delhi,Bakra
Raja, a Mewati goat, priced at Rs 4.5 lakhs, refuses to step down from its charpoy. (Ruchika Garg/ HT Photo )

Eid-ul-Zuha is round the corner, and Old Delhi’s Jama Masjid is already decked up with lights. But what’s attracting crowds is a white goat that has parked itself on a charpoy in a park in Urdu Bazaar (near Jama Masjid), and doesn’t bother to descend on the floor. Meet Raja — the three-year-old goat priced at Rs 4.5 lakh that belongs to Sahab Ali, who hails from Uttar Pradesh’s Gajraula.

Ali has been coming to this make shift market in Old Delhi for 15 years now. It gives him immense joy to pamper Raja, who refuses to sleep or eat on the floor, and steps down only when required to walk. “Since its birth, Raja is like this only. He doesn’t sleep on the floor and therefore, we had to give him a charpoy, which is exclusive to him. He eats and sleeps only on his charpoy. Also, he’s not very friendly and prefers to stay alone. In fact, that’s why we named him Raja!” quips Ali, who has brought more than 100 goats this year, but is more emotionally attached to Raja than others.

What’s special about Raja? “He is Mewati, which is a popular breed of goats, and are at times as big as full-grown cows. His diet includes almonds and milk along with grass. Is nasal ko har koi nahi paal sakta aur na hi khareed sakta hai, sirf seth log hi le sakte hai (Not everyone, but only the rich can afford to raise and buy this breed),” informs 11-year-old Ameen, who is accompanying Ali on this trip.

Though the renowned breeds of goats are Totapari, Barbara, Turki and Punjabi, which are usually priced above three lakhs, Raja is making his name count. So much so that his popularity has made other goats sellers, from various parts of India including Rajasthan and Haryana, feel envy. Noor Yameen, a goat sellers from Nuh (Haryana), says, “Humare paas bhi itne bade-bade aur achche bakre hain. (We too have brought quite well-fed goats). Don’t know why Raja is stealing the show!”

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First Published: Aug 26, 2017 16:49 IST