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28.11.09

The sacred goatHe is just 21 months old but already a `superstar'. Khusi, as his owner Jeetender Singh endearingly calls him, is by far the costliest
The sacred goat
According to Singh, Khusi has a buyer willing to pay a staggering Rs 21 lakh for him. Singh, however, is hoping to get Rs 51 lakh for the animal.

What makes Khusi so special? It's the natural pattern in white on the black goat's body that resembles the number 786 in Arabic - considered lucky by Muslims across the world. That's not all, there's another marking that looks like the crescent moon, which again is a sacred symbol for Muslims. The owner claims the goat was born with the markings.

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1194/739063867_cd03697705.jpgSingh, a dairy farmer from Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan, had named the goat Khusi, little knowing what happiness the goat could bring him. ``Khusi was six months old when I decided to sell it to a Muslim butcher. He was on the verge of killing it when he noticed the number 786. Then he saw the holy moon on the other side of the goat's back. The butcher refused to kill the animal and left,'' he says.
Since then, Singh has been bringing the goat up with utmost care. ``I knew I will have to sell him one day, but I wanted to shower my love on him till that day. I had come to the Jama Masjid last year too and got an offer of Rs 5.15 lakh from a Mumbai-based Sheikh, but I refused to sell. This year, I plan to sell it for Rs 51 lakh. I am still hopeful of getting that price. I am sorry he has to go, but I need to be practical too,'' he says.

By Friday evening, however, Singh's patience had started to wear thin. Now that I have got a bid of Rs 21 lakh, I will wait till 8am on Saturday before selling it,'' Singh says.

With such precious cargo, Singh has been taking precautions about not disclosing his location in Delhi. It's somewhere near Vasant Vihar in south Delhi, is all he would say. ``It is not safe to take the goat everywhere. Here, I know a few people from my village.''

Khusi clearly has created a stir. Crowds have gathered around the animal for the past two days at Jama Masjid, where Singh puts Khusi on display. ``There has been a steady flow of people who have come and pleaded with him to sell off the goat at a lower price. However, he has stuck to his demand,'' says Hassan, a shopowner in the area.

Though Singh denies it, his friends say he is being provided protection by Rajasthan police. ``He will be carrying back a lot of money. He has received numerous offers the moment he stepped on the Old Delhi station on Thursday,'' said a friend wishing to remain anonymous.

Handwritten rare Manuscript of Quran at British MuseumSingh, though, understands his business. When asked to reveal the name of the businessman who has offered him Rs 21 lakh, he shakes his head. ``Revealing the name now will lead to major problems. I can only tell you that he belongs to Delhi,'' he chuckles, even as Khusi stared blankly at his owner, oblivious to his fate on Saturday.

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