Sacrifice – An offering – A ritual – A hoax
Flaring streams of ignited lamps wavered in gentle cold breeze, the flame dancing in the darkness and merely lighting the space around. The mist collected on the outer shell of glass cased lamps glittered, scintillating with the flame that dazzled dimly. The uninviting cold surfaced, hustling leaves swept the earth and broke the silences in irregular patterns, crawling through everyone’s feet. Sound of the creaking iron gate, which marked the entry into the compound made every head turn in harmony.
A group of four men marched in, bodies wrapped in saffron robes from shoulders to knees with the loose ends waving with the breeze while they walked with synched feet. They resembled each other, forehead painted with a red streak, bald heads with a small ponytail at the back, matching attire and bare feet.
They walked through the gathered men, separating and consolidating again to form a single body, followers, believers, being the witness of the ceremony.
The man leading the crusade wore a scarf and finally anchored the center of the ceremonial ground. Others followed him holding an ornate trunk which was covered with a red silk fabric. The base of the trunk was decorated with golden and silver etchings, bolted with a clutch which held a cage. The trunk was diligently placed on a high platform and laid a satin white cloth beside it.
The elderly man stepped ahead and produced a long blade, a carved handle covered in nylon threading and beads which made it more of an exhibit. The man held the blade in both his arms and raised it above his head, closed his eyes and looked up. Lips started moving in silent prayers, beaming his head high and murmuring verses into the dark sky. The companions and the crowd hummed the prayers in unison and soon the atmosphere got filled with murmurs of verses and a film of smog layered the ground in white streaks.
The murmurs came to a faded halt and the old man pulled the red fabric over the trunk and the fluttering wings of the captured bird made the only sound.
He pulled out the agitated creature who struggled hard to get away and held it with the claws. Signalling the devotees he laid the bird on the staged platform over the white fabric and caressed it with such tenderness and love which never ever existed on this planet.
The bird laid still, the old man picked up the blade and glanced at the gathering then at the sky again, murmured another set of verses and caressed the helpless bird for one last time.
The white cloth stained red with the blood dripping down the edges, feathers soaked in blood and the slayed neck still oozing streams of fresh blood. Life was being sucked out of her skeleton, brain relinquished and the body stopped trembling. Eyes which were lively moments ago now stare into the hollow space, motionless. Wings which elated her to greater heights now lay dead, crippled by its own blood.
It had a life, a creation of the lord!
I don’t believe in the happiness of the Lord by murdering in the name of a sacrifice!
Was it really his will to sacrifice a life, or is it just a ritual to follow blindly?