Animal sacrifice - A shivering experience
You might be familiar with 'Animal sacrifice' ritual in Tamilnadu. But, have you surveyed it with your own eyes? Dreadful.
It happened a year ago. I still remember the day. The ‘yellow massive ball’ was resting and had time to show its energy for tearing the dark cloud. My eyelids were held tightly, fighting to open. I heard a soft voice calling me “Dear, get up. Get ready quickly. Else it will get late when we reach the temple.” It was my mom calling me. I took seconds to realize and forced my eyelids to unlock my retina. Having rubbed my eyes, I jumped out of the cot and began getting done. Washed myself and dressed in a jute-cotton salwar suit. Then briskly emptied the steaming coffee mug and got into the car with the bags.
My father chauffeured the vehicle gently. In very few minutes, the car was piercing through paddy fields. Birds chirping around, harmony of buzzing bees, the blooming lilies, ponds filled with water flowing like a silver sheet, chilling breeze kissing ones cheeks, erect tall paddy, bamboos, etc. were a royal meal to my eyes. While we reached the temple, I was completely charged with excitement.
The temple was quite small but fully crowded. It surprised me. I remember, there could have been 200 heads in the temple. Wondering what was the gala-day for, so much people had gathered in the temple. I found few members wearing garlands and smeared holy ash on forehead. We were standing half a feet away from the circled crowd. There was a huge stone at the centre of the circle. I was wondering if they were playing any games. Additional to my surprise, I found an elder person standing near the stone. I guessed he would be at his early seventies. Dark, short, skinny, wrinkles revealing his age, thick moustache, hair displaying his experience were catchy. He was wearing a yellow colored dhoti, flowers around his neck, garlands hanging to cover his ribs, his forehead was painted with holy ash and his hands firmly holding a jagged sickle. And people making unusual sounds. Thrilled.
I was asking my mom “Ma, what the old man has to do with the sickle? What is the purpose of so many people gathering here? Its all new and strange mom.” She held my hand tightly and simply said “Shhh..” It remained a suspense to me for few minutes. The priest came pulling the rope with a ferocious, black, plumpy goat. The goat had flowers to cover its neck. It was brought to the old whom my eyes spotted in the beginning. The animal seemed to be hot. A bucket of water with turmeric powder and neem leaves were blended and splashed on the face of animal. It shook its head, sprinkling the water from its head. Agitated. We could hear the breath of the animal which sounded clearly amplified. The priest splattered a handful of kumkum on the animal’s forehead. The old man held the goat on left and raised his sickle on his right hand. The animal was red in kumkum and in anger. The people gathered made some strange sounds. In five seconds, the animal’s head was sliced down over the huge stone by the old man. The black body was lying cool in a pool of his own blood. The stone stained with blood. I screamed at the sight. But people moved out very casually from the place clearing the animal’s body.
My body turned chill with frozen blood looking at the sight. I pitied the dead animal. His body, ready to get cooked for a yummy meal to the people who chopped his head. My excitement had vanished and I became pale. A quick transformation of mood. I know my mom took pains to make me overcome the fear. Is this a ritual? Is this is all God wants? Killing poor animals and name it ‘Animal sacrifice’. When will the situation change? Let’s not give a chance for ‘Animal sacrifice’ and make the animal world safe under Blue cross.