A lamb hopped across the farm and posed a serious question to his mother, ‘Mother, why are we sacrificed on Bakrid?’ The wise goat smiled and said, ‘Because son, we are offered to Allah.’
‘But why not the cow’, the lamb shrugged.
A calf ruminating in the yard, tied to a nail, raised her lazy head to give the lamb a look of annoyance. Embarrassed, the goat explained to her son, ‘Cows are Hindus, my dear.’
‘This is unfair. When did this happen? Who decided which religion takes which animal? What if I want to be a pious animal in Hinduism? Where is my choice?’ The lamb threw a tirade of questions along his mother’s way.
The wise goat smiled. She sighed, ‘I wish your father was alive to answer your innocent questions.’
‘So what happened to him?’ The lamb was curious.
‘Well, he was sacrificed along with 2 lakh other animals in Gadhimai festival in Nepal.’ The goat lamented.
‘Wait, isn’t that a Hindu festival?’ The lamb was perplexed.
The goat was silent.
The lamb was angry. ‘I want to be a cow!’ He stomped his feet.
‘India: The Largest Exporter of Beef’, the newspaper headline read. A cow munched on the newspaper near a garbage bin as the lamb raised a ruckus in the farm.
A kid looked through the glass window of a moving car and asked his Dad, ‘Daddy, aren’t these coconut trees?’
‘Yes’, The father was not ready for the barrage of question that he knew were to follow.
‘We offer coconuts in temples, right?’ The six year old was just warming up.
‘Yup’, The father silently lamented bringing the chatty kid to the long road trip.
‘Why don’t be offer dates? The date palm looks so similar to the coconut tree?’ The kid was on a roll.
‘Ahmed uncle had brought dates when he returned from his Dubai trip. Are dates Muslim and Coconuts Hindu?’ The kid went on.
The father smiled.
‘They won’t eat us, so they are our friends, right?’ A piglet squealed as he posed philosophical questions to his father.
‘Technically yes, but they think we are impure or something.’ shrugged the Papa Pig rolling in mud.
‘But Hindus are the opposites of Muslims, right?’ The piglet wasn’t done.
Papa pig wanted to disagree but being the sloth that he was, he just nodded like a politician allowing the partition of India-Pakistan.
‘So, they must love our meat, those Hindus, right?’ Now the piglet was just getting illogical.
Papa pig sighed, ‘No, it doesn’t work that way. Most strict Hindus are supposed to be vegetarians.’
‘But we still get eaten, alcohol gets consumed, cigarettes get smoked and cows also get eaten.’ If the religious laws are so sacrosanct, how are so many people breaking them so easily?’ The piglet squealed harder.
‘Because there can be good Hindus and bad Hindus, good Muslims and bad Muslims.’ Papa pig went on, ‘The bad ones in the religion go against the tenets of their faith.’
‘But if humans can be bad or good, why aren’t there any bad cows or good pigs?’ The piglet mumbled.
Papa pig smiled.