The cute little lamb was playing with a ball. It would gently touch the ball with its front leg and get thrilled seeing it roll along the ground. It would then run after the ball to kick it again with its thin legs. The smile on the little lamb’s face made Kumar happy as he watched innocence in its purest form. He stood silently, drowning himself in that indescribable feeling of bliss, savoring the sight of incorruptibility. The lamb obliviously played on, lost in its own universe.
Suddenly, he saw a big man rush to the lamb, kick the ball away rudely and pick the animal up. Kumar was not sure if the man was the lamb’s master or a thief. He was too puny and scared to confront him. So he hid in the bushes nearby and tiptoed behind them. The man walked hurriedly towards his shop. There were several such lambs there. Before Kumar knew what was happening, he was shocked to see blood spraying in different directions after the head was chopped off from the little lamb’s body. One swing of an axe was all it took to separate the present from the past. The man, Kasim, was a butcher and the shop had different lambs, mostly hanging from large hooks waiting to be bought and eaten as some form or the other, in the near future. Rogan Ghosh who was walking by, licked his lips and asked the butcher to cut the little lamb which was still bloodying, into little pieces. The personality of the lamb changed, reminding Kumar that from the inside all beings are the same complex biological creations of God. The big butcher seemed to be oblivious to the blood or the lamb’s pure character. He was stolid and continued to do his job, occasionally blood drops and pieces of flesh flying, as if to attack his t-shirt. Kasim cut the once cute lamb into several small pieces and put it in a plastic bag for Rogan to carry it away.
Kumar was too sad and hungry too. He walked on and stopped at a restaurant called Café Nirvana. The day’s specialty was Lamb Biryani. Kumar remembered the little lamb playing with the ball with the same enthusiasm that his little nephew would play whenever anybody threw a ball at him. But now the lamb was probably at the bottom of a plate, marinated with spices, cooked in oil and mixed with fragrant basmati rice. The aroma of spices was tempting too, he confessed sadly to himself. The lamb pieces in a plate belonged to different such lambs, possibly, he thought. But what the hell, at least the lamb lived and enjoyed its life; it served a purpose after it died too. His mind kept asking, what if only the lamb were big, brave and wild like a lion or maybe a tiger. Then what would Kasim have done?
Then, man would have invented a sport called Hunting and hurled arrows at the animal, hiding behind in a safe shelter. Or bought a gun with or without license and pumped a few bullets into the lion’s heart, heartlessly. A group of 20 people could have tried Lion Biryani too or maybe Lion Steak or Sher Tikka Masala probably. Shikha, his girlfriend walked up to Kumar and asked him what he was thinking. Kumar was pleasantly surprised to see her and described the events and his thoughts. Shikha laughed and said, “Hey, its ok, it is only small animals that man eats – like fish, chicken, lamb and the rest are mostly spared”. Kumar smiled wryly at the word ‘mostly’. He then saw another sign, Texan hot dog for just 10 bucks. So, a pig is small. Cows are small too, he thought.
He walked back home and it was about 430 pm. He was tired and went to sleep. He had a nightmare. In a parallel universe, evolution had progressed beyond man: from monkey to man to onk. Onks were stronger, much more intelligent and possessed magical powers too. They had men and women as pets. Ironically, one Onk was watching a performance of a man showing off his pet monkey’s dancing skills and singing, “Naach mere bulbul tho paisa milega” (Dance my Bulbul (monky) and you will get money). Men did a lot of work for Onks and could talk too, they typed out emails for Onks, cooked food for them, wrote software and even danced and composed music for their entertainment. At night, humans were chained and put in a cage. Men and women were made to breed in environments that were meant to be specialized chambers, conducive for breeding. At any time of the day, Onks would randomly pull out humans of any size or shape and feed them into Man processing machines. Hot Babes and Hot Hunks began to have different meanings – those terms meant long sausages made of corresponding meat from hot babes or hunks and served with duck sauce and beef chilly on the side. Kumar woke up with a start and was glad to be alive.
His mother called, “Kumar, dinner is ready. And surprise! grandma has excitedly cooked your favorite, lamb curry with rice”.
Kumar slowly got up and started walking towards his food …. You, Mr. Kumar, what are you going to do?