It was a sad day for the family. Grandfather had passed away. The house was full of relatives from near and far. Friends and acquaintances had also come to pay their last respects to grandfather, who was much revered by one and all.
The family went for the funeral, accompanied by a lot of people. Pia was the second of four siblings among the grandchildren. It was the first time the children had seen a dead body. It was also the first time they had witnessed a human body being consigned to sacred flames as its last rites.
Having come home after the cremation, everyone seemed to be settling down except fourteen years old Pia. The scene of the burning pyre was fresh before her eyes.
The day passed. As it was time for dinner, her two younger brothers asked their mother if they could have roasted chicken for dinner. The eldest sister was quick to hush them up, saying, “Not today, what would the relatives think? You can have it another time, Today we shall all eat simply” But, the two little boys, innocently nagged on … One elderly lady who was watching the scene intently, happened to be a strict vegetarian. She said, “When their own people die, they go out and burn their bodies. But they bring other dead bodies home and eat them!”
Those words fell like a bombshell on Pia’s ears. From that day she decided, “I will never eat a dead body, what if someone were to cook the dead bodies of our loved ones and eat them? When a hen is killed, its family too would be mourning in its memory. And we, lick our fingers and say- Yummy!”.
Sure enough, God created much for man to eat; fruits, vegetables, cereals etc. Why then should we crave for eating the dead? The dead do not tell tales, but if they could, the mortuary in our stomach would be a den for tale tattlers.