It was Uttarayan, the day of the kite
flying festival. Sahil had invited his school friends to celebrate
the festival from the terrace of his home. In no time, the sky was
full of colorful kites flying high up in the air. The environment
was filled with sounds of, "I've cut it! … Oi, retract the
In one corner of the terrace, songs
were being played at high volume while a pile of kites laid in the
other corner. Sahil's neighbor, Manju aunty sat in a corner
untangling the knots in the thread. Each time the boys came to her
for more kites, they took along a piece of Manju aunty's homemade
'sesame chikki' (a sweet snack) to munch on.
To add to the enjoyment, Sahil's friend Tarang got chocolates,
cakes and cold drinks from the nearby bakery. Sahil cut the cake
into pieces and offered one to Manju aunty. She asked him, "But
dear, this cake must have eggs. That baker doesn't bake eggless
cakes, does he?"
Sahil replied back with a chuckle, "Oh
aunty, cakes taste good only when they are made with eggs. And eggs
can be eaten because they don't have life. They are considered
vegetarian." Manju aunty looked up at him and said, "Sahil, in this
world nothing without life can be eaten. If there wasn't any life
in an egg, then an egg wouldn't be edible either. It would have
been considered an object."
Once again, Sahil put forth his
argument, "But in our school, we were taught that eggs provide a
lot of protein."
"Oh! Should you eat eggs only for the
sake of protein? The sesame that you just ate in your 'chikki' also
provides us with protein. How can we kill any living being? God has
said that you should not kill, eat or do anything to those beings
which experience fear because of you. The egg …" Before Manju aunty
could finish her statement, they saw some boys running towards an
old tree in the backyard. Sahil and Manju aunty also followed the
group. On reaching the spot, they saw a small bird who was
entangled in the threads of a kite. The more it tried to free
itself, the more it became entangled. On seeing this, Sahil climbed
up the tree in order to rescue the frightened bird. He was
overwhelmed with pain on seeing the bird's helplessness and fear.
When he started untangling the thread, his gaze fell inside the
bird's nest. There lay a small egg there. It seemed as though the
bird was trying to reach out to its baby inside the nest. Finally,
after some efforts Sahil freed the bird.
The bird immediately flew towards its'
egg. On seeing the bird's pain, Sahil was reminded of Manju aunty's
words. He now fully understood that the bird's baby was alive
inside the egg. How can a person kill another being for his own
happiness? How can we punish others for the sake of our own
enjoyment? Sahil looked up at Manju aunty with repentance. In order
to comfort him, Manju aunty placed her hand on his shoulder and
said, "From today onwards, always remember that while you play be
sure that no living being is being hurt!"
Article : The festival of Makar Sankranti