The Kite Flying Festival

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 string."

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!"

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