The Vultures of Mumbai
A dead body must be eaten, the Parsi tribe believes.
To burn or bury a body will taint the earth, the Parsi tribe believes.
In Mumbai, the Parsi tribe sets their dead atop the Towers of Silence
on Malabar Hill for the vultures of Mumbai to eat.
In Mumbai, the newly rich build luxury towers along the winding paths
of Malabar Hill. Their towers overlook the Towers of Silence.
Cell towers, too, rise. Once over a million strong, the vultures
of Mumbai are dying. There are no more vultures to eat the dead set
atop the Towers of Silence. Uneaten, the corpses rot.
The curtains of the luxury towers close to block the view.
The cell towers blink. The vultures of Mumbai have died
from eating the tainted meat of sacred cows. Not killed for meat
and eaten, the sacred cows of Mumbai live a long life. They go lame.
They live in pain. To ease the pain of the sacred cows,
the veterinarians of Mumbai treat them with Diclofenac.
The vultures that eat the cows that eat Diclofenac
die. Nearly all of the vultures of Mumbai have died. There are none to fly
to the Towers of Silence to eat the dead of the Parsi tribe.
What do you give the sacred? What are you looking at now?
The corpses rot. The curtains close.