First of all, I’d like it to be known that I am a vegetarian. It is a life style that has done wonders for me ever since I started last month, and I think you are stupid not to do it too. On this auspicious occasion of Eid-ul-Adha, I am now going to tell you the story of how I became a vegetarian and how amazing Eid has been for me, so that the same may one day happen to you as well.
I’ve never been able to enjoy Eid-ul-Adha, and I could never understand why. I chalked it up to the smell of blood and shit, then I thought maybe it was the fact that salami considerably dries up on this Eid compared to the other one. I even entertained the idea that maybe it was my fault, maybe I was a snooty little bitch who was always prone to finding something to complain about in stuff everyone liked. But then I read an article in a newspaper about how Eid-ul-Adha is a terrible thing which unnecessarily legitimizes animal cruelty. At first, I was enraged at how it hurt my religious sentiments, but then I noticed it was written by a white Atheist man from the US, who obviously knew everything there was to know about Eid-ul-Adha, and I was convinced. I couldn’t believe how I had thought it was okay to slaughter and devour animals, actual living beings, just because they can’t speak out against anything. I made the decision to become a vegetarian and only eat living beings that are even worse at speaking out against anything.
I had an amazing three weeks eating nothing but what came out of God’s green earth. I felt a little sad at times but that was probably because my girlfriend dumped me on the second week. See, I couldn’t stop talking about how comfortable my trips to the toilet had become as my shit was now as soft as chocolate mousse, thanks to all that fiber I was eating, and she couldn’t take it anymore. However, when Eid came around and my friends started fantasizing about biriyani, and my mother straight up told me that there wasn’t going to be any vegetable on the menu for the next week, I got really upset. I was angry at first because no one was paying attention to how amazing I felt because of a vegetarian lifestyle, then I felt sad because everyone would be having all this Eid fun without me. Something had to be done.
So I did what I always do when I’m in trouble, I went to my friend Shahed’s house the day before Eid to talk this out with him. I found him sitting red-eyed on his bed talking to his cat. When I said, “Hi,” he went, “Meow!” I told him all about what I was going through and he sat there staring at his cat the whole time. When I was done however, he told me, “Stop wasting my time and go put your dick inside a cabbage or something, you fucking tree hugger.” I didn’t know what he meant by this but it did give me an idea so I thanked Shahed and went on my way.
On my way back home from the departmental store, I couldn’t say I’d ever felt more proud. It took my dad until his thirties to be able to afford a sacrifice on Eid-ul-Adha, and here I was, in my 21st year, carrying home my sacrifice of a 180 taka cabbage. It was big and heavy but I was happy dragging it home, I even made the people at the store pack it in a net bag so everyone could look at this huge thing that I was going to sacrifice the next day. I saw our security guard at the door and asked, “Why didn’t you ask me how much the cabbage cost?” “It’s a cabbage, how much could it be? 150-200 taka?” he said. “Ask me how much it cost me. Ask me, ‘Bhai koto nilo?’” I insisted. “Erm okay, bhai koto nilo?” he obliged. “I got it for just 100 bucks! The market is really good today, they’re letting cabbages go for next to nothing. The man before me had settled for 90, but I liked the look of this cabbage, so I took it for 100 taka. You know, when it’s for Qurbani, it doesn’t matter if I’m winning the bargain, but I think I got a good deal today,” I lied.
Once I got home, my mom saw the cabbage and warned me that she wasn’t going to cook any ghash lota pata for me on Eid, to which I solemnly answered, “You don’t have to worry about that. I’m not going to eat my sacrifice like you people, I’ll give it to the poor.” Her confused stare followed me into the balcony where I tied the cabbage to the railings and patted it on the head or butt or side, I really couldn’t tell, and whispered, “You’re not going to be alive tomorrow, Pata miya. Enjoy the sun today and tomorrow, you’ll be with God in a better place.” I went to my room as I shed a single tear for my cabbage, whom I had named Pata miya.
When I came back to check on Pata miya before I went to sleep, he looked shriveled and dry, and I realized the sun didn’t agree with his tender outer skin. So I watered him up a bit, and went downstairs and tied him up in the garage with all the other sacrificial animals. I looked at the cows and goats tied up, resting, and it broke my heart. At that moment, a crazy urge took over me and I decided I’d set all of them free, I’d rather risk my family’s wrath than see these beautiful animals die. I went over to the pillar where our cow was tied but the cow swatted at me with its tail and I lost balance, stepping into the dung that had accumulated around its feet. I thought better of my idea and went back home.
The big day had arrived. I was supposed to go say the Eid prayers with my dad before coming back and hiding in my room until the cooking was done. Before we did that, my dad and I went to check on our sacrificial animals, or beings, I should say, and make sure everything was okay. As I approached the end of the garage where all the animals were, I started to look for my cabbage but I couldn’t spot it. When I got there however, I saw the piece of rope I had used to tie the cabbage to the pillar still there, but only bits of the outer layer of Pata miya lying around. As my head started to spin and I was about to yell, “My cabbage! Someone took my cabbage!” I heard my dad telling off the security guard for letting the cow eat the night before the slaughter. “Now there’s going to be even more shit than there was already, and you’ll be the one cleaning it up, Borhan miya,” he said. “I don’t know what happened, sir, I don’t know who left a cabbage in front of the cow, it wasn’t there when I went to sleep,” Borhan miya replied.
Having realized what had happened, I was rather confused. I didn’t know whether to be angry or to be happy. My stomach rumbled, reminding me that I hadn’t had any breakfast, and I thought to myself that one plate of biriyani couldn’t hurt. It WAS Eid, after all.
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