The air was heady with the stench of decay. A line of ants was crawling towards an open hut of mud. Another line of ants was crawling towards another hut opposite the first. The ants did not differentiate. Decay to them was only a feast, whatever its colour or culture might be.

People held their noses when they walked by, unfailingly amazed at the bizarre situation. The situation concerned a cow. A cow sawed in half and that too unevenly. Trails and splatters of blood could still be seen leading from one hut to another. It always looked like either a slaughter house, a sacrificial platform, or a war zone. Older people often looked at the scene and sighed that clichéd sigh with an “Oh, ‘twas once upon a time…”

The ants were now crawling in circles between the huts. Perhaps they couldn’t decide which decay was bigger and more worth their journey.

….

He rose to his feet and gathered himself, turning his pockets in and walked out when a knock resounded. It was a knock too familiar to his ears. The neighbour was asking about his cow. How is it doing today? Do you need some water to replenish the decay somewhat? Have the ants finished it off yet? All the questions mocking the situation, when ironically, the neighbour was part of the situation. Iqbal always asked after the neighbour’s cow as well. The two were obsessed with each other’s half of the cow. Never had the world seen two people more obsessed with a rotting cow; a decay of more than 6 decades.

7 thoughts on “Excerpt from To each his own decay

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